By Peter White
NASHVILLE, TN – The sanctuary at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill was full again last month for a community meeting about Nashville General Hospital. The Metro Stakeholders Work Team sponsored the listening session.
Three weeks ago a “Conscious Conversation” at the church featured five panelists who spoke to 300 people about the future of Nashville General and Meharry Medical College. This time community members spoke their minds.
Judy Cummings, a minister and RN, moderated the event. She said the meeting was the place to ask questions and get answers about healthcare in the city. She also said the stakeholders work team has a website where minutes of their meetings will be posted. Those meetings are closed to the public. The Work Team website is: http://home.mmc.edu/stakeholder-mission/. There is another website that can be reached here: www.savenashvillegeneral.com.
“We’re not hiding anything. We want to be transparent,” Cummings said. At first she had trouble getting people to come up to the microphone. Once a few people broke the ice, others came forward.
Hospital workers, doctors, nurses, patients, and community members spoke. Some spoke twice. The gist of what they said: general hospital must be given more, not less financial support from the city. Mayor Barry has proposed General close down as a safety net hospital, a move the audience universally opposed.
Cummings said there will be other community feedback sessions but they have not been scheduled yet. Below in the photo gallery are some excerpts of what was said: