Over the past eight years, I have had the privilege of being able to serve side by side with John Brabham on the Tuomey Hospital Board, the Tuomey Foundation Board and the Palmetto Health (Prisma) Board. He has been one of, if not, the strongest supporters of Tuomey Hospital. John has served our local hospital and local community health care system for the last 15 years. There were many times when John gave up time with family and friends to help our hospital navigate through tedious negotiations with the government and also subsequent negotiations with potential partners for our hospital. Over the course of his service, he led and negotiated with honesty, fairness, concern and a core belief that Sumter needed a strong hospital system for everybody in all parts of our community.
As chairman of the Tuomey board, John always displayed the unique talent of knowing when to lead and when to follow and knowing the difference between the two. He treated every board member with respect and as part of the team. He made sure that everybody had a voice in all of the negotiation and settlement conversations. At the peak of these conversations, there were many times that he spent more hours in his volunteer role than he did at work, always emphasizing that we needed hospital care for everyone in Sumter. At times when things looked bleak, he always encouraged our hospital to focus on the patients, not the headlines, and for the board to continue with our process, and that things will work out for the best.
When the merger with Palmetto Health was announced, he gave everybody else the credit. With his negotiation skills, Tuomey stayed a local hospital, run with local leadership, versus part of a hospital system that was managed in another state or town. Many of the board remain amazed as to how John negotiated for Tuomey to be an integral partner of the strongest and largest hospital system in the state versus being purchased by an outside health care group who would only look at Sumter as a revenue generator, instead of a community in need of quality health care.
John’s tenure on the Palmetto Health board ended with his 2018 term. I only hope that in years to come Sumter will come to realize how selfless and focused John has been to ensure that top quality health care at our local hospital remained intact. Thank you John for your commitment to our community and our hospital. Thank you for all you have done for the Sumter community that has richly impacted so many.
You have my utmost respect.
Prisma Health Midlands
Board member, Tuomey Foundation chairman
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