The Board of Managers of the Walker County Hospital District met for a regular session last night. The meeting was broadcast via live teleconferencing.

One of the important topics discussed besides financial and COVID-19 patient issues regarded offenders from TDCJ sent as patients to the Huntsville Memorial Hospital facility.

Board member Judy Emmett felt she was expressing the public’s view that there is an issue with having TDCJ offenders in the hospital . . . .

Looking at the financial side of the offenders in the hospital equation, HMH Chief Financial Officer Greg Magers said the hospital receives around $10 million annually as a result of accepting the offenders into their facilities. This is about 15 percent of what HMH collects.

Board member Joe Sapp wondered, “How significant is that money, and would it be a significant hit if we were not getting it?”

It was noted that the contract with TDCJ was to be considered for renewal this September.

On a positive note, CEO Steve Smith said the hospital reinstituted elective surgeries on May 12th.

Greg Magers said, “We had an operating loss of $1.6 million for the month of April. I don’t know if I’d use the word ironic or not, but as a result of our COVID there’s been some opportunities out there for fundings for grants and loans and forgivable loans, and things along that line. And, also stimulus money that went out initially to healthcare providers.”