Porter won’t serve another term on NRMC board

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2000

This month, two members of the Natchez Regional Medical Center’s board of trustees will come up for reappointment. One of the two says he will decline another term.

Sammy Porter, president of the United Mississippi Bank in Natchez, said he has served on the NRMC board of trustees since 1997 but will be calling it quits this year. &uot;If I’d known three years ago what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have been on the board,&uot; he said.

He arrived on the public hospital board one month after passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. That piece of legislation greatly reduced federal reimbursements for government sponsored insurances like Medicare and Medicaid – and tremendously affected Natchez Regional’s profitability. Porter was part of the board that had to face two employee layoffs and budget cuts to stabilize the cash-strapped hospital. &uot;It was too much too soon,&uot; he said of the decisions he faced on the board. &uot;But I’ve learned a lot.&uot;

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Renza Grennell, a teacher at Natchez Middle School, is also up for reappointment. She said she is willing to continue as long as she believes she is a contributing member. She said she recognizes a possible conflict of interest with her son, Darryl Grennell, serving on the board of supervisors, but she said her son would be likely to abstain from any votes involving her appointment to the hospital board. &uot;I’ve been on the board since 1989,&uot; she said. &uot;That whole first year was like one long orientation.&uot;

Grennell and board president Billy Gillon have the longest tenure on the hospital board.

The value of longevity on the board is the knowledge gained and relationships built which add depth of understanding to decision-making, Grennell said.

Meanwhile, Porter’s departure leaves a hole for the Adams County Board of Supervisors to fill.

Supervisors President Virginia Salmon said supervisors will address the expiring positions this month. She said supervisors will look for business people with experience in managing money – not necessarily healthcare related professionals. The current board has three physicians, two bank executives, an accountant and a school teacher.

Supervisors have no written policy on appointment of members to the hospital board.