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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Hospital seeking CEO to succeed Phillips

Thursday, January 16, 2014

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

A nationwide search is under way for the next chief executive officer of Memorial Hospital, Martinsville City Council learned Tuesday night.

Skip Phillips was the Martinsville hospital’s CEO from October 2010 until he left in November to be senior vice president and chief operating officer of a six-hospital system based in Winchester.

Memorial is owned by LifePoint Hospitals, which also owns Danville Regional Medical Center (DRMC). The two hospitals have formed a regional health care system that, with help from Duke Medicine, will enable them to provide more comprehensive services, according to Eric Deaton, president of LifePoint’s south central Virginia market.

Deaton, who also is DRMC’s chief administrator, said Memorial needs its own CEO who is “involved in the community daily” and is able to determine what the Martinsville area needs to improve heath services.

That ultimately will “lead to a healthier future for our citizens,” he told council members during his brief presentation.

Noting that the hospitals are major taxpayers, Deaton said they contributed a total of more than $6 million to the Martinsville and Danville economies last year. He did not specify how much Memorial contributed locally.

Also Tuesday, the council adopted its list of projects to be included in the 2014 Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (RCEDS).

The West Piedmont Planning District Commission will forward the document to the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA).

City Manager Leon Towarnicki said the list makes the federal government familiar with ongoing projects, as well as ones the city eventually hopes to accomplish, in case the EDA makes funding — or more of it — available for the projects.

The list is submitted yearly after the council decides whether to make any changes to it. No changes were made to this year’s list, Towarnicki said.

The RCEDS includes projects for the entire West Piedmont, which includes Martinsville, Danville and Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Franklin counties.

Development of Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre — a joint project of Henry County and Martinsville — is the highest ranking local project listed. The industrial park, planned on U.S. 220 South near the North Carolina line, is stalled due to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not yet granting a permit.

Other city projects on the list include redevelopment of the former Henry Hotel, ongoing construction of the New College Institute’s building and efforts to improve the appearances of other buildings uptown.

The council also:

• Approved two refunds to local businesses for overpayment of their business license taxes from past years.

Solid Stone Fabrics will get a $6,237.72 refund for overpayments in 2012 and 2013. Piedmont Diagnostic Radiology will get a $4,726.21 refund for a 2009 overpayment, a document shows.

The refunds were not subject to interest calculations because adjustments were made to estimated assessments that have been verified, according to Ruth Easley, the city’s revenue commissioner.

The money will be taken from the city’s general fund, the document shows.

• Learned that the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is working on nine active industry recruiting projects.

Two of the projects are targeted for the city while three involve sites in the county for which the two localities have agreed to share revenues from firms locating there, said EDC President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Heath.

The EDC also is working on various retail recruiting efforts. They include two national restaurant chains, two national store chains, two fast-food chain franchises and two independent fast-food restaurants, Heath said.

• Heard that the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board (WIB) expects a small increase in federal funds for youth employment programs although lesser funds for adult and dislocated worker programs are anticipated.

Adult and dislocated worker programs “are critical here” due to the area’s economic constraints, said WIB Executive Director Lisa Fultz. She asked the council to urge area lawmakers to seek more money for the programs.

• Approved routine-type budget amendments.

Reimbursements amounting to $1,019,072 for the Liberty Street widening were placed in the general fund, and $3,238 from the sale of old mowing equipment was placed in the capital reserve fund, a report shows.

• Set a public hearing for Feb. 11 on a request for a special use permit for 1006 Independence Drive.

If approved, the permit would let Sharon Martin operate a child care center in her home and care for up to 12 children, a document shows.

• Learned that city department heads have started preparing a proposed budget for fiscal 2015, which will start July 1.

The spending plan is to be presented to council during the week of April 7. Following council budget work sessions to be scheduled in April and May, a final budget is to be adopted by early June, a calendar shows.

• Heard from area resident Chad Martin, who noted various local activities to be held between Saturday and Monday in remembrance of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

• Appointed Liz Sechrest, executive director of Martinsville Uptown, to the city’s Arts and Cultural Committee.


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