In Mark Ballard’s column of Sunday, July 22, he seems to belittle the fact that Bobby Yarborough is a sausage maker. Bobby is proud of the business that he and his brothers operate.
He has been the CEO of that company for 15 years. He has also chaired many organizations in the Baton Rouge community, including Boys and Girls Club, Academic Distinction Fund and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. He was one of the youngest Golden Deeds Award recipients that your newspaper sponsors.
Bobby has chaired for 31/2 years the Capital Campaign for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and helped raise $11.1 million for a new building to increase the capacity and efficiencies to feed the hungry in 11 parishes. Bobby gave a significant monetary donation for that cause. He may not have known how many “FTEs” the hospitals have(that was the question asked by the House Committee), but he knows how many people in Baton Rouge go to bed hungry in our 11-parish area.
If Ballard was also implying that Bobby knows nothing about hospitals or health care delivery, he did so disingenuously.
Bobby has been the chair of the University Medical Center Management Corp. for two years and has been working diligently with this endeavor close to a full-time basis and receives no compensation. The UMCMC is the overseer of the new $1.08 billion academic medical center hospital, which is the state’s largest construction project. Ballard knows this.
Bobby has visited many academic medical systems around the country, including New York Presbyterian (Cornell and Columbia Universities), the Academic Medical Center of UAB (University of Alabama-Birmingham), and Wexner Medical Center (Ohio State University). He held high-level meetings with the top authorities that run these centers.
He led a panel of UMCMC board members on visits (using their own time and money for the trips) to gain knowledge from these successful academic medical centers. He and his board continue to have in-depth discussions with national health-care consultants.
I think this demonstrates that Bobby is well aware of and actively engaged in the reality of a 21st century health care delivery system with its challenges and opportunities.
I feel that Ballard is being sophomoric. He could have asked anyone from the LSU system why Bobby was speaking for the board. But I guess that would not have made for such an interesting quote as “Where’s Waldo?”
It is my opinion that Ballard owes an apology to both Bobby and Dr. Fred Cerise.
retired teacher and wife of Bobby Yarborough