Most of the Memorial board refuses to resign

As of 5 p.m. today, only a single member of the Memorial Board of Trustees offered his resignation. The other seven refused to step down.

The City Council voted unanimously to have the board resign or be fired. The majority of the board chose to be fired.

In a statement, Jim Moore, president of the board, said “to step down voluntarily is to conceded that politics is more important than doing the right thing or making the tough decisions. That is a concession we cannot, in good conscience, make.”

“Despite the public outcry over our latest decision, we remain convinced it was fair and appropriate,” the statement said. “The gross mischaracterizations at the heart of this outcry are saddening, for history of this event will be written in a way that does not reflect reality. ”

Only Dr. Donald Gazibara submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday. Marijane Paulsen resigned earlier in the week, for reasons unrelated to the latest controversy.  Only ex-officio member and Memorial Chief of Staff Karen Anthony remains on the board. Anthony is the only board member to vote against McEvoy’s severance at a hearing Monday.

The others – Moore, Vic Andrews, William Crouch, Yolanda Fennick, Paul Johnson, G. Jeff Murrell, Arlene Patterson Stein and Dar Larson-  chose to be removed by the City Council.

Council will appoint a new board Friday at 9 a.m., which is also CEO Larry McEvoy’s last day. McEvoy is the man at the center of the controversy. His $1.15 million severance led to public outcry and the Council’s decision to remove the board. McEvoy’s severance is being reviewed by the city’s legal team and Council will discuss it May 16.

In the meantime, the city is still deep in negotiations with University of Colorado Hospital to lease Memorial for a term of 40 years.

Below is the full statement from the Memorial board:

We, the Memorial Health System Board of Trustees, in fulfillment of our fiduciary responsibility, refuse to resign from our posts and will wait for City Council to remove us at 5 p.m. today.
To step down voluntarily is to concede that politics is more important than doing the right thing or making tough decisions. That is a concession we cannot, in good conscience, make.
The Board has never wavered in its commitment to the best interest of the health system, and we therefore regret this action taken by City Council.
For years, this volunteer group of seasoned executives and professionals has dedicated thousands of hours of service and experience to Memorial. We are proud of our work. Under our governance:
-Memorial’s quality and safety has improved.
-Memorial’s financial value has improved.
-Employees at all levels have received pay increases to bring them to market standards.
-Memorial has been positioned for potential long-term success with University of Colorado Health.
Despite the public outcry over our latest decision, we remain convinced it was fair and appropriate. The gross mischaracterizations at the heart of this outcry are saddening, for history of this event will be
written in a way that does not reflect reality. Although we will soon no longer be leading Memorial, our dedication to its mission remains steadfast.
Words cannot express the pride we have in our employees, physicians and leadership. During a time of great uncertainty, our team has continued to provide outstanding care.
The board remains supportive of the likely University of Colorado Health lease arrangement and hopes that the broader community will also see the wisdom of this relationship.
We have been honored to serve as guardians of Memorial Health System, and we are grateful to have had this opportunity.
-James P. Moore, PhD, Board Chair on behalf of seven citizen volunteer trustees