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Lowville hospital managers set inaugural “listening session” next week

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County General Hospital managers next week will hold an inaugural “listening session” to solicit comments and concerns from employees, doctors and residents.

The session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday in the John C. Herrman M.D. conference room on the first floor of the Medical Arts Building at the hospital’s North State Street campus.

Three members of the county-owned hospital’s board of managers — Michael F. Young, Edward J. Knapp and Rae Rice — are to be on hand.

“We will welcome questions, concerns and complaints regarding the institution,” Mr. Young, the board’s vice president, said while introducing the idea at the recent board meeting.

The plan is to hold similar sessions at least once per month, with anywhere from one to three board members present, he said.

“It is my hope that board members will rotate,” Mr. Young said. “I think three is a good number, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Attendees will be able to meet either publicly or privately with board members, depending on their preference, and each will be given three to five minutes to express their concerns.

“We want to do this in a way that everyone feels comfortable,” Mr. Young said.

Some employees during the past few board meetings have brought up questions and concerns during public comment periods.

The hope is that setting aside time just for soliciting feedback will offer a better outlet to address staff and community concerns, Mr. Young said.

“We will attempt to listen so people know we’re concerned and that we’re ready and willing to respond,” he said.

Mr. Young cautioned that the board members may not be able to provide answers to all questions asked, particularly ones about specific personnel, but expressed hope that the sessions will improve communication.

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