Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

LSHA/County News

 LSHA Board Remains "Free, White and Over 21" as Gov Scott Appoints 2 to Vacated Seats

More LSHA stories are here.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – On Friday, Governor Scott's Appointment Office announced the appointment of two new members to the Lake Shore Hospital Board to fill the vacated seats of Dr. Waseem Khan and former Board Chair Koby Adams, Chief of Staff of Rep. Elizabeth Porter, both of whom resigned.

The Governor's Board remains unrepresentative of the diversity of Columbia County and in line with former Board Chairman and now Manager of the Authority, Jackson P. "Jack" Berry's 2008 remark that Board members who are "free, white, and over 21" can answer questions.

Dr. Mark Thompson of Lake City was appointed to Dr. Waseem Khan's vacated seat after Khan resigned. Dr. Khan did not live in Columbia County for some time, something which he denied in the County's mainstream media, The Lake City Reporter, in which he was quoted as saying about his residency, "There is no issue here."

Dr. Khan's homestead exemption has for years been in Alachua County.

Dr. Thompson works with Dr. Khan at North Florida Cancer Care and is affiliated with the Lake City Medical Center (an HCA hospital -- HCA is listed on the NYSE) as well as Shands at Lakeshore, which is leased by Community Health Systems (CHS), a NY Stock Exchange listed corporation.

Dr. Thompson's term expires on May 12, 2020.

Jay Swisher works at Florida Gateway College in public safety and was appointed to fill Tim Murphy's term, which expires on August 22, 2020.

LSHA Board Remains Undiversified

In 2008 then Board Chairman, now Authority Manager made a racist remark which in the civilized world would have meant resignation, dismissal, or removal.

In a two part series in 2008, Mr. Berry and the Governor's appointed board defied public accountability.

 • Part I:  Lake Shore Hospital Authority Clams Up
Berry Defies Public Accountability

 • Part II:  Columbia County’s LSHA Out of Control
Racist Remark Proves Chairman Jack Berry Unfit For Public Office

When your reporter asked Mr. Berry if board members were allowed to answer questions, Mr. Berry responded, "If they’re free, white and over twenty-one."

No one answered.


A decade later, with a now all white board that is over 21, nothing has changed. The Governor's Board still refuses to answer questions, while Mr. Berry added a new element to his failure to answer by turning his back on residents as they came to the microphone.

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