HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The sale of the Hancock Medical Center is off the table, said J. Larry Ladner, president of the center's Board of Trustees.
Instead, Hancock Medical Center will likely be run through a long-term management service agreement or lease agreement.
On Thursday, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors met with the center's board of trustees, hospital staff and others to begin a discussion on what people want their hospital to be.
There were a lot of shout outs to Ochsner Health System for generating a positive cash flow. Ochsner has been under a management agreement with the county-owned medical center for more than three years. Its contract expires in February and some say it's a chance to rethink options for the future.
Many of the more than 50 people who spoke at the meeting say they want long-term stability and for whoever manages the center to keep Hancock County's medical needs ahead of profit margin and outside interests.
"Our goal for Hancock Medical Center, is to build a model hospital for a model city," said J. Larry Ladner, president of the Hancock Medical Board of Trustees. "A model hospital for a model city. Do I think that it can be done? I certainly do."
Another big key phrase used in most of the conversation: skin in the game - to be able and willing to share responsibility with the county.
"We've heard you talk about long-term commitments," said Alan Hodges, CEO Hancock Medical Center. "We've heard you talk about skin in the game. I'm here to tell you that Ochsner is prepared to have those conversations with both the board of supervisors and the board of trustees."
The next public meeting probably won't take place until October.