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JDA approves assisting HAMC in doctor recruiting

By Staff | Aug 19, 2016

Earlier this month the Rugby Job Development Authority board approved, with nine members voting yes and three voting no, to commit $50,000 toward assisting the Heart of America Medical Center with attracting a new doctor. in an email meeting.

Board Vice President Tanner Johnson submitted a motion for the JDA to commit $10,000 a year for five years, with the commitment ending if the doctor’s employment with the Heart of America Medical is terminated within the first five years.

The total compensation would be $200,000 over five years, with the federal government providing $100,000, HAMC providing $50,000 and a community organization contributing the remaining $50,000.

Board member Jacob Nelson, who voted no, said he wanted to see parameters of a student loan repayment program before the JDA starts approving loans.

“We need to have the structure to this program in place before we start handing out money, especially one of this size,” Nelson said. “I understand the hospital is the biggest employer in town and we need to support them, but we have to do our due diligence and protect taxpayers’ dollars.”

Board President Fr. Tom Graner said the JDA has granted similar requests in the past, and that the board would deal with HAMC recruiting requests on a case-by-case basis.

Executive Director Joseph T. Pelt said the request does not correspond with the student loan program that had been discussed at a prior meeting

Rugby mayor Arland Geiszler abstained from voting due to membership on the Good Samaritan Hospital board.

Board member Jeremiah Lindgren also abstained due to a conflict of interest with his position as Johnson Clinic administrator.

Gary Kraft and Nathan Kunde also voted no.

– The JDA received nine applications for the Souris Basin Planning Council’s low income housing rehabilitation program.

– The JDA board did not hold a regular meeting Wednesday.

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