Adam Meier, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, has denied a request to meet with Med Center Health and Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon concerning a recently issued Emergency Regulation which addresses ambulance service in Warren County. Med Center Health and Judge Buchanon requested the meeting to make clear to the Bevin Administration that there is not a “public health crisis” as cited in the regulation and that Medical Center EMS has provided outstanding service to the community for nearly forty years.
“There is no need for a second ambulance service in Warren County,” said Judge Buchanon. “I am quite honestly shocked and disturbed that no one sought my opinion or input prior to dropping an emergency regulation that claims we have a public health crisis in Warren County involving our ambulance service.” According to Judge Buchanon, he and Med Center Health officials requested a meeting with Secretary Meier, in part, to share facts that shed light on what they considered to be an erroneous and misleading report published by the Pegasus Institute in July. The Governor’s emergency regulation cited the Pegasus Institute study when rationalizing the need for the emergency regulation.
“The fact that I was not contacted by the state or any one of our legislative delegation prior to the emergency regulation is upsetting enough,” said Buchanon. “Then to decline our request to have a conversation and discuss the facts – I think it speaks for itself.”
Wade Stone, Executive Vice President of Med Center Health, shared the same sentiment as Judge Buchanon. “We are extremely disappointed in the fact that Secretary Meier declined our request to simply have a word with them face-to-face. One would think that a ‘public health crisis’ would at least warrant a conversation.”
Med Center Health is now weighing other options to address what it considers to be a misguided and needless regulation. “Obviously we were hoping to resolve this through open discourse with the Bevin Administration,” said Stone. “This latest setback tells us we are dealing with a politically motivated move to target Warren County solely for the benefit of a for-profit, Tennessee-based hospital chain. This regulation had nothing to do with need.” Stone added that a legal challenge is not out of the question. “We’ll take whatever means necessary to defend the integrity and honor of our first responders whom were clearly attacked in this baseless study and rigged regulation.”