Editorial—Time will tell on OMC change

Now that a week has passed since the landmark vote at Oconee Medical Center, we hope that those who voted for change remain confident they’ve done the right thing. And there are signs to indicate they made the right call. The old system of a community membership, offered at small cost to rich and poor alike, seemed to embrace democratic representation at its best. But, oh, how times have changed. An astute observation by association member Devoe Blackston drove home that point. Blackston recalled how the community once helped raise funds to build an earlier version of the Oconee hospital. Community members did that by donating one day of their pay. Imagine that today?

After hearing the hospital board chairman, the hospital CEO, and the hospital attorney stress that although it will be the board of directors from January 17, 2013 forward that will choose future boards, the general public still has a role in the health of its hospital. A nominating committee, which takes in community members, will remain in place. To that committee, the public has the right to suggest nominees. And, while no longer will there be annual meetings of the hospital membership at which paid members had the right to speak, OMC leaders promise one or more similar public meetings a year to update the community on its hospital. We like that.

That’s our view. What’s yours?