July 24, 2014 - 10:38
Hospital bond paid off

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Dr. William Lee joined members of the Copper Basin General Hospital District Board and Copper Basin Community Hospital, Inc last Friday for a note-burning ceremony at the hospital.
Dr. William Lee joined members of the Copper Basin General Hospital District Board and Copper Basin Community Hospital, Inc last Friday for a note-burning ceremony at the hospital. The District Board initially obtained the $1.3 million bond in 1979 when Erlanger was managing the hospital. Due to be paid of in 2016, the board managed to pay off the bond early, giving opportunity to now use the funds to make improvements to the hospital.
When the purchase was made, Keith Ballew was Hospital Administrator and board members were Chairman Bill Baliles; Vice-Chair Robert Hughes; and members Louis Akin, R. E. Barclay, Jack Stewart, Juanita Odom, and Jackie Russell. Present Board members are Chairman Bill Standridge; Vice-Chair Ron O’Neal; Secretery Beatrice Tallent; Treasurer, Cecil Arp; and members Jack Collins, Wanda Cheek, and Doug Collins.
Copper Basin Medical Center is currently leased from the Hospital District Board by Copper Basin Community Hospital, Inc. The District Board was initially formed in 2006 with the help of Dr. Lee, who saw a need for an active board and contacted the cities of Ducktown and Copperhill, as well as the county.  Appointments were made from each entity and included Ricky Peak, David Brackett, Beatrice Tallent, Greg Barker, Andrea Rymer, Dan Dale, and Ron O’Neal.
Dr. Lee was one of the original doctors at Copper Basin Medical Center. He began his work there in the 1950s, when the hospital was built. He was born in Etowah, but lived his entire adult life in the Copper Basin. He and his wife Lorane have been married for 67 years. He began his career as a pharmacist before returning to medical school.
Throughout his life, Dr. Lee took care of patients and served as a medical missionary. When he became unable to travel, he organized free clinics in McCaysville and Ellijay. The clinics have now been taken over by Dr. Shaw due to the failing health of Dr. Lee.
Members of Copper Basin Community Hospital, Inc., include Chairman James Talley; Vice-Chair Ron O’Neal; Secretary Randy Collins, Beatrice Collins, Treasurer; and members Cecil Arp, Bill Standridge, Doug Collins, Richard Moore, and Dr. Mahmood Siddiqui.
The volunteer members meet monthly with the goal of maintaining and protecting the hospital, which remains community owned. Donald Curtis currently serves as Interim CEO of the hospital.

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