Press Release on Dr. Bill Dam’s Meeting to Reform Centegra

A press release arrived about the meeting that Dr. Bill Dam called about his and others’ concerns about the direction of Centegra.  It is below:

Meeting airs health system concerns

CRYSTAL LAKE — An effort to enlighten area residents regarding a deepening rift between a number of independent physicians and the Centegra Health System administration drew about 85 people to the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn Wednesday.

Most of the crowd from Dr. Bill Dam's meeting about reforming Centegra.

Most of the crowd from Dr. Bill Dam’s meeting about reforming Centegra.

Dr. William Dam, a former Fox Waterway Agency chairman and former Fox Lake mayor who operates the Westlake Clinic in Ingleside, led the meeting.

“To make it perfectly clear, this is not an anti-Centegra meeting,” he said at the start of his presentation, adding that everyone in the room, whether doctors or health care consumers, had a vested interest in the continuing prosperity of the system.

“Centegra has made an incredible contribution to the health and welfare of this community,” he said.

“But there’s a great deal of discontent and acrimony at our institutions.”

During a 23-slide PowerPoint presentation (attached), Dam talked about the history and origins of Centegra, how its governance is supposed to function according to its bylaws, and how independent physicians (those with hospital privileges but who are not Centegra-salaried hospitalists) are increasingly being denied access both to information and to patients.

As an example, Dam described a weeks-long effort that ultimately involved hiring an attorney simply to obtain lists of current members of the Centegra Board of Governors as well as corporate community members, the latter of which Dam himself is a 35-year member.

He said current administrators, including

  • Centegra CEO Michael Eesley and
  • Senior Vice President Aaron Shepley

should be called to task for bylaws breaches.

For example, he said, the bylaws state “no more than one-third nor less than one-fifth of the governors shall be physicians in good standing on the medical staff of either the Centegra Hospital – McHenry or Centegra Hospital – Woodstock.”

Presently, two physicians are among the 14-member Centegra Board of Governors. In 2007, by comparison, five of 15 were physicians.

The health system’s corporate bylaws also call for an annual meeting of the community corporate members the third Friday of October.

Several people in attendance at the meeting said they are corporate members (also referred to in the bylaws as “community governors”), and have not yet received their traditional notice to attend.

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Part 1 of McHenry County Blog’s coverage may be found here.

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