Wilbur County Board of Healthâ€™s regular monthly meeting convened at the courthouse Tuesday evening. Items on the agenda included emergency preparedness in the event of a biological attack and the progress of physician recruitment efforts.
Matt Thompson, Board Chair, asked fellow board members, Albert Arlington and Truman Hedrick, â€œWill Germaine die for lack of a doctor?â€
â€œLittle Germaine Van Bibber did,â€ Arlington responded and was met by groans from the rest of the board and the small group of public attendees, which included Lucille Charlebois-LaPlante whose outspoken support of Cuban medicine was featured on the op/ed page of the Truth last week.
Thompson admitted that the board had no encouraging news to report vis a vis recruitment. â€œWe havenâ€™t had a single response to those ads in the medical journals. No graduating medical student or practicing doctor looking for a change of scenery has taken the bait.â€
The chair went on to say that the Rural Area Medical Committee (RAMC) also has drawn blanks. He accompanied RAMC to three teaching hospitals in order to appeal to interns. He expressed his discouragement. â€œIt is as if we were lepers or worse, simply invisible,too insignificant to consider.â€
Charlebois-LaPlante broke the silence that followed Thompsonâ€™s comment, â€œI think it is time to consider the Cuban alternative. And I will gladly volunteer to followup by inviting a member of the Cuban medical community to visit Germaine and discuss the matter further.â€
After a short debate, the board agreed to give Charlebois-LaPlante permission to act on the boardâ€™s behalf in contacting and extending an invitation as she had volunteered to do.
Emergency preparedness was tabled for the third consecutive meeting. Board members vowed to address it at the next meeting which will be held as usual on the third Tuesday of the month at the Wilbur County Courthouse at 7:00 pm. The public is welcome to all Wilbur County Board of Health meetings.
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