Georgia hospital cuts ties with newspaper after reports its board violated open-meetings law

South Georgia Medical Center, based in Valdosta, reportedly cancelled all subscriptions to the local Valdosta Daily Times, banned newspaper sales from all of its hospital campuses and cancelled its advertising in the newspaper and its website, according to the publication.

The hospital cancelled its subscription the day the newspaper published an article about its authority violating the state's sunshine law, called "Hospital Authority violating state law." The article calls for SGMC's governing authority, the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, to stop meeting privately.

The newspaper asserts that the hospital authority violated the Georgia Open Meetings Act before, and it frequently does not discuss its actions in the open public meetings.

"That must mean either deliberations are taking place illegally outside of the public purview or that decisions are being made unilaterally without the knowledge and consent of authority members," the article reads. "In either case, it is wrong, it is a violation of the law and a violation of the public trust."

The Valdosta Daily Times also claims it attempted to address its concerns with the hospital administrator to no avail.

Becker's Hospital Review reached out to SGMC for a statement, but it did not immediately respond.


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