Statement of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of North Kansas City Hospital today filed a motion in Clay County Circuit Court to prevent the city of North Kansas City from proceeding with its plan to change the composition of the hospital’s Board of Trustees and to block the city from any attempt to sell the hospital during the pending litigation.
This motion is necessary following the city’s announcement in the media – made hours after the city’s notice to the hospital – that the city plans to appoint several new Trustees to the hospital’s Board. The city’s announcement necessitated the court’s intervention and triggered the termination of a previous agreement between the hospital and the city under which the city had agreed to cease actions to sell the hospital while the question of proper authority to sell is decided by the courts. The hospital’s motion requests that Judge Shane Alexander issue an injunction or other preliminary relief to prevent the city from packing the hospital’s Board and to protect the hospital from being sold while this matter is judicially determined.
“The purpose of the motion is to protect our community hospital and to preserve the continuity of our Board while we seek judicial confirmation that state law does not give the city the authority to sell the hospital,” said Peggy Schmitt, President & CEO of North Kansas City Hospital. If the motion is granted, the hospital’s existing Trustees will continue to serve the hospital throughout the litigation.
“Our Trustees are very experienced in healthcare governance and are knowledgeable about the challenges facing healthcare,” said Michael Montgomery, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We have been working on healthcare reform issues at the Board level and within our organization for some time. Appointing ‘several new members’ disregards the statutory requirement that the terms of the Trustees be staggered, and harms the continuity of the Board and its initiatives,” said Montgomery.
While Chapter 96 of the Missouri Revised Statutes authorizes the city to appoint members to the hospital’s Board of Trustees, the city has not appointed a new Trustee since 2009, despite vacancies on the Board. The city’s sudden decision to appoint several new members causes the hospital concern that the city may attempt to interfere with the Board’s reasoned decision to oppose the sale of the hospital, which the city expressed an intention to do when it indicated its desire to exit the healthcare business.
About North Kansas City Hospital: For 55 years, North Kansas City Hospital has been at the forefront of providing medical care in the Northland. The Hospital is an acute-care facility with 451-licensed beds with specialties in cardiac care, oncology, women’s health, orthopedics and emergency services. They provide a full continuum of care from the highest level of neonatal intensive care to award-winning cardiovascular and orthopedic programs to home health and hospice. The medical staff includes over 550 physicians representing 49 medical specialties. North Kansas City Hospital is the first hospital in Missouri and one of only a few hospitals in the country to receive the Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Receiving Center accreditation from the American Heart Association. In addition, the Hospital is an accredited Level III Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, a major trauma center for emergency care and rated as one of the busiest adult/pediatric emergency departments in Kansas City. For more information, contact North Kansas City Hospital at 2800 Clay Edwards Dr., North Kansas City, MO 64116, on the web at nkch.org, at 816-691-2000 or follow the Hospital on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.