Longtime Erlanger Hospital trustee Russell King on Wednesday said he is stepping down.
Attorney King noted that under the new Erlanger bill that the chancellors will no longer have an appointment.
He sent this letter to Chancellors Howell Peoples (ret.), Frank Brown and Jeff Atherton:
It was a distinct honor and high privilege that you asked me to serve and to continue to serve as the Chancery Court’s appointment to the Board of Trustees of the Hamilton County Hospital Authority which, of course, is responsible for the operation of Erlanger Medical Center and T.C. Thompson’s Childrens’ Hospital, among other facilities. It is no secret that I am very passionate about Erlanger and its unique mission of providing health care to all our area citizens, regardless of the sick or injured person’s ability to pay, and am greatly honored to have been a small part of such a wonderful medical center for so many years. Your support means very much to me, and you always encouraged me to exercise my best judgment in serving on the board.
Your understanding and appreciation of Erlanger’s critical role in not only providing health care to everyone, and also providing numerous specialty services, provided at Erlanger and no where else, has been outstanding. Just as critical, Erlanger is training more and more of our doctors and other health care providers in our area because of Erlanger’s affiliation with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. A great majority of doctors practicing in this area either trained at Erlanger or are involved in the teaching program. That number increases every year.
The Board of Trustees is currently in transition because of recent changes in the Authority Act. I believe that the Board should be modernized in several ways, and strongly support our Legislative Delegation’s continuing efforts to improve the governing structure. The most recent change will reduce the number of Board members, and simultaneously eliminates the Chancery Court’s appointment. Historically you have made excellent appointments to the Board (present appointment excluded!) but I do believe the Board of Trustees should become self-perpetuating and that the governance model should become a 501(c)3 model to allow the Hospital Authority to pursue initiatives that are crucial to Erlanger’s ability not only to “survive” but to thrive in the rapidly changing health care environment.
Thank you again for your support and confidence in me, and more importantly, for your support for Erlanger. In keeping with the intentions of the new legislation and motivated by the belief that the new legislation should be implemented as soon as possible, I am submitting my resignation from the Board effective immediately.