Probe widens at Bingham Memorial Hospital
There are lots of questions and investigations going on at Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) since current and former employees have been speaking out about certain actions there.
The Idaho Attorney General's office "indicated that they will likely be able to assist," said Robert Cooper, Director, Constituent Information & Communication officer for that office.
Blackfoot Police Chief Dave Moore said his department is working with the Attorney General's office.
Dr. Clark Allen, Chief of Staff and Board of Directors member, announced Thursday that the board has been conducting an ongoing review, initiated as a result of informal communications between the Board and the County Commissioners office.
The review started in late May and is being conducted by Erik Stidham, an attorney with Holland & Hart in Boise. He has been hired to represent the hospital and the board of directors.
"We want folks to be aware that a review is underway," Stidham said. "We will not pre-judge anything or pre-determine the scope [of the investigation].
"We do not know the staffing that will be needed for the investigation and will expand the investigation if it is warranted," he said. "We want to be thorough."
Stidham said he and his firm represent the institution and will report to the board.
"Once completed, the results will be reported to the Board who will then take the actions it deems appropriate," said Dr. Allen.
Asked if criminal activity is found, would the board report that discovery to authorities, Stidham said that they are under legal obligation to do so.
Because Stidham is going on vacation, Walter Bithell of the same law firm will provide continuity for the investigation.
"The investigation will have no disruption," Stidham said.
People are welcome to contact the firm of Holland & Hart by calling (208) 342-5000. Ask for Stidham or Bithell.
"We are gathering information," Stidham said. "Our obligation is to the hospital. We will present pursuant information to the board."
Karole Honas from KIFI, channel 8, said, "There is a level of fear in the hospital. People want to be protected."
The tone of Thursday's press conference was markedly calmer than one which hospital officials conducted on Monday. At that press conference, the board announced the filing of a Notice of Tort claim against County Commissioner Ladd Carter and facilitator Lee Hammett.
Bingham Memorial Hospital does have a hotline where people may remain anonymous although most employees apparently have been unaware of this option.
The toll free number is 1-800-340-5877. Calling that number puts people in contact with Global Compliance, a third party company contracted by various organizations as well as BMH.
After am individual submits a report, the/she are given a number and a pin number so the person may check on the status of the report or provide additional information about his/her concern.
A report is then generated by Global Compliance and submitted to the human resources department of the hospital.
Paul Kotter, Marketing Director of BMH, said, that, in the five years the toll free number has been in operation, no one has used that resource.