Doctors request spot at ECHCA table

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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Three doctors are requesting a position on the board for the Escambia County Health Care Authority to offer input into efforts aimed at sustaining health care in the county.
Last week, Dr. Jimmy Adkisson, Dr. Dan Raulerson and Dr. Scott Nelson addressed the Escambia County Commission to request being appointed to the board.
“There hasn’t been a physician on the board for many years,” Adkisson said. “That means no physician has ad input into the board to help recruit, to be a liaison. We are asking you to help us get onto the board to help.”
Adkisson said his 40-plus years as a physician in Brewton will be of help in several areas under the board’s direction.
“We can contribute to the Escambia County Health Care Authority in recruiting,” Adkisson said. “We’re in a critical shortage of physicians. It’s hard to attract physicians and we want to be a part of the board to assist. We are not criticizing the Board, but we’re here asking you to help us help the medical community of the county.”
Adkisson was followed by Dr. Scott Nelson at the podium to ask for the same consideration of being placed on the ECHCA board.
“The three of us have over 100 years experience practicing medicine in this county,” Nelson said. “We would like to see the three of us appointed as members of the Authority so that we can help from a physician standpoint. Currently, there is not a liaison between medicine and the Authority. It’s time for all hands on deck. We can’t fight this alone. We can all work together. With more people with more input, we can survive this storm.”
Dr. Dan Raulerson said he didn’t condemn the board, but some situations with the Authority should be addressed.
“There are good lay people on the board, but not doctors,” Raulerson said. ‘We need a doctor on the board to be a permanent position and be part of the process. The decisions of the current board have an effect on us and our families. Other Authorities across the state have physicians on their boards. It has never been a priority of the ECHCA to have physician input.”
After hearing from the three physicians, Escambia County Commission Chairman Raymond Wiggins said the board make-up would be taken into consideration.
“There are nine members on the board with three positions up for renewal every two years,” Wiggins said. “I agree that would be beneficial to have physician input and we appreciate you bringing it to the table.”
Wiggins said the Commission would research the current members and their anticipated renewal appointments to determine the appropriate time to consider appointing a physician to the Authority.

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