Memorial-Gazette: A rift developing

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Memorial Health System is taking issue with the Gazette's report of an impending meeting: Memorial is accusing reporter Daniel Chacón of misquoting an official, but the newspaper refuses to write a correction.

The issue revolves around the city's Citizens Commission on Ownership and Governance of Memorial Health System (a member of which is Jay Patel, the Indy's business development vice president), which is looking at whether to sell, retain or change how Memorial is governed.

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Here's a couple of entries from the Gazette's site in which Memorial spokesman Brian Newsome has his say:

bnewsome wrote:
For the record, Memorial told the reporter that this meeting was not related to the work of the Citizens' Commission, but we could not go into more detail about the meeting itself.

We requested a correction, but it was denied. For more explanation, check out our recent blog post, No Means No. http://thefutureofhealthcare.com/no-means-no/

bnewsome wrote:
Hey, folks. Respectfully, Memorial believes strongly in transparency. Daniel, in his city desk blog just over a week ago, said this about us: "Kudos to Memorial for being so transparent!" Read his whole post here: http://bit.ly/d71XfT.

The compliment, which we very much appreciate, came from our prompt response to an Open Records request for e-mails from our CEO. We delivered it in hours when our legal deadline was a few days.

I recently produced a live blog of the City Council's interviews of some of the citizens' commission candidates. The Gazette linked directly to the blog, presumably b/c it felt this was a service to readers. I produced another live blog of the citizen panel's first meeting, so that people who couldn't attend could at least read what was being said in real time. You can see replays of the live blogs at Memorial's blog, http://thefutureofhealthcare.com. I will be blogging Tuesday's meeting as well.

Although most board meetings are open to you and anyone else who wants to attend, Colorado law recognizes there are some legitimate reasons for boards to meet in private. See the statute here: http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/open/00openmeet.htm

The executive session was held under those legal exemptions. Here is the complete explanation from today's meeting agenda:

1) A confidential strategic document prepared and provided by legal counsel and consultant setting forth various legal structures of health care entities that is protected under the "Open Records Act" that contains trade secrets, privileged information and confidential and commercial, financial information.

2)A conference with an attorney retained by MHS for the purpose for the purpose of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions relating to the legal structure of the health system and physician organization.

Please, be engaged. Go to the meetings. Check out our blog. Read the Gazette. Ask questions.

-Brian Newsome, Memorial PR

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