Another hearing will mean another opportunity to comment on partnership proposals involving Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital's board of trustees will hold two public hearings on proposals to form partnerships with a pair of hospital groups.
In addition to a hearing already scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 20, the board of the city-owned hospital decided at a special meeting Wednesday to hold a second hearing at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8.
The board scheduled the second hearing because of complaints that the Dec. 20 hearing, in the middle of the holiday season, might be inconvenient for some area residents.
"There was a question that came forward from several sources as to whether or not we had thought about the timing ... and whether or not we would be accommodating individuals," said Howard Mossberg, the board's chairman. "It didn't take us very long to suggest that we really want to make it easy to gain comment."
Both hearings will be in the hospital's auditorium at 325 Maine. The board is holding hearings Dec. 18-19 for comments from LMH employees.
The nine-member board also will consider written comments submitted by Jan. 10. That's when the board will hold a 7 p.m. study session with lawyers and other advisers to help decide whether to accept or reject offers to form partnerships with either of two groups.
One is a not-for-profit group of hospitals called Health Midwest that includes the Kansas University Medical Center.
The other is Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., the nation's biggest for-profit hospital chain.
Several consultants already have advised the LMH board to reject both offers.
Last week, the board released a 73-page summary of consultants' recommendations. Copies of that "strategic assessment" are available at public libraries in Baldwin, Eudora and Lawrence, at Kansas University's Watson Library, at the Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vt., and at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, 734 Vt.
The hospital also is sending copies to those who make written requests.
Mossberg said he hopes the board can make a decision on the proposals at its Jan. 17 meeting.
- To receive a copy of the LMH strategic assessment or to make written comments on the LMH partnership proposals, write to Robert Ohlen, president and CEO, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine, Lawrence 66044. Or fax comments or requests to 749-6126.