Consider This: Memorial shakeup

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - My grandmother always told me be careful of what you wish for because you just may get it.

Last week, the Chatham County Commission, through its county hospital authority, got what it wanted when Maggie Gill submitted her resignation as CEO of Memorial Health.

Gill has been at Memorial for the past 13 years, but took control as CEO back in 2011. Unfortunately for her, and for us, she'll leave behind more problems than solutions.

Just how bad are things there now? A member of the WTOC staff was taken to the Memorial emergency room two weeks ago. He received excellent care from Memorial's staff, the first four hours of which were delivered in the hallway of the emergency department where he was joined by other patients who were being squeezed in and cared for as best the superb staff could manage.

Last spring Memorial and Gill got caught in a game of political football after a proposed partnership with Novant Health was scuttled by a dispute with the Hospital Authority. Nothing has come of suggestions at the time that other suitors would be forthcoming.

In the meantime, Memorial has emergency patients in the hallway and one employee told us that they are "in crisis."

You have to ask yourself how long the medical staff can sustain the quality care that the community demands in circumstances better suited for a field hospital. At what point do the overwhelming numbers, unmanageable conditions and now lack of senior leadership prompt medical professionals to throw up their hands and give up?

Consider this:  As the spring deal unraveled we were assured that other solutions were in the works. Now here we are, nine months later and not only is the Memorial board in search of a partner, it must now find a leader willing to take on the daunting task of curing the hospital's financial ills.

It's time to produce solutions before the care in this community is no longer what the citizens need or expect.

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