2013-11-07 / Front Page

MCF board has new members

Latest appointment ends saga, only 1 original member remains

MANISTIQUE – After one resignation, one term expiration, and plenty of drama, the Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility Board is whole again. The last vacancy was filled during last week’s meeting of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners.

Area resident Jackie Heath will fill the vacancy created by former MCF board member Dixie Anderson. Anderson’s term expired at the end of October. Charles Richey replaced former MCF board member Gary Demers, who resigned following a threat by commissioners to dissolve the board. The threat was made after the financial woes of the MCF came to light.

Manistique resident Keith Aldrich, who was appointed by the governor, is the only remaining original member of the board. Since he was not appointed by commissioners, as the other two positions on the board are, his spot on the board was secure.

In last Thursday’s meeting, two letters of interest were considered by commissioners – one from Heath and one from Anderson. Commissioner Dan LaFoille nominated Heath, while Commissioner Sue Cameron nominated Anderson.

Anderson, who was present at the meeting, expressed her interest in continuing to serve on the board.

“We’ve been through, hired, two directors for MCF since I’ve been there – six years; been through several management (positions),” she said. “I think we have a good team together. I would like to remind you, although there have been some financial difficulties, those are being addressed.”

Anderson explained that the board has implemented strong financial management, a “team” concept, expanded marketing and outreach, and employee wage concessions to address the facility’s financial problems.

“I think the positive has not been stressed enough,” she said. “I would like to be able to carry through with them and provide the history that, hopefully, the administration will find beneficial.”

Aldrich was also present at the meeting and voiced his recommendation of Anderson.

“Dixie has a lot of history, that, with her leaving – it’s going to be detrimental to that board,” he said. “Dixie’s strong points, I feel, have been with personnel, she has been, probably one of the leaders getting us a new director of nursing who has helped us do some things here.

Now we are taking patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he added.

Commissioners LaFoille, Craig Reiter, and Al Grimm voted to appoint Heath to the MCF board vacancy.

Cameron cast the sole vote in favor of Anderson. Commissioner Jerry Zellar was absent.

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