[FULTZ] “Not My Job”

The recent article in Powell Valley News, “Americore Offers Statement Of Commitment On Hospitals” has me worried. The very real existence of a civil suit against Americore’s CEO is troubling, as is the criminal charges for writing a bad check. But what bothers me most is Americore’s COO, Travis Roderick’s response to employees at Pineville Community Hospital not getting paid last week.

Powell Valley News quoted Mr. Roderick as saying, “Americore is not yet responsible for the finances of the hospital, including any payroll issues.” That may be true, but a management contract is a contract to do just that—manage. Whether or not payroll is supposed to come out of Americore’s pockets is immaterial. Part of ethical management is to make sure, come hell or high water, that people are paid for their work.

Good customer service folks will tell you that saying “not my job” or “not our policy” is the absolute LAST thing you ever say to a disgruntled customer.

Well, the employees of PCH are customers, as are the patients. Americore thumbed their nose at both when Roderick said, essentially, “not my job” when the news broke about payroll being late at Pineville.

Think about all the jobs the Hospital Authority here in Lee County says they will create when the new hospital opens. If Americore ends up managing that hospital, who’s going to be responsible for getting those employees paid? Apparently NOT Americore; they have made that plain! Will it be the taxpayers of Lee County? I don’t know, do YOU have the money laying around to pay the salaries of several doctors, nurses, and other highly trained health care workers who definitely deserve well-paying jobs? Does Lee County Board of Supervisors have that extra money? If so, why aren’t we running the hospital on our own without help from Americore or anybody else? Why do we even need this hospital authority?

Another point, and this one is even more important: Think about yourself or someone you love being in the hospital. Do you want a company managing that hospital that says “not my job” when things get tough? I certainly don’t!

Americore prides itself on its “unique business model focused on saving and revitalizing rural communities through the acquisition and management of rural hospitals”. How does not making sure employees are paid on time “revitalize” anything? Americore Health has a lot to answer for at this Thursday’s meeting.

See you there,

Freeman J. Fultz

[The preceding is a letter addressed to the editor and received by The Lee Daily Register. Letters do not necessarily represent the views of this newspaper.]

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