Nabors asked to resign

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The board of directors of Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital will meet tonight to determine the fate of Charles Nabors, CEO of the Demopolis hospital.

According to a source close to the hospital, the nine-member board of directors asked for the resignation of Nabors last week during an executive session.

No one on the board will confirm those reports, though board chairman Maurice Fitz-Gerald did say last week that Nabors has been on paid vacation for the past week.

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In a public board like the hospital’s, the board of directors can ask for the resignation of the CEO &045;&045; who serves at the pleasure of the board. At that point, either the CEO can accept the resignation or he can request a termination hearing. If the CEO does not request a termination hearing but does not resign either, then the board of directors can call its own termination hearing.

Donna Gandy notified The Demopolis Times on Tuesday that the hospital board will hold a meeting Wednesday night. The meeting will not be open to the public or the press, but members of the board did confirm that an executive session meeting will be held on Wednesday.

Jay Shows, a member of the board of directors, could not comment publicly about the nature of that meeting, but he did say the board will meet.

News of Nabors’ termination spread last week after the board met on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Proper procedure calls for a board &045;&045; like the Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital board &045;&045; to allow seven days between requesting the resignation of a CEO and holding a termination hearing. The meeting called for tonight would fit into that time frame.

If Nabors is ousted as CEO, it will take almost the entire board to make that decision. Public record indicates that a super-majority of the board must vote to terminate the employment of a CEO. On the Bryan Whitfield board, that would mean seven of the nine board members would have to vote to terminate Nabors.

Over the past few years, the overall health of Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital has been questioned.

Nabors has not hidden the fact that hospitals such as his have struggled to remain solvent, but he has blamed the problem on reimbursements &045;&045; both from the county and federal levels.

In late June, Nabors and the hospital board voted unanimously to join a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Government in an effort to correct Medicare reimbursement wages in place since the Medicare Act went into effect in 1965.

When Medicare first became law, different reimbursement levels were put into place throughout the country. Rural areas &045;&045; like Demopolis &045;&045; took the biggest hit. Alabama has a wage index of .77 percent. Meanwhile, Connecticut &045;&045; the highest in the country &045;&045; has a wage index of 1.25 percent.