Update: Tim Goldfarb Addresses the Future of Shands
County Commissioner Mike Byerly has responded to Shands Healthcare CEO Tim Goldfarb by letter Tuesday (June 30).
Byerly addressed the joint meeting that is going to be held July 15 regarding Shands AGH community healthcare access concerns.
Goldfarb didn't show up to the original May meeting, but two months later, he responded to the Alachua County Commission in a letter.
TV20's Josh Rosenthal tells us that Goldfarb said he felt the initial meeting with the county regarding the closing of Shands AGH was inappropriate.
"I had never intended to attend the meeting," Goldfarb said.
Which, at the time of the Alachua County meeting regarding the closing of Shands AGH, did not sit well with commission Chairman Mike Byerly.
"I consider a refusal to participate in a public forum like this at best disrespectful, at worst arrogant and indifferent," Byerly said.
But Goldfarb said it's not a question of being indifferent, rather a question of being inappropriate.
"I was told by the commissioners at the time that the meeting was to have a hearing, an official hearing, to review the Shands Healthcare Board's decision about the closure of Shands AGH, and I felt and the board felt it was inappropriate," Goldfarb said.
So, two months after his no-show, Goldfarb wrote a letter addressed to County Manager Randall Reid saying he would attend a proposed county meeting on July 15 as long as some conditions were met.
Among those, Goldfarb wants it to be jointly run by Shands, the county and the city of Gainesville.
He doesn't want to focus on the closure of AGH. Instead, there would be a panel discussion of the county's healthcare issues, and he'd like to make a Powerpoint presentation.
As for no questions regarding AGH's closing, Goldfarb said those were answered in the letter.
"I anticipate that all those questions are now put away and answered in a way that would satisfy folks and that none of our discussion on the 15th would be about the past since those questions are now answered," he said.
The letter did address ER capacity and inpatient beds; Goldfarb said there will be more than there are now once the new cancer hospital opens.
It also addressed AGH's employees - Goldfarb said out of 1,156 of them, more than 1,100 have already been placed in new jobs.
Byerly responded to Goldfarb's letter with "This meeting will not, nor has it ever been intended, to be a legal public hearing, in that sense that people will be under oath or giving legal testimony. This meeting is intended to provide elected officials and citizens with information, and an opportunity to ask questions."
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