New Nashville mayor: I'm committed to having a public safety net hospital in our community

Newly appointed Nashville, Tenn. Mayor David Briley has expressed support for sustained funding to keep inpatient care at Nashville General Hospital, according to The Tennessean.

Mr. Briley was vice mayor before Mayor Megan Barry resigned March 6 after admitting to felony theft for using city dollars to fund personal vacations with her head of security, with whom she was having an affair. Ms. Barry supported the conversion of Nashville General, the city's only public safety-net hospital, to an outpatient facility. Mr. Briley, however, said he does not share Ms. Barry's views on the hospital.

"I wasn't initially supportive of the [former] mayor's direction," Mr. Briley told The Tennessean. "I'm committed to having a public safety net hospital in our community. But I'm not a hospital expert. I don't know how that should work. I see my role, having made that commitment to a public safety-net hospital to make sure that every penny the city dedicates to that service is spent in the most effective way possible."

Mr. Briley noted that the hospital offers many essential services to the city's underserved and underinsured, such as OB-GYN and maternity care, but said the city must work harder to sort the facility's finances. The Metro Council regularly does not meet the hospital's annual funding requests only to grant it supplemental funding later in the year.

"I don't think at the end of the day that it is very beneficial to either the hospital or the community for there to be a supplemental request every year," Mr. Briley told The Tennessean. "We've got to get to a point where the city knows how much they need, they're committed to living within that number, and it's not a crisis on a regular basis."

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