There have been rumors swirling for weeks about high-level staff leaving Hillsboro Community Hospital, but nothing has been officially confirmed by the hospital or the staff who have left and will be leaving. While some employees have spoken to members of the Free Press, they are scared about coming forward and sharing information due to the threat of lawsuits and other fears.
Cohesive Healthcare Management and Consulting took over as receiver in January. The change brought a sense of relief to many in the hospital and in the community as Cohesive appeared to be making progress with the management of the company.
“The hospital is making a measurable, substantial progress on a daily basis. We are very grateful to the Bank of Hays for their previous and continued support,” said Brent King of Cohesive.
But Michael Reeh, a local physician who has his own private practice, would disagree on the progress that Cohesive is making.
He attended the city council meeting in Hillsboro on Tuesday, where he stood up during the public comments in the beginning to express his appreciation for Dr. Erb and Dr. Schmidt, the two doctors who are rumored to be leaving. He also shared his concerns about Cohesive’s management.
“I would like to comment about Dr. Gregory Erb and Dr. Alisa Schmidt. I think the city of Hillsboro should make a resolution thanking them for their service,” said Dr. Michael Reeh.
Mayor Lou Thurston informed Reeh that the city council meeting was not the place to share these concerns and that they needed to be addressed with Cohesive.
“I just wanted to bring this to the attention of the city. You need to know what is going on there,” said Reeh. He then left the meeting and agreed to be interviewed in the hall.
Reeh went on to explain that he is concerned about the decision made by cohesive to appoint physician Hannah Bingham, of Wichita, as the new medical director. According to Reeh, this violates both state regulations and hospital bylaws.
“The regulations require the hospital to maintain an organized staff medical director to be full time and elected by the medical staff,” said Reeh. “I am now chief of staff.”
Reeh expressed further concern that Bingham has only been out of residency for two years.
“I think we have to look at whether Cohesive is doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Reeh. “They have only been there for three months and they have already lost two physicians.”
Margaret Grismer, acting CEO of the hospital did not respond to attempts to get her input. King would not comment on any current or former staff members.
The Free Press was able to confirm with Ascension Via Christi in Wichita that Dr. Alisa Schmidt now works for them. Dr. Gregory Erb will be working for the Herington Hospital beginning July 9.