The Block Island Times

Six candidates for BIHS board election

Look for results on June 9
By Stephanie Turaj | Mar 31, 2013
Photo by: Kari Curtis

Six candidates are running for three seats on the Block Island Health Services (BIHS) Board of Directors.

Election results will be announced on June 9. BIHS members — dues-paying members of the Medical Center — will vote prior to that meeting by ballot.

Two current BIHS board members submitted their names for re-election: Cindy Baute and Pete Tweedy. Board member Judith Cyronak has decided not to run for a second term. Four island residents applied for the board: Dr. Albert Casazza, Ken Maxwell, Bruce Montgomery and Peter Saxon.

At the BIHS regular meeting on Monday, March 25, the BIHS board voted to accept the nomination of all six candidates. The vote received six ayes and three abstentions (two board members were absent from the meeting).

The three abstentions were from Baute, Shannon Morgan and Board Secretary Kay Lewis. Judith Cyronak and Cookie Lenoci were absent.

Lewis read aloud a prepared statement and said that she would abstain from voting for Peter Saxon for various reasons, including his support of a petition that recommended withholding donations to the center until Lewis and Pam Hinthorn stepped down from the board.

“Mr. Saxon acknowledges fostering a petition derived to withhold donations to BIHS, a campaign that seriously harmed our Medical Center,” said Lewis. “I will not vote against his nomination. I will abstain.”

“There’s a difference between dissent and destruction, and I would ask people to remember that when they make a decision about who they want to have on this board,” said Board President Pam Hinthorn. “We have people running for the board who have definitely contributed in a significant way to the wellbeing of the board.”

At the end of the meeting, island resident Mary Stover responded to Hinthorn’s and Lewis’s statements. “Destruction runs both ways,” said Stover. Mary Stover is the spouse of Monty Stover, the former executive director of the Medical Center. Monty Stover resigned from the post last July, and later wrote a letter to the Times claiming his resignation was not voluntary. Peter Saxon has acted as Stover’s legal advisor.

The week before, at a March 21 meeting, the BIHS Nominating Committee had agreed to place all six names in nomination for the three openings.

Nominating Committee member Elizabeth Connor’s view was that the committee should act in “an effort to heal the community,” and the nominating board should simply recommend all of the nominees as candidates to be offered to the membership for a vote.

At the BIHS March 25 meeting, Secretary Lewis said that letters listing the six candidates would be sent out to the medical center membership at least 30 days in advance of the June 9 meeting.

Board member Bill McCombe asked how a resident can become a member of the Medical Center.

Other BIHS board members said that a resident must fill out an application, and also must pay dues or make a donation of the same amount. However, residents who only made donations are not considered members — they must fill out the application.

“They need to let us know they want to be members,” said Lewis.

Those wishing to become BIHS members for this year’s election should do so by June 1, 2013. (See sidebar for more details.)

Medical Center Executive Director Barbara Baldwin said there were 496 members as of March 26.


Finance Committee Chair Pete Tweedy reported on the 2012 year-end finances for the medical center.

“Our net ordinary income for 2012 is about $9,100 below the previous year,” he said. “This is of course preliminary year-end information. We won’t have the finals before we complete our audit. I hope sometime before the end of May.”

BIHS members also discussed upgrading the medical center to Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Baldwin said that the medical center staff is leaning toward selecting a service provided by a company called SOAPware.

Cindy Baute and Sue Hagedorn are now co-chairs of the BIHS fundraising committee.

—Reporter Gloria Redlich contributed to this article.

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