by Max Brantley
Joann Coleman, the Little Rock resident who's been digging into what she sees as problems in the UAMS idea to combine with St. Vincent Infirmary, at least in some areas, as a health care network, was on hand for yesterday's University of Arkansas Board of Trustees meeting at which the subject came up.
The legislature has approved a private consulting deal to investigate the idea and that was discussed yesterday. Coleman reports that UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn confirmed that non-disclosure agreements had been signed to prevent either party from using/misusing competitive information assembled for the study.
She also reports that trustee John Goodson, the politically ambidextrous trial lawyer appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to a seat on the UA Board, said he had been in on the discussions at UAMS about hiring a Washington mergers-and-acquisitions lawyer to advise on the matter, though he had not informed the UA Board about it. Coleman quotes Goodson as saying a public forum will be held on the report produced by the consultant. She says several Board members assured her any resulting combination would not mean a loss of control for UAMS.
Tell that to the bishops.