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|Jury questions hospital report|
Franklin Medical Center's chief executive report to the Franklin Parish Police Jury at its regular meeting last week contained a brief exchange about employee relations at the only facility of its kind in the parish.
After acting Chief Executive Officer Robert Boullion had delivered over an hour of facts, figures and opinions concerning FMC operations, Police Jury President Harvey Guimbellot challenged the top administrator:
"I'm hearing that everyone is scared of their jobs. That they are not allowed to talk to outsiders. Is that true?"
"No sir," said Boullion, who has been named as the FMC board of directors choice for the Chief Executive position.
"You're welcome to come by the hospital anytime, have lunch and mix with the employees," he said.
He added that when personnel issues become administrative problems, "there should be respect for a chain of command."
"I'll tell you about chain of command," said Juror Jackie Johnson, "I spent 21 years in the service and when you get together with your buddies to talk about what's wrong, that's not disrespecting the chain of command.
"This is a small community and most people know each other. When you have people that are afraid of their jobs, they don't have nice things to say about where they work when they're not working."
Johnson then referenced three female employees who complained to him that they had been changed from full time to part time employees, without explanation.
Boullion countered that each of the employees were offered full time employment after the incident, but each refused.
"The problem is communication," Boullion said.
"It's my fault for not getting out and communicating these type of problems," he added.
The reference to employee morale issues overshadowed Boullion's presentation which also discussed the loss of doctors who participate at the hospital.
Although four physicians have left the medical center in the past several years, Boullion said the hospital is in "as good of a shape as possible, given the circumstances."
Boullion said that Dr. Roger Smith, the latest to leave the Winnsboro Rural Health Clinic which is associated with FMC, has agreed to admit patients to the Winnsboro facility.
Boullion said future agreements with other physicians over admission and patient care could boost patient days, which are critical to the hospital's financial condition.
Boullion agreed with Johnson's observation that medical centers where physicians have, "a say so" in operations tend to be successful.
Currently, FMC is governed by a board of directors appointed by the Police Jury and directed by a three-person administrative staff. The Jury, earlier this year, voted to take steps to have a physician join the board of directors.
In other jury action at the jury meeting, which was changed to Feb. 10 from the regularly scheduled date of Feb. 12 to prevent conflict with the Winnsboro-Franklin Chamber of Commerce 60th annual installation banquet, the jury tacked road and policy issues.
Guice Road, at the urging of Juror Leroy Scott, was placed on the list of roads to be addressed in the jury's three-year maintenance and repair program. It was to be given a preferred position, depending on the legality of such a move.
Jurors also pledge to assist access to Family Community Christian School north of Winnsboro on highway 15, to the extend allowed.