Montrose hospital lease to nonprofit in effect

Montrose Memorial Hospital is now under the control of a new board of directors as a controversial new lease went into effect midnight Monday.

The hospital’s board of trustees closed the lease with the new Montrose Memorial Hospital Inc. board of directors during both board’s regularly scheduled meetings Monday night.

Hours later the lease was closed and for the next 50 years all of the hospital’s operations, accounts and property will be managed by Montrose Memorial Hospital Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.

The hospital’s board of trustees have been in a costly, yearlong legal squabble with the Montrose County Commission since the lease was announced Oct. 18, 2010.

Commissioner David White said in a Montrose County news release this week he is disappointed Montrose Memorial Hospital Inc. went ahead with the lease despite ongoing litigation.

The commissioners filed for an injunction last fall after the new lease was announced, arguing the trustees violated open meeting laws and that the lease removed the public from any decision making regarding operations of the county-owned hospital.

On July 28, Montrose District Judge Jeff Herron denied all claims for injunctive relief by the county, ruling the trustees operated under their obligational duties when they entered into the new lease. Days following Herron’s ruling, the commissioners appealed the decision. The Colorado Court of Appeals has not yet made its determination.

Commissioner Ron Henderson said in the county news release: “It’s a sad day for the community. I wouldn’t have done what they did last night for all the money in the world, but the Board of Trustees did it for $100 million (the hospital’s estimated value).”

Requests for comment from Stephen Glasmann, Montrose Memorial Hospital Inc.‘s board chairman, were not returned Wednesday.


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