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Published: Thursday, 10/20/2005

Panelist vows to resign if employer wins contract

MONROE The chairman of the Monroe County Emergency Medical Authority s operations committee said last night she would resign from the authority should a group that includes her employer win the county s ambulance business.

I do not want to cause a problem, and if I can help by not being involved, I will, Patricia Kosanovich said last night at an authority meeting.

Ms. Kosanovich s employer, Mercy Memorial Hospital System, announced this week it will join ProMedica Medical Transportation Network, Mercy Health Partners LifeStar Ambulance, both of Toledo, and Huron Valley Ambulance, of Ann Arbor, to form Monroe Community Ambulance.

The new company will bid on the county s ambulance business. Bid proposals are due Monday.

Ms. Kosanovich has been criticized for her role in drafting the request for proposal while working at the hospital, where she directs outpatient services and program development.

Hospital officials said this summer they were unhappy with the county s ambulance service and were exploring whether to join one or more companies to form a venture that would compete for the county s ambulance service.

Mercy Memorial President Dan Wakeman said Ms. Kosanovich was excluded from any discussions related to a possible ambulance service venture.

Ms. Kosanovich concurred. I can attest they kept me out, she said last night.

Kevin Natter, a paramedic residing in Sylvania Township who has filed a pair of complaints against the authority on protocol issues, said he doesn t believe Ms. Kosanovich, who, he noted, meets regularly with the county s temporary ambulance service providers, ProMedica and HVA, both of which are bidding on the new contract she helped write.

How can things not be discussed, either intentionally or unintentionally? he said. I feel it taints the whole process.

Ms. Kosanovich said earlier in the week: I know I have high integrity. If they don t believe me, that s their choice.

With the bid process nearing completion, the authority last night scrambled to revise the scoring system by which it will grade proposals. That necessity became apparent earlier in the evening after member Michael Helmstadter criticized the present system that awards 17 percent of the final score on the quality of the presentation candidates make before the authority.

Mr. Helmstadter argued that an average presentation should not penalize an otherwise strong entry.

Other members questioned the wisdom of a point system dealing with the clothing attire worn by the candidates.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kosanovich said the recent overturning of the county s two-paramedic per ambulance rule by the Medical Control Board cannot go into effect until the state approves a request that will be filed next month and a 60-day waiting period concludes.



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