Community forum held to hear public comment about recent doctor resignations at Bath Community Hospital

An estimated four hundred people attended a community forum on Tuesday night to speak out about recent doctor resignations at Bath Community Hospital.  The forum was organized by a concerned citizens group to hear public comment about the recent resignations of four doctors at the hospital, who all resigned in support of Dr. James Redington.  Dr. Redington has worked at Bath Community Hospital for twenty six years and his contract has not been renewed by the hospital.

Hospital CEO Jason Paret was in attendance along with hospital board members.  Three board members spoke, David Troast, Ruth Rodgers and George Phillips.

“Sitting here I know that the board is acting in the best interest of the hospital and the community,” says Phillips.  “I know a lot of you may question that remark and are angry at the board.  But I’m not going to tell you that the board has done anything wrong.  Sure we could have communicated better and we are here trying to rectify that issue.  We know that you came here tonight wanting us to answer specific questions. There are many things that we unfortunately can’t answer. However one consistent question we have heard that we can answer is ‘What are we going to do to fix this?’  And I can assure you that we will fix this.  Our first step was to listen to the doctors and that happened this morning.  We met and it was productive.  We want to hear all of your comments and your questions.  We will respond to those questions, that we can, as quickly as possible. We desperately, desperately want to solve this issue.”

Representatives of the concerned citizens group are Bart Perdue, Barbara Howell, Carl Chestnut, Jeff Grimm and Dr. Michael Bost, one of the doctors that recently resigned.

Fifty seven members of the public spoke during the forum.  Speakers included doctors from Roanoke, Bath Community Hospital staff members and residents of Bath, Highland and Pocahontas counties.  There was overwhelming support of Dr. Redington, praising his work as a doctor and as a compassionate member in the Bath community.  Speakers and organizers asked for Dr.Redington’s reinstatement and for the other four doctors to remain on staff.  There were calls for hospital CEO Jason Paret to step down and for hospital board members to resign.

The forum lasted about three hours.  Following the meeting Jeff Grimm, of the concerned citizens group, said that now everyone must wait.

“I think it went as well as we could expect,” says Grimm.  “It was our job to set this meeting up and present the speakers to the board.  It’s now their job to hear and it’s their job to process and it’s their job to do what’s right.  If there’s no resolution to this in two weeks we’re going to set another meeting.  Eventually they have to hear what the community is saying, because we are the stakeholders.”

Hospital representatives will be responding to questions from Tuesday night’s forum on the hospitals’ website

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather