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Tyson new hospital authority chair

Citing personal constraints and business demands, Memorial Hospital Authority Chairman Joe Livingston stepped down as chair of the authority at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

He does, however, intend to remain an active board member as his time allows.

Nominating committee chairman Johnny Grimsley commended Livingston for the fine job he has done as a chair. He then submitted a proposed slate of officers, which was approved as submitted: Charles Tyson, chairman; Linda Jones, vice-chair; Glennie Bench, treasurer, and Johnny Grimsley, secretary.

Other actions voted on were the continuation of contracts with CPA and legal firms to serve the hospital’s needs. They are the following: Draffin and Tucker, CPA; Langley and Lee, LLC; Alston and Bird; attorneys Tom Conger and George Floyd.

Two equipment and capital improvement purchases were approved by the board. They were a R-series ALS biphasic defibrillator for the medical surgery department, at a total cost of $12,919.80; and the purchase of a recertified GEM Premier 3000 blood gas analyzer, with new software and CD drive, at an estimated cost of $66,482.33 over a five-year period.

Tobacco-free policy

Effective April 4, the hospital will put into place a tobacco-free policy prohibiting the use of any form of tobacco inside or outside of the hospital grounds, including parking lots, and medical offices and facilities owned by Memorial Hospital.

The only exceptions are Willow Ridge and Memorial Manor. It was explained by CO-CEO Cynthia Vickers that those are considered the homes of the residents.

Vickers said this policy came about as a result of suggestions of the employees. Assistance programs are in place to help employees quit smoking and are available through physicians for their patients.

Financial key indicators

CO-CEO and financial officer Billy Walker reported the hospital had a net income loss of $89.253 for February. Current year-to-date loss is $1,808,628, compared to net income loss of $2,339,260 for last year-to-date.

Gross patient revenue for February was $6,037,110 compared to $6,369,339 for January. February expenses were $3,015,680, compared to January’s $3,085,251.

Willow Ridge has reported three profitable months for the first time. It is reported to be at full occupancy, but the main reason for the profitability is thought to be as a result of the replacement of the A/C unit in 2010. Over a six-month period, overall kWh usage decreased by 46 percent, while expenses related to electricity use fell by 32 percent.

CO-CEO’s update

Walker reported the survey being conducted by the Baptist Leadership group had begun. On-line surveys are available for employees and medical staff and the consultant group had been on site the previous week to conduct personal interviews and focus groups. It is expected they will make a report of their findings at the April board meeting.

On May 8-14 Memorial Hospital will observe hospital week, with awards presentations, a picnic and drawing for employee prizes, being on Thursday.