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Commissioners to gather at Pardee after hospital board meets

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners planned to gather at Pardee Hospital tonight for an announcement after the hospital's Board of Directors meets.

The commissioners met in a closed session Tuesday night at the Historic Courthouse for about an hour before breaking up and agreeing to reconvene at 6 tonight in the lobby of the hospital.
"We finished our meeting about 6 and we will continue that meeting at Pardee Hospital that we finished, or didn't exactly finish," Tommy Thompson, the vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said Tuesday night. "But we'll be meeting at Pardee Hospital at 6 o'clock with that board once they finish their meeting that's tomorrow afternoon. We will continue our meeting."
Bill Moyer, the chairman of the Pardee Board of Directors, said he could not provide specifics about the hospital's closed session agenda. The board meets at 3 this afternoon. It generally deals with public session matters for less than an hour and then convenes what are sometimes lengthy closed sessions. Some business and strategic matters are nonpublic under state law that protects hospitals' deliberations for competitive reasons.
"I'm not sure what's going to come up in closed sessions but I'm sure we'll be talking about our various arrangements with hospitals," Moyer said.
Fielding Lucas, another hospital board member, said he thought the board may be discussing "strengthening its relationship" with UNC Health Care, which manages Pardee under a contract approved by the Pardee board and the county commissioners in 2011.
"The board will take up some matters in closed session today as we do every month that looks at the long-term success of Pardee Hospital," said CEO Jay Kirby. "Some matters will be reviewed in that session and we'll share any announcement or updates when we come out of closed session."
It was unclear whether the commissioners planned to convene to ratify a possible decision by the Pardee board or planned to be on hand for a joint announcement.
"There is no joint meeting" of the two boards, Moyer said.
A meeting of the full Board of Commissioners at Pardee Hospital is rare if not unprecedented. But when asked if a sale of the county-owned hospital was on the agenda, Thompson, Moyer, Lucas and Kirby all said no.