I attended my first board meeting of the hospital. As far as I’m concerned, it was nothing more than a joke. On member came in late, they didn’t seem to know what they were doing, was in a foul mood and immediately went in attack mode on Harold Fugate. They hide business from him, meet without him being present and have even told him he need to get on the agenda to ask question. They won’t let him ask question about financial information and won’t let him speak before cutting him off, yelling at him. The board should be thankful they have someone on the board that can understand the financials but instead they continue to disrespect him and treat him with contempt.

Now, about the board members. I would date say some of them are not educated enough to know how a business works. They need business people on the board to run a business. CCMH is a big business. Harold Fugate has run a business for over 60 years right here in this town and no one…yes, no one in this town has contributed as much to this city as he and his wife, Robin, have and does, yet they get constant criticism when they try to help out and hateful phone calls from a couple of the members. It was disgusting and appalling how they treated a respected member of this community. No one deserves being treated the way he was that night.

Concerning CCMH board, it’s pretty evident they are not educated, nor knowledgeable enough to know how to run a business. I may not be a professional but I do know about board members and how they should conduct themselves and maybe look the part.

The last 20 years of my work life I spent as an Executive Secretary and was responsible for the board meetings, sending out notices, making time for speeches, etc and being accountable to the last two presidents of a large business.

My main boss was President, CEO and Chairman for over 35 years. So I know a little about boards and board members and how it is supposed to work.

I guess one of the questions for the Board would be, who or did anyone even make any calls about Mr. Nichols? If so, it must’ve been a good close friend, otherwise he wouldn’t have qualified for the job here with his past hospital experience at two other hospitals before coming here.

By the way, what if his degree in? Certainly not hospital, but I understand he does have a degree in agriculture. So, why would the board hire someone not qualified or recommended by his previous employers as a CEO of a hospital? Now if someone wants to know about this, give Robin a call, she has all the documents to support everything she’s saying. I’ve seen the signed statements, documents and articles about Mr. Nichols and it is not a pretty picture.

In closing to the Board, I don’t need your hateful phone calls so don’t waste your time. My statements are true and do not need any corrections for the CCMH board members. The evidence is all here if you’re interested in finding out the truth about Mr. Nichols. He could bankrupt the hospital, the leave the town to deal with the consequences. This is my opinion on the whole deal. He needs to leave before the hospital is faced with that problem. Then finally find someone qualified to be the CEO with proper vetting and qualified business people for board members.

But, remember Mr. Nichols has hired a lot of folks to work here after he ran off at least six other doctors plus employees he didn’t like, and pays them all big salaries. I understand he gave employees raises and no doubt he was trying to buy their support and it apparently worked for some of them.

I think the day will come when the people that went to bat for Mr. Nichols will be so embarrassed, when they finally accept the truth, that Mr. Nichols is not right for the job.

Betty Hopkins

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