After nearly 29 years of service, Dr. Warren Yamarick is being replaced as Liberty Township’s medical director. On Tuesday, by a 2-1 vote, the Liberty Township Board of Trustees approved a contract with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for medical director services at an annual cost of $34,544.
According to Trustee Shyra Eichhorn, who was the lone no vote, OSU’s contract is for three years.
At the end of the night as Yamarick went to pick up his coat to leave the township hall, he received a stirring and prolonged round of applause from the residents in appreciation of his years of dedication and service to the township.
Prior to approving the contract with OSU, the resolution appointing Yamarick as the 2019 medical director at an annual cost of $6,000 was tabled at the request of Trustee Melanie Leneghan and seconded by Trustee Mike Gemperline.
In addition, Eichhorn suggested, prior to the vote taking place, that the trustees consider partnering with OhioHealth, which offered the same services at a much lower cost of $8,640.
Eichhorn said OhioHealth’s contract, though it needed work, seemed much more fiscally responsible.
“That includes training within it,” Eichhorn said. “I don’t see that in Ohio State. I can’t imagine that we would move ahead, and I have not had the opportunity to meet with Ohio State.”
Eichhorn said OhioHealth’s proposal allowed the appointment of a medical director with the trustees’ approval.
“It’s quite possible it wouldn’t be Dr. Yamarick (employed by OhioHealth),” she said. “It might possibly be Gabriel (OhioHealth employee).”
During the trustees’ Jan. 7 meeting, Leneghan was approved to be the liaison of the board to pursue a contract for a medical director. Leneghan and Gemperline approved the action in the absence of Eichhorn, who was away on business that evening.
“Being an elected official, I still have a responsibility to get all the same information so that I can make an educated decision for my vote,” Eichhorn said. “I don’t think there is anything more important than making sure that the well-being and safety of our residents are at the forefront.”
Eichhorn said OhioHealth had reached out to the board of trustees showing interest in partnering with the township. She added The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is a phenomenal organization and pretty much the same thing as the OhioHealth Medical Network when compared side-by-side. She said she felt there had not been a true bidding process put forth as required by Liberty Township rules.
Before approving the OSU contract, Eichhorn tried to stop the process by motioning to table the resolution. There was no second from either of the other two trustees, even when Gemperline was called out by Eichhorn.
During the discussion on Tuesday, Eichhorn brought up the fact OSU is building a level two trauma center in the area.
“So, maybe at that time it would make sense,” she said. “With that being said, the cost doesn’t make sense, and the runs that we do just doesn’t make sense.”
Eichhorn said that 80 percent of the EMS runs from the township are to OhioHealth facilities, with the rest running to an OSU facility.
“I’m tired of these games, too,” Eichhorn said. “You say one thing, but the actions don’t match it.”