Hospital Authority approves 2017 budget, purchase of new IT system

Published 7:12 pm Friday, April 22, 2016

Financials were definitely the topic of the Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority meeting Tuesday as the board approved a 2017 budget that included a capital improvement plan and a capital equipment purchase plan.

The board approved an expenditure of $5,794.20 for new chairs for the Radiology waiting room, and the replacement of two of four compressors for the heating and cooling system at the Memorial Medical Center at a cost of $11,655.

A lengthy discussion was held regarding the current IT system, considered to be inadequate. The hospital IT Director Stan Ott and consultant Jim Morrow presented the options they have studied. They ruled out going completely to Cloud as it is very expensive. The recommendation was to replace the existing hardware and soft ware with a new, system, such as Dell, and add a Cloud disaster recovery for a total of $1,384,000, and hire an additional IT technician to help with the set-up and ongoing service. Some of the board members questioned how all this will be paid for and were advised by CFO Bill Huling, that they have a loan commitment from a financial institution to finance it. The board approved it based on securing the financing at an agreeable rate. The new system should be totally up and going in four months, with immediate needs being taken care of first.

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The Nominating Committee came back with the recommendation to retain the current officers in their current positions, and the board approved the recommendation.

CEO Billy Walker gave his update that included the status of three physicians being recruited. One, an OB/GYN, has committed to join the Magnolia Women’s Center in the fall. Also being recruited are a general surgeon and an internal medicine physician.

Walker also reported the Hospital Foundation half-marathon was a huge success making $6,000.

The Fifth Annual Hospital Derby Party, sponsored by the Hospital Foundation, will be held Saturday, May 7 at Southwind Plantation. Tickets are $75.00 each and available from any Derby committee member or from Carol Clenney at the hospital. All proceeds go to ongoing renovations of the aging hospital.

The collaboration meetings on combining medical coverage with the city and county are moving along. Another meeting is scheduled with a broker supplying figures.

The State Legislature has passed a 70percent tax credit on state income tax for any individual or corporation that makes a financial donation to hospitals.

Hospital week is May 9 through13 and the annual employee awards day will be May 12.

The Authority moved to go into executive session to discuss personnel, among other things. After a lengthy discussion period, they returned to open meeting, but failed to take any personnel action, approving only the minutes from prior executive session and approving the credentialing of two physicians.