June 12, 2004 At a Roy L. Schneider Hospital board meeting, called hastily Friday to resolve a financial crisis, the board voted to pay the government $200,000 to assure the hospital's next payroll June 24.
The decision was contingent on the central government coming up with an agreement to repay its debt to the hospital, according to Michael Burton, hospital spokesman. A press conference on the board's decision will take place at the hospital at noon Monday, Burton said.
Early last week, Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull gave the hospital and Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix the Friday deadline to meet their financial obligations. If the money owed was not paid, she said, the hospital would be cut off from the government's system to meet payrolls. See Hospitals Facing Friday Deadline to Repay Millions
Rodney Miller, Schneider chief operating officer, met with Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, in his capacity as acting governor, to work something out. Miller said Friday, "The lieutenant governor asked the commissioner to go back and look at some type of middle ground on this issue. He said, "It is still very much a work in progress. It is still a very serious situation we are faced with." He announced the 4 p.m. Friday board meeting at that time. See Schneider CEO: Governor Owes the Hospitals, Too
Calls to Turnbull were unreturned Friday. Though the Source did not talk to Juan Luis Hospital officers on Friday, it was reported Juan F. Luis Hospital CEO Gregory Calliste met with Turnbull earlier in the week and said he would have to come up with a plan to meet the obligation.
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