Tennessee mayor asks Blount Memorial Hospital board members to resign

Members of the board of directors at Maryville, Tenn.-based Blount Memorial Hospital have been asked to resign amid allegations of financial mismanagement and doubts about the selection process of a new CEO, Becker's has learned.

Ed Mitchell, Blount County mayor, has written a letter to the entire board calling for the resignation of three Blount County members. Another board member, whose appointment expires at the end of the year, will not be reappointed, the letter says.

Mr. Mitchell also called for a reboot of how the board is constituted, describing the current nomination process as "convoluted." Such changes will be discussed at a special meeting of the Blount County Commission scheduled for Nov. 29.

"Most of the members of the board of directors of BMH, as well as the hospital's administration, appear to have lost sight of the relationship between BMH and the county," Mr. Mitchell wrote in the letter, obtained by Becker's.

In the letter, Mr. Mitchell alleges financial mismanagement and notes "with dismay" the handling of plans to sell BMH Springbrook in Alcoa for $22.25 million.

"It exceeds the scope of BMH's authority as manager of the hospital to sell a major county asset without the county's approval," wrote Mr. Mitchell. "The proposed sale is strong evidence of the declining financial position of the hospital."

BMH CEO, Harold Naramore, described the letter as misleading and inaccurate.

"There are numerous misrepresentations and factual errors in the Mayor's words and perceptions, which show that he lacks knowledge, information and/or awareness of hospital operations and healthcare finance," he said in his response, also obtained by Becker's.

Blount Memorial operates about 40 locations in Eastern Tennessee including the flagship Blount Memorial Hospital in Maryville. The group has said it is expecting losses of about $40 million in 2022, according to reports.

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