New River CEO must go now

We moved here seven years ago to provide primary care to a community that had an excellent relationship between the small local hospital and clinic. We have been in the unique position of seeing real operations and goals on both sides, and we ask that on the behalf of the hospital staff and the community health welfare, please call your local hospital to make it known that Mr. Marshall Smith, the hospital CEO, needs to go now.

Within months of his starting, we witnessed Mr. Smith create atmosphere where nurses, hospital staff and providers became intimidated and had to worry daily about their jobs. Mr. Smith has made major decisions about vital hospital services, such as the electronic medical record, and terminating the anesthesiology directorship and the sleep center, before asking for medical staff input.

We want to stay in the community and grow our campus with the support of excellent, and reputable specialists. This would exponentially improve health care for you. Mr. Smith chooses instead to spend money by taking hospital profits, which are made from the patients that we have been sending to NRMC, to hire primary care physicians. Contradictory to statements by Mr. Smith, Buffalo Clinic does not have a “monopoly” in the area for primary care. Competition already includes Mr. Smith’s Big Lake Clinic, Centracare Becker Clinic, Allina Buffalo Clinic, Allina St. Michael Clinic, and four clinics in Elk River, all within 15 miles of Monticello.

Physicians, not only from Buffalo Clinic, have expressed their dissatisfaction with Mr. Smith with requests for his removal. Eight months ago, Buffalo Clinic instituted steps to encourage the elected hospital board members to take charge and dismiss Mr. Smith or force him to resign. Board members have a chance to be heroes for our community, but instead of taking responsibility and laying Mr. Smith off, the hospital board wants to pawn Mr. Smith’s destiny off on to “another system” as it eagerly awaits bailout by a big hospital system. This “affiliation” could take months to happen, while the problems at our community hospital continues. The board needs to terminate Mr. Smith’s contract now.

We can tell you that we did not move to this community to provide care with Mr. Smith running our community hospital. His continued leadership is creating financial stresses for this community, and risks losing more hospital staff, specialty services and physicians, like us.

This is our community and our health. Please help our community move forward. Please call Mr. Smith at NRMC — 295-2945, or your elected board member and recommend that Mr. Smith be terminated.

We would ask that you NOT vote for any board member in this upcoming election that sits back while our hospital continues to suffer.

If you don’t know who Mr. Smith is, you can watch the city council meeting Aug. 13 clip and start viewing the video around three minutes. — Drs. Deborah and Joseph Mahoney