Feb. 10, 2004 – The St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce is hosting a membership luncheon on Feb. 23 to hear from some of the doctors who are proposing to build and operate a private surgery care center on St. Thomas.
The planned St. Thomas Ambulatory Surgical Center has been a hot topic since the proposal became public knowledge in December. The facility is being proposed ny nine local doctors — Byron Biscoe, Jeffrey Chase, Horace Griffith, Francesco Isolani, Derrick Jones, Catherine Kean, Michael Savage, Adam Shapiro and Sonia Taylor-Griffith — who say it will be a benefit to the community.
However, Roy L. Schneider Hospital executives say the center would drain essential revenues from the public hospital, leaving it to serve patients who are under- or uninsured while those able to pay for services take their outpatient business to the private clinic.
The group of doctors applied to the Health Department for the Certificate of Need that would be required to operate such a facility and has been asked to submit further information. Acting Health Commissioner Darlene Carty announced in January that a nine-member ad hoc committee would be formed to review the application, five of whose members would be "consumers" from the community. (See: "Public to help decide fate of surgical center".)
Chase, Kean, Shapiro, Taylor-Griffith and their attorney, David Bornn, will be the guest speakers at the Friday chamber luncheon. Following the presentations, there will be an opportunity for members to ask questions about the plans. "The purpose of the luncheon is to gain information on the proposal," Joe Aubain, chamber executive director, said on Tuesday. "We need to gather information so that we can make an informed decision."
The luncheon will begin at noon Feb. 23 at Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort. It costs $22. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the chamber office at 776-0100.
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