UHS backers take a stand

Published 5:57 pm Sunday, January 9, 2011

Managing Editor

In a parking lot across the street from Beaufort County Medical Center, supporters of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina rallied Saturday in an effort to sway the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners as it considers suitors to manage Beaufort Regional Health System. By a 5-4 vote, the BRHS board recommended an affiliation with Community Health Systems of Brentwood, Tenn., to the county commissioners.
One of the first speakers Saturday was Dr. Brenda Peacock, a BRHS board member who also sat on the negotiating committee.
“I feel strongly that the recommendation made to the county commissioners actually was not the one in the best interest of this hospital long term and I’ve made that known,” Peacock said. “However, our goal, if it is to revisit this issue, is for this community … to convince the county commissioners that this hasn’t been thought through, maybe all the information that was needed has not been considered, and they need to think about it a little bit longer and possibly the hospital board needs to revisit this whole issue.”
Dr. Tom Pender, former chief of staff at the hospital, was more direct in his remarks.
“Clearly somebody has an agenda that is anti-UHS,” Pender told the cheering crowd. “And that agenda is anti-quality health care for Beaufort County.”
Many in the crowd were signing a petition that was circulating and is expected to be presented to the county commissioners.