By Louie Graves
Howard Memorial Hospital Administrator Debra Wright says that the hospital is considering its options in the wake of the resignation and departure of Dr. Luis Barandiaran, one of three general surgeons who have enabled HMH to provide 24/7 surgical coverage.
Dr. Barandiaran, who had practiced here since 2003 when he came from Corpus Christi, Texas, is reportedly going into full retirement in Colorado.
He, along with Dr. John Hearns-berger and Dr. Mark Sutherland, have shared surgical coverage at HMH in recent months.
Wright and others at the hospital were recently notified of the resignation by letter from Dr. Barandiaran.
The administrator issued a statement: “Dr. Barandiaran has been an asset to HMH and the communities it serves and will be missed by all those he encountered during his tenure here. I wish him all the best life has to offer as he embarks on this new journey.”
Wright said that the hospital’s goal was to “maintain 24/7 coverage.”
Currently, Dr. Hearnsberger is scheduled to give surgical coverage for 26 weeks a year, and Dr. Sutherland for eight weeks. Dr. Barandiaran provided coverage for 18 weeks but had steadily reduced his coverage.
Dr. Barandiaran and his wife, Mariel, are natives of Peru.
She provided testing service for Spanish-speaking students at many schools in southwest Arkansas.