License granted at hospital, administrator to be sought

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By Alice Du Pont

Mike Glazer, attorney for Gadsden Hospital Inc., showed the hosptial’s board of directors on Monday night a copy of the new, inactive license granted by the Agency on Health Care Administration. The license, which expires June 21, 2010, officially gives the county a 1-year extension to open Gadsden Community Hospital, now renamed Gadsden Memorial Hospital.

"That's not a lot of time with all that you have to do," Glazer told the board, adding, "The active license should be applied for within the next 60 to 90 days."

He said the two most important things the board needs to do next are hire an experienced administrator and get the medical staff organized.

"AHCA has bent over backwards to get this hospital open but my gut feeling is that they are going to be a stickler for these surveys. The hardest part is getting the hospital going. Once it's up and running, it's a matter of maintaining," Glazer said.

In 2005 the hospital was shut down by AHCA because of the quality of care. Glazer said that in Florida it is highly unusual to close a facility because of problems with care and that ACHA will be monitoring Gadsden Memorial closely.

To get an administrator on board, GHI chairman Craig McMillan said he will appear before the Gadsden County Board of Commissioners to request funds to begin advertising for candidates for the position. The money may have to come from the half-cent sales tax, McMillan said.