Community board members will have additional power over the fate of Boca Raton (Fla.) Community Hospital, as a result of a settlement reached by the facility's board and a community group.
The settlement brings to an end litigation brought against the hospital by a group of citizens and hospital founders known as Save Our Hospital of Boca Raton. Its suit accused hospital trustees of scheming to control the hospital's assets in a sale proposed late last year.
"(The settlement) is in line with the steps (the hospital) has taken voluntarily in recent months to ensure that future consideration of a sale or merger would occur only with adequate public input and scrutiny," said Sidney Stubbs, an attorney for the hospital's board.
Under the settlement, a vote of two-thirds of the board would be required to approve any sale or merger. The settlement also will add three board members for a total of 24.
Earlier this year, the board increased its size to 21 from 10 to encourage more community participation.
However, the three new members won't be appointed by the board. The additions will come from the medical staff, the Boca Raton Community Hospital Foundation and the Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League, a hospital auxiliary affiliated with the original hospital founders.
"The settlement adds three spots on the board that will be appointed from the groups that they come from-not the hospital board," said Andrea Knibbs, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
The suit, and another filed by the Florida attorney general, prompted the 334-bed hospital to scrap its plan to sell itself to a joint venture consisting of three not-for-profit systems (Dec. 16, 1996, p. 8). The attorney general's action is pending.