Hospital loses money in August, still ahead for year

Published 9:24 am Friday, September 21, 2012

A brief meeting of the Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority on Tuesday, Sept. 18, quickly discharged the short agenda.

No capital equipment purchase requests were presented and the budget for that category indicated that $790,000 has been allocated from a $1 million dollar annual budget.

Key financial indicators for August showed a net income loss of $20,743, the second monthly loss in a row. July’s was a negative $25,750. However, Glennie Bench, chair of the finance committee, while expressing disappointment, said this was no surprise as August is traditionally a “down” month, and the hospital is still $674,088 ahead of the budgeted figures for the year.

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CEO Billy Walker reported that renovations to some of the smaller rooms at Willow Ridge are being considered. Currently, there are five vacancies at the care facility, which has 17 residents. Although there are openings, Walker said there is a waiting list of people wanting larger rooms. The hospital is considering knocking out adjoining walls between the smaller rooms, to create rooms with sitting areas and larger bathrooms.

The Authority was advised of upcoming events for the month of October.

• Wednesday, Oct. 17 — A breast cancer awareness lunch and learn will be presented at the Kirbo Center from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., with guest speakers, free lunch and door prizes. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (229) 243-6187.

• Thursday, Oct. 18 — A senior citizens health fair will be presented at Cloud Livestock Facility, at the fairgrounds, 7 a.m. to noon.

• Wednesday. Oct. 24 — Community health fair, Cloud Livestock Facility, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other announcements from Walker pertained to progress on the “Bridge to Excellence” program. They involve a Spirit Day on Sept. 28, when employees are encouraged to wear the colors of their favorite teams. There is also planning going on for the fair booth and the Christmas float. The Leadership Development group is working on distributing to the hospital employees copies of the HCAPs —  federal surveys of hospital patients about their experiences while hospitalized — to help them understand where they can improve services. The committee is also putting together discharge packets with full instructions for patients.

Work is progressing on the Amelia Avenue primary care unit, as evidenced by steel framework for the exterior walls going up. The city is expected to begin work on the retention pond next month.

Following a brief, closed executive committee meeting, the board came back into open session and voted to approve the minutes of the executive board meeting and medical staff credentials for the newly appointed Dr. Jarrod Wiegman and Dr. Katherine Wiegman, and a renewal for Dr. Edward R. Jackson.