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Hospital Board Tables Decision On Foundation
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After taking public criticism for shutting down its popular maternity ward a few months ago, Oak Valley Hospital officials are considering another controversial decision – disassociation with the well-liked and admired Oak Valley Foundation.

At its April 24 Governing Board meeting, the Oak Valley Board of Directors had an agenda item to discuss a report by Board Member Louise Sanders on the Oak Valley Foundation and the “Recommendation of Subcommittee.”

No additional information was given on its agenda; however Board President Dan Cummins had contacted Foundation President Sandra Sward-West and advised her to attend.

At the meeting, Cummins moved the agenda item as the first item to be addressed.

Louise Sanders told the board that while reviewing the long-term plans for the hospital’s viability and the current method of operation for raising funds, the hospital wanted to study further whether or not to disassociate itself with the Oak Valley Foundation.

Sanders asked for additional time until the Aug. 28 board meeting to make a final recommendation.

Sanders said she had spoken with foundation members but felt the view was “too narrow” and sought a “larger pool of people” for input on how the hospital should proceed.

Last year, a consultant recommended dissolving the foundation’s current executive board in favor of allowing a newly-appointed director hired by the hospital’s CEO that would seek funds through philanthropic activity, grant writing, and special events.

That recommendation did not sit well with the foundation or members of the community.

At the meeting Sward-West addressed the board and told the board that she thought she had been assisting them with a plan for the future.

Sward-West continued that she felt “knocked down” when its former director, Amy Thompson, was fired by the hospital in August 2011 and said she’s asked for capital items for fund raising without success.

Former foundation trustee Dan Titus told the board that he felt “very sorry” that the hospital has come to the point of disassociation with the foundation.

“I don’t think you realize the value of the foundation,” said Titus. “We feel we’ve been disrespected.”

For the full story, read the May 1 edition of The Oakdale Leader.