An enthusiastic, although no more enlightened, crowd gave a standing ovation to the physician panel at a public forum on healthcare at Barren County High School Monday night.
Local physicians Dr. Melissa Walton-Shirley and Dr. Barret Lessenberry organized the forum through social media in order to bring the community together to talk about concerns surrounding T.J. Samson Community Hospital and the local healthcare industry. Walton-Shirley, Lessenberry and local “concerned citizen” D.T. Froedge gave short speeches about their thoughts surrounding the hospital, and then Walton-Shirley and Lessenberry comprised a two-person panel that answered questions submitted by the public. City council member Freddie Norris moderated the questions.
Community members were encouraged to sign up for committees following the meeting. Members of committees will be responsible for spearheading efforts with the hospital to discuss different topics of concern, including hospital and board infrastructure and policies; the hospital’s economic impact on the city as a primary employer and as an effect on property taxes; financial sensitivity of the hospital toward its patients; and management of patient care issues.
Walton-Shirley and Lessenberry are not affiliated with the hospital, and therefore could not definitively answer most of the questions submitted Monday night. Despite the lack of concrete answers, the auditorium broke into applause several times in support of the two physicians’ statements, and gave the panel a standing ovation at the end of the program.
For the full story, read Tuesday's print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.