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Hospital board discusses alcoholism, privileges

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The board heard a presentation outlining a grant awarded to Alaska Island Community Services in conjunction with Petersburg Mental Health Services.  It will help establish community programs in Wrangell and Petersburg to combat underage alcohol consumption and adult binge drinking.

The board returned to one of its most difficult issues from this past year. Dr. Greg Salard’s suspension of privileges has been a major point of contention.

Marla Sanger, the interim CEO of Wrangell Medical Center, laid out a new protocol for board members to follow. They will now be required to sign an agreement when dealing with a doctor’s credentialing and privileging.

“For the purpose of protecting the doctors that are going through the process, it requires extremely careful confidentiality behavior,” said Sanger.

They were not allowed to discuss Salard’s re-credentialing status, but said that the process is moving forward.

Salard, who was in the audience, said he hoped this issue would be resolved soon.

One of his former patients, Bill Knecht, was also in attendance.

“There’s a lot of patients that would like to have their doctor—their doctor of choice.  And right now, if I fell ill, my doctor wouldn’t be able to do anything except look from the clinic side and wave at me, probably wish me well.  You know, I can’t express how much I would like to have our doctor back in this town,” said Knecht.

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