Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 26, 2013

Mercy officially announced as PVGH suitor

Consultant Agreement Reached at Authority Meet

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — There wasn’t much of an element of surprise when Pauls Valley General Hospital’s primary suitor was revealed at this week’s city council meeting, but those present saw it as welcome step forward.

While that step forward with Mercy Hospital was not yet the decision to purchase the local medical facility, a joint agreement between them and the Pauls Valley Hospital Authority to hire a consultant could pave the way toward making PVGH more favorable for a purchase, according to City Attorney Jay Carlton.

Unanimously approved by authority trustees on Tuesday, Thomas H. Lit will now come in during a 45 day period to determine what, if anything, can be done, using his already extensive experience in improving everything from overall performance to managing finances and cost reduction.

“At the end of the engagement he’ll have a report, the report will give his professional opinion as to what will be required to make the hospital viable,” said Carlton, noting how the costs of the agreement will be split equally between the hospital and Mercy, who recommended this.

“If that’s not possible he’ll tell us that too.”

Taking a moment to reassure the community after the meeting, trustees noted how though it doesn’t commit Mercy to anything except the consulting, they are still working toward that final positive end. Carlton noted how it ultimately is to see what is possible.

Trustee/Mayor Gary Alfred noted that whether it is Mercy or someone else, he believes it will present a picture of how important it is to save the hospital.

Mercy has already previously undergone a 90-day due diligence and other steps to court potential buyers includes performing an audit to cover recent years that were not properly tracked, as well as sending a half cent sales tax to supplement PVGH to Pauls Valley voters this November.

“The consulting and the hiring of the consulting is toward a goal, a hope of having a report that will tell us what to do,” said Carlton.

“Mercy needs that as much as we need that.”