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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Negative Info. Wasn’t to be Found in WCCHS Records:

Two supervisors say H/Resource materials didn’t contain alleged negative information about Mason

Two members of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors said box of Human Resources materials allegedly containing negative information about Dr. Paul Mason proved not to be true.

During a heated meeting in March about Mason’s departure from the Wyoming County Community Health System, Supervisor Jerry Davis of Covington suggested that there was “another side” to Mason.

Mason is a popular orthopedic surgeon whose contract with WCCHS was terminated early this past January, leading to an intense outcry from the Wyoming County community. Although his practice, Buffalo Bone and Joint Surgery, has now contracted with Bertrand Chaffee Hospital in Springville, his departure from the WCCHS remains intensely controversial.

Davis said during the March meeting that all the information the Board of Managers saw when making their decision to end Mason’s contract is available at the WCCHS Human Resources department.

“They didn’t make it over one month. They made it over several months,” he said at the time. “To me they made the right decision after I reviewed the material.”

Davis said during the meeting that the only Board of Supervisors members who have reviewed the information at the hospital’s human resources department at that time were Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Rebecca Ryan, Supervisor Bryan Kehl of Attica, and himself.

“The information is there,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time to go through it, because it’s a huge box.”

He alleged there’s “another side” of Dr. Mason that most people don’t know.

Yet when Arcade Supervisor Douglas Berwanger, Eagle Supervisor Mike Roche, Castile Supervisor Joseph Gozelski, and Genesee Falls Supervisor LuAnne Roberts went together after the meeting they said what they found was a half-filled banker box.

“Basically what was in there was a regurgitation of the minutes of a couple of Board of Managers meeting. Supposedly this was information that was damning Dr. Mason,” Berwanger said. “Really there was nothing. There was general conversation about what had been discussed at the Board of Managers meeting, which is in the minutes.”

Expecting information they hadn’t heard before, Berwanger said the supervisors found nothing which showed a dark side of Dr. Mason.

“It was nothing,” he continued. “For everyone to stand up and say how bad it was, it wasn’t accurate.”

Gozelski said they were told the box was there a long time, adding the group of Berwanger, Roche, Roberts and himself don’t believe it’s true.

“Miss LuAnne Roberts, she worked at the hospital for over 35 years,” Gozelski said. “She knows that hospital in and out as good as anyone. A.D. Berwanger, he dealt with the hospital well over 20-something odd years. He knows what is going on. Mr. Roche, a retired school principal and a local judge, was there. He knows what he is looking at.”

Echoing Berwanger, Gozelski said there was absolutely nothing there against Dr. Mason.

Roberts did not want to talk on the record about what was in the box saying it was discussed in executive session. However, she did mention a good question to ask was how many people followed Dr. Mason to Springville, adding a lot of people called the hospital to get his forwarding information.

Roche was unwilling to speak on the record about what was in the box, but said his vote of “yes” on the formation of a complete and independent review of the Wyoming County Community Health System made his position clear.

That resolution was defeated in April, in a weighted vote based on town populations.

Gozelski said he watches Kehl, the chairman of the fiance committee, and Ryan being asked questions they can’t answer.

“They cannot give you a direct answer,” he said. “You cannot get a correct answer out of our chairwoman or the chairman of the fiance committee.”

Ryan said Friday afternoon that she appreciated the opportunity to respond and has always made it a practice not to publicly comment negatively about fellow supervisors. She said she had no comment regarding Mason.

Kehl did not respond to requests for comment before press time Friday evening.

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