Critics continue to question SMH’s handling of COVID

Discussion continues over Sarasota Memorial Hospital's handling of COVID-19 pandemic.
Discussion continues over Sarasota Memorial Hospital's handling of COVID-19 pandemic.(WWSB)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:55 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Residents, medical staff and others spoke out again during Monday’s hospital board meeting at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Many of them who spoke during public comments were upset with the way the hospital handled COVID. Others praised the hospital and its care given during the height in the pandemic.

Some residents were pushing for alternative treatments during the pandemic, which SMH says it provided.

“The love and compassion when you hear the stories of people who did not get the correct treatment here,” said Michelle Pozzie, a Sarasota County resident. “Love and compassion says at the expense of those loved ones who lost people due to protocols still being dictated in this hospital,” she said. “We’re here and we’re not going anywhere.”

This all stems from a report released last month of how the hospital handled the pandemic during the last three years. That report concluded the hospital saved many lives, but it was also critical of visitation restrictions, among other issues.

“I hope the people in Sarasota understand that what the hospital did during COVID-19 was to ensure the very best health care we could provide for our citizens,” said Tramm Hudson, chairman of the hospital board for SMH.

SMH says staff has even received threatening messages recently on social media.

“The attacks are unfounded and reprehensible,” said Hudson. “We’ve had death threats against doctors, our medical staff has been subjected to some very rude behavior.”

For many who spoke at Monday’s hospital board meeting, they would like to see a third party investigate the hospital A rally opposing SMH’s actions were held Monday morning in Venice. Some of the groups represented at that rally included Moms for America and the Zelenko Freedom Foundation.