Jeffrey M. Fried, Beebe Medical Center President and CEO, explains what the Bradley Settlement Agreement Means to Beebe Medical Center
I believe it is welcome news to all that a settlement agreement, subject to Court approval, has been reached on behalf of the victims of Earl Bradley. All parties involved with the settlement recognized from the very beginning that the sooner a settlement for the children whom Bradley harmed could be reached, the sooner that resources could be made available to them and the sooner the children, their families and the community, could begin the process of moving forward.
I have been asked what the settlement means to Beebe Medical Center, and what kind of impact will it have on the services we provide to our community. Will the hospital be able to continue to treat those who seek medical care each day at one of our locations, hire staff to provide care at the hospital, and buy needed equipment to stay current with medical advancements and technology? If the settlement as it is currently structured is upheld by the court at its fairness hearing on November 13, then ‘yes’, Beebe will be able to continue to serve the community just as it has for the past 96 years.
Though the court has made it clear that we cannot comment on the specifics of the litigation at this time, I can share that the financial viability of Beebe will not be compromised nor will the care we offer to our patients be impacted negatively once the settlement has been approved.
As set forth in the Joint Statement released by all counsel last week, the fund created by the settlement is comprised of insurance proceeds, a contribution of cash from Beebe Medical, and the provision of medical services in the future for the victims. Because we have anticipated a potential settlement for some time, we have been able to set aside the cash needed to meet the terms of the settlement without compromising the hospital’s mission to provide the best possible health care to the community.
The parties to this suit have acted in the best interest of the victims of Bradley’s horrific acts and their families, and have worked collaboratively to promote a solution aimed at healing and reconciliation. Though the legal proceedings may be coming to an end, we must recognize that for many individuals, and for our community as a whole, a tragic legacy remains and the most vulnerable in our community will continue to need our support and assistance.
Jeffrey M. Fried FACHE
President & CEO