The Sutton County Hospital District board of directors met in Monday, January 10, 2022 the LMH multi-purpose room. Although CEO Steve Smith and board member Edward Earwood were absent, a quorum was still established.
Board president, Mark Edwards, opened the floor to public comments. Carl Teaff and Ben Pool were present to voice their opinions.

Teaff opened up the public comments by saying that they had been told that some of the board members have been meeting with Shannon Hospital. Teaff said,“I don’t know what is going on but if there is something in the works the taxpayers deserve to be informed.” He then made eye contact with a couple members of the board and said, “I know you’re not going to say anything,” and reminded the board that if three or more of our board members were meeting with the hospital that it is illegal.

Pool seconded the comments that Teaff made and said he had been made aware of the same things. He then said that item #12 on the agenda should be reconsidered, noting that CEO Steve Smith has been in his position for about six months and does not need someone looking over his shoulder. Pool also commented on agenda item #13, saying that if anything was going to be voted on concerning a contract the public should be notified ahead of time so more could be present if they so choose. He said the public deserves the right for them to be more open about contracts to try to avoid issues as in the past with the Edwards/Hall dispute.

Certificate of deposit #3342 is up for renewal on January 14, 2022. As of Monday, January 10, 2022 the balance including principal and interest is $1,531,162.71. Lance Keilers suggested rolling it over into another CD, which the board agreed to do, authorizing a 365-day deposit at a 0.35% interest rate.
Chief Financial Officer Chris Badgett reported that currently the checking account balance is $2,157,703.92 and the money market account balance is $2,221,662.40. Members of the board agreed that amount of money is excessive to just be sitting in an account. The recommendation was made to leave one million in the checking and 1.5 million in the money market account. The excess can be put into a CD or investment of some sort. Board member Sharon Holman said that this should be talked about at the next meeting when Edward Earwood is present, adding that he is “investment savvy.”

Keilers reported that the carpet in business offices and other carpeted areas of the hospital currently has not been replaced in over 15 years. He said the carpet is nasty and is desperately in need of being replaced. Badgett reported that they have received an estimate for $13,394.25 to replace all the carpet with carpet tiles. Carpet tiles will be easier to replace if needed in the future. Holman said that she would like to see a bid on something other than carpet and that it would be good business to have more than one estimate. Naomi Samaniego agreed that they need to check into other options. The item was tabled until more estimates could be presented.

Keilers dismissed himself from the room due to the discussion of amending the SCHD agreement with his company, Connected Healthcare Solutions, LLC. Edwards told the board that in planning for the future he would like to secure the contract until June 2025. He, along with other members of the board, agreed that Smith is doing a good job in his administrative duties but there is still room for growing. Smith has been in this position for about six months while Keilers has numerous years of experience and lots of good connections that the staff has access to.

Holman made a motion to do a year to year contract with CHS as long as the help is needed. Board member Mary Humphrey seconded the motion, the motion died when the three other board members voted against it. Samaniego then made the motion to extend the contract as presented by Edwards for three years. Although Holman and Humphrey voted against the motion, it passed on a 3-2 vote.

Reconvening from executive session, Holman made a motion to approve an extension employment agreement with CEO Steve Smith with the exceptions of sections 4.1 and 7.2. Humphrey seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

The board approved holding a joint election for the hospital board members with the county and SISD on May 7, 2022. There will be four positions up for election. Two at-large positions, currently held by Naomi Samaniego and Mary Humphrey, as well as the Precinct #4 seat held by John Henry Strauch and the Precinct 2 seat held by Mark Edwards.

Rounding out the meeting, Keilers noted that there has been an uptick in COVID cases and within the last 10 days there have been more than 25 positive cases.

Board president Mark Edwards presided over the meeting with board members Sharon Holman, Mary Humphrey, Naomi Samaniego, John Henry Strauch and Irene Dominguez in attendance.

The next meeting will be held on March 21, 2022, a week later than usual due to the spring break holiday. The public is encouraged to attend.