Is MCH suffocating Ector County taxpayers?


Our nation’s doctors, nurses, medical personnel, and all frontline workers are invaluable.

Medical Center Hospital recently voted on raises for employees, but does MCH need another $7 million to pay for those raises?

In the Republican primary election race, candidate for Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett was hired by MCH just before he announced he was running for office. Fawcett attacked Judge Debi Hays and the County Commissioners over their 5-0 decision to consult an outside firm on the best way to distribute ARPA funds.

CEO Russell Tippin and MCH had asked the County for $7 million of the County’s $32 million distribution from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Dustin Fawcett told Ector County residents he would “just give” his employer the money if he was the judge.

Fawcett made statements about Judge Hays “singlehandedly” giving herself a raise, but everyone who can read a vote count knows five people voted on the raises for all County employees and that no elected representative singlehandedly gives herself a raise.

What Fawcett did not have an opinion on was the reported $50,000 bonus Wallace Dunn, Kathy Rhodes, Don Hallmark, and the rest of the Ector County Hospital District (ECHD) Board Members voted to give MCH CEO Russell Tippin.

It should surprise no one that Dustin Fawcett – while railing about integrity and things the taxpayers need to know – refused to speak out against his boss or the hospital Board. This raises serious concerns about how Fawcett will act as county judge, if elected on November 8.

Local media outlets reported a riff between the hospital and the County, but is the hospital really in dire financial shape? Does MCH need that $7 million to survive?

Not according to the hospital Finance Committee report. Last week, the ECHD Board held its monthly meetings, and the report was worse than you might think. The firm that presented the finance report said that the only reason MCH doesn’t have more cash on hand is that much of MCH’s cash is tied up in “government guarantees and government agencies”.

MCH is waiting for FEMA to reimburse $9.4 million of the hospital’s expenses.

Following the report, Medical Center Hospital CEO Russell Tippin made remarks about the hospital’s positive financial position and noted it is expensive to run MCH.

Tippin told people in the room, “One day here at Medical Center is about a million dollars, about a million bucks a day to run this place. And we’re sitting here with 104 days cash on hand. That’s about a hundred million dollars.”

$1 million a day. 104 days of cash on hand. MCH has $104 MILLION but wants the taxpayers of Ector County to give them another $7 million of ARPA funds?

You decide, Odessa.

Do you want the County Commissioners to “just give” MCH $7 million more of your money like Dustin Fawcett said he would do for his boss, or do you want the County Commissioners to put that money to use in your neighborhood?



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