SLAYTON - The regular meeting of the Murray County Medical Center Board on Tuesday was short and routine and was immediately followed by a question-and-answer session that was neither.
Chairman Robert Moline informed attendees that former MCMC CEO Mel Snow and the board had reached a separation agreement after the March 14 meeting, which must be ratified at a regular meeting of the board.
Moline said the board and Snow had agreed on a severance package that provided Snow with two years health insurance or until he finds another position.
The board then voted unanimously to accept Snow's resignation and adjourn until 10 a.m. on Thursday when the board would be interviewing a candidate for interim CEO.
After adjournment, Randy Anderson, a vice president for Sanford Health in southwest Minnesota, asked to speak concerning advertisements purchased in the Murray County Wheel/Herald criticizing the MCMC board and its relationship with Sanford.
One full-page ad cited the loss of medical providers from MCMC under Snow's administration and called for a change in the management agreement with Sanford.
A quarter-page ad in the Wheel/Herald called for the complete severance of the management agreement and replacing it with an agreement with Avera.
Anderson told the assembled residents Sanford has an advisory relationship with MCMC, which has total autonomy.
"MCMC has total autonomy and its own CEO," Anderson said. "We give advice but decisions are made locally; it's been that way for more than 20 years. Is it that way anywhere else? No. To say we've advised them into a crisis is incorrect."
In response to a question about what advice Sanford had been giving the MCMC board, Anderson said the board had retained a legal firm from Minneapolis to advise on personnel and labor issues.
Questions from the audience were often hostile and accusatory, prompting Anderson to object to what he called personal attacks.
"When we're asked to step in, we do," Anderson said. "We weren't asked."
Several attendees weren't satisfied and asked why Sanford had not acted when MCMC providers were resigning and taking their patients with them.
Murray County resident Linda Sanow asked to make a comment to the board.
When Anderson replied this was not their meeting, Sanow addressed her comment to him.
"People have sat in meetings here and said (expletive) to residents. People have been called (expletive) for asking questions and last night in a restaurant, someone did this to me," Sanow said, extending her middle finger.
Sanow would not identify the individuals she was referring to but said they were management personnel at MCMC.