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COAST CONFIDENTIAL: SRHS trustee made a promise and kept it

The newest SRHS board member was appointed by Jackson County Supervisor John McKay to replace Morris Strickland.
The newest SRHS board member was appointed by Jackson County Supervisor John McKay to replace Morris Strickland.

When he was appointed a couple of weeks ago to the Singing River Health System Board of Trustees, Scott Taylor promised to share his conflict of interest disclosure form with the Sun Herald.

He said he thinks SRHS, under the microscope over financial woes, should be more open with its business. Taylor kept his promise, emailing us a copy of the disclosure form he filled out.He listed his profession as attorney and mentioned a distant relation in his wife's family with a Singing River connection. He has no professional connections to the health system, his form says.

Still, Taylor's willingness to share the form shows he's open to being open.

The health system's general counsel, Celeste Oglesby, previously denied the Sun Herald's request for copies of disclosure forms filled out annually by executives and the other trustees. She said the documents are exempt from the state Public Records Act.

That's debatable. One section of hospital law exempts almost all "hospital records" from disclosure. But another section expressly excludes "business records" from the definition of "hospital records."

"Business records," it says, means "those books, ledgers, records, papers and other documents prepared, kept, made or received in hospitals that pertain to the organization, administration or management of the business and affairs of hospitals, but which do not constitute hospital records as hereinabove defined.

We'd love to see the other disclosure forms and know many of our readers would, too.

It says something for Singing River that the system uses these forms and has patterned them after state ethics laws. Trustees and employees are not supposed to use their positions for personal financial benefit, either for them or their families.

Check out Taylor's disclosure. The form spells it all out.

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