JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - At the Pascagoula Rotary Club meeting, board of trustees President Mike Heidelberg and health system C.E.O. Kevin Holland addressed the gathering. Holland talked about the financial hardships facing Singing River, comparing it to Katrina recovery.
Now, members of the board that oversees the entire operation are staying put, according to Heidelberg.
"If you have to appoint seven brand new board members and it takes at least one to five years for an average board member to actually be able to understand the highly complex health care industry we have today and running two facilities with the services we've got," Heidelberg explained.
Trudy Nelson is vested in the pension plan and administers a website keeping tabs on the health system. For her, whoever sits on the board needs to come up with answers.
"If the administration and the board of trustees know where the money went, what happened to the money, what it was spent on, if they would just tell it and let it be known, then we can deal with it," Nelson said.
Jackson County supervisors are critical of the trustees' decision. Troy Ross is one of them.
"We need to have a clean slate, and I'm disappointed. We'll have to explore other avenues to get them to resign," said Ross.
Another supervisor, John McKay, summed it up this way.
"I think now is the time for a new set of eyes. I'm disappointed they've chosen not to resign," said McKay.
While members of the board of trustees are touting their experience as the reason they want to stay on board, want to correct the ship so to speak, Holland says it's going to be hard to rebuild trust, but it can be done.
"I think it can, but it's going to require a lot of leadership, and we're going to have to get out and solve our issues. We're working very hard as a board and as a leadership team to solve these issues," Holland said.
Solving those issues will take months, if not years.
As part of his presentation at the Pascagoula Rotary, Holland said losses of about $35 million for the health system in fiscal year 2014 will probably fall to about $8 million in the coming year. He said expenses have been trimmed by 10 percent in the past year.