Letters to the Editor
The Good Samaritan Hospital Association, doing business as the Heart of America Medical Center, will conduct its annual meeting at 7:00 pm on October 7th at Dakota Farms. I encourage members from all of the communities it serves to attend. I urge the voting delegates from the Association’s member churches to make changes which improve how the Heart of America Medical Center operates and which encourage active participation in the Heart of America Medical Center’s work and governance.
Just weeks before last year’s annual meeting, the Board of Trustees raised the maximum term a board member can serve from nine years to twelve years. I believe that this increase makes it too easy for too much power and control to be concentrated with just a few individuals. I also believe that this increase discourages active participation by the community, which is critical for the governing and functioning of the Heart of America Medical Center. I have been told that at one time the maximum term was six years. I encourage the Association to restore the maximum term a board member can serve to nine years.
Article I, Section 2 of the Bylaws of the Good Samaritan Hospital Association states that a physician must be on the Board of Trustees. Unlike the Member-at-Large board member, the physician board member is not filled at the discretion of the Board. There has not been a physician on the board since July of 2012. It is important to have input from these highly trained, caring, and dedicated professionals who serve on the front line of providing health care service in our community and who represent the voices of the other employees of the Heart of America Medical Center. I strongly encourage the voting delegates to nominate and elect a physician to the Board of Trustees.
A number of employees of the Heart of America Medical Center, some with 20 and even 30 years of service, have recently resigned or have had their employment terminated. These employees should not simply be referred to as numbers or statistics. They have been our wonderful and caring servants. We must listen to what they have to say and insist that changes be made.
The Good Samaritan Hospital Association is not the work of some distant soulless conglomerate. The Good Samaritan Hospital Association is the extraordinary ecumenical collaboration of thirty area member churches and their communities. Please participate in the annual meeting. Please get involved in this incredible collaboration.
The member churches of the Good Samaritan Hospital Association are Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Balta), Barton Lutheran (Barton), First Baptist Church (Bottineau), Peace Lutheran Church (Dunseith), St. Mary’s (Knox), Lebanon Lutheran Free (Leeds), Leeds Lutheran (Leeds), North Prairie Lutheran Free (Leeds), North Viking Lutheran (Maddock), Viking Lutheran-Rural (Maddock), Willow Creek Lutheran (Overly), Trinity Lutheran (Perth), Our Savior Lutheran (Rolla), Valle Lutheran (Rolette), Presbyterian Church of Towner, St. Cecilia (Towner), Zion Lutheran (Towner), New Hope Lutheran Church (Upham), First Lutheran (Willow City), Wolford Lutheran, St. Petri Lutheran (York), Bethany Lutheran (Rugby), Bethel Lutheran (Rugby), Calvary Evangelical Free Church (Rugby), Emmanuel United Church (Rugby), First Lutheran (Rugby), Glad Tidings Assembly of God (Rugby), Little Flower Catholic (Rugby), Restoration Ministries (Rugby), and St. Paul’s Lutheran (Rugby).