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Sunday, March 20, 2022

Special Meeting: Committee would investigate Mason’s termination:
Supervisors request special committee to investigate WCCHS

A special meeting of the county’s Board of Supervisors has been set for 1 p.m. Wednesday. The purpose is to establish a special Board of Supervisors committee, which would investigate the conduct and actions of the WCCHS Board of Managers.

The committee would also look into recent operations and activities at WCCHS, along with the cancellation of the contract with Buffalo Bone and Joint and Dr. Paul Mason.

General matters at Wyoming County Community Hospital will also be discussed. The Board of Supervisors announced the meeting in a notice issued shortly after 5:15 p.m. Friday.

The supervisors requesting the meeting included Daniel Leuer of Middlebury; Douglas Berwanger of Arcade; Joseph Gozelski of Castile; Michael Roche of Eagle; David Granger of Gainesville; LuAnne Roberts of Genesee Falls; Vanessa McCormick of Java; Susan May of Orangeville; James Brick of Perry; and Sandra King of Pike.

The group makes up 10 out of 16 Board of Supervisors members. The meeting will take place in the county Government Center at 143 North Main St.

The Wyoming County Community Health System has been roiled by controversy following the termination of Mason’s contract. The popular orthopedic surgeon was credited as a key factor in improving the hospital’s reputation.

The termination caused an intense and widespread outcry among county residents and beyond.

Additional issues have since come to light, including allegations a potential conflict of interest on the Board of Managers; questions of whether the Board of Managers follows its own bylaws; and management and morale worries among hospital staff.

More than 100 people — including staff and doctors — attended a February Board of Managers meeting to voice their opposition to Mason’s departure and that of his practice, Buffalo Bone and Joint.

In a “farewell” letter to the community shortly after his contract was terminated, Mason had said a “new direction” at the WCCHS had resulted in the termination of several medical providers.

He said they included two doctors from the orthopedics unit; two family practice doctors; a surgeon; two podiatry doctors; two midwives; a neurologist; and Niagara Frontier Anesthesia, which had provided anesthesia services in recent years.

As of Mason’s letter, the county website had listed vacancies including its CFO, controller, director of maternity and women’s health, director of surgery and 29 registered professional nurses.

Wednesday’s meeting will also discuss spending up to $25,000 for potential travel, legal and consulting costs involving the investigation.

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