By Camaron Abundes
RANKIN-"We want answers," shouted one Rankin Resident at Monday night's hospital board meeting. The long standing controversy stemming from strained relations between Dr. Paul McLean and his support nurses, became the topic of a meeting. Many residents said they fear the Doctor will leave town, because the Rankin Hospital Board will not fire the nurses responsible for filing numerous complaints with the Texas Medical Board.
Dozens packed the Board room, coming from as far as Midkiff and McCamey to show their support for the Doctor.
"This community would be devastated, because I can't think of one person who doesn't like him except for some of his support staff," Linda Dusek said, "and [the board] expects him to work with people who are constantly accusing him of stuff."
The tension between the board visible when Dr. McLean spoke about alleged unlawful surveillance at the hospital. Another resident brought in records indicating a hospital employee falsified documents to file a complaint against the Doctor.
"We have an excellent Doctor in Rankin and our hospital board will not support him," Dusek said.
Then a letter addressed to Dr. McLean from the Board circulated indicating the Doctor's request for the Board to terminate the employment of two employees involved in several complaints against the Doctor was denied.
The doctor told the Board he was told he would work with whoever they hired.
"We have spent 30 thousand dollars on legal fees caused by a bunch of incompetent and inept nurses," his wife Shirley McLean, said.
Residents also expressed their anger over the way Hospital Administrator Brent Wrinkle handled the possible theft of 20 hydrocodone pills. Wrinkle admitted the pills went missing. He told the residents the locks at the pharmacy were changed and drug tests given by the Rankin Hospital staff to the other staff members.
Wrinkle did not inform Dr. McLean about the incident or Sheriff Dan Brown. Dr. McLean says he found out about the missing pills at the nearby Town & Country.
Another point of contention, a complaint filed after the death of a young girl in July 2008, a year after a similar meeting regarding the Doctor. This July, Dr. McLean was in Midland for a meeting on his regular Tuesday afternoon off. The girl's grandmother said she the girls Doctor in Fort Worth said they did everything they could.
"I can't blame him for something that is beyond his control," Charlotte Jones, who worries Dr. McLean will leave town, said.
No nurses were at Mondays meeting.
"We'll never get a Doctor of this one's caliber again," Janey Lindsey shouted, her claim was followed by cheering and clapping.
The Texas Medical Board supplied Dr. Paul McLean's records that showed he has a history of action taken by the Medical Board due to alcoholism. He is on probation until 2012.