Interim CFO promises ‘sense of urgency’ to get hospital on track

Published 5:17 pm Friday, September 23, 2016

Two new employees were introduced at the September meeting of Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority this week.

Authority chair, Glennie Bench introduced Gregg Majors, of Dallas, Texas, who has been named Interim CFO. “He has hit the ground running,” said Bench in her intro.

CEO Billy Walker gave background information on Majors, saying he brings 30 years of experience in health care finances to the position.

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He has a vast array of experience and knowledge working with hospitals and surgical centers, and has spent the last 10 years doing interim work with hospitals large and small in turnaround situations like ours. “He has a very practical and knowledgeable approach,” Walker added.

As the Authority reviewed the key indicators for August 2016, it was noted that there was a net income loss of $545,082 for the month, a total of $1,300,108 in cash available, and $5,383,726 due in accounts payable. “This is not good,” commented  Authority Treasurer, Charles Tyson.

Walker added, “We have a significant cash flow shortage and are trying to close the gaps.” Majors is meeting with each department head, looking to reduce expenses and obligations, as well as analyze productivity. They are also making sure they maximize collections on claims to improve cash flow.

Bench said they will have to first address the short-term issues, then will address long term issues. “We will focus on the services offered—the money-makers. Some services may have to be discontinued.” Tyson added that the decisions that will have to be made will get some heat. They will be difficult and controversial, but they have to be made if we are going to save this hospital.”

Walker said some of the decisions will involve personnel and some contract services that will have to be discontinued or rebid.

Bench told Majors, “ We appreciate the methodology you are using in this procedure you are proposing. Everything has to be on the table. We are here to support you.”

Majors said in all the years he has been working in this field, the one constant is the commitment from the top to keep the hospital alive and open. He added that there will have to be some significant changes made quickly and implemented as soon as possible, saying, “I promise you the sense of urgency could not be higher.” He believed he would have the specifics by the first of next week

The hospital will also be holding educational sessions to promote the Heart Tax Credit Program. Bench said the financial planners are key to the success of the program. (You can read more about the program in a separate article that appears in this issue of The Post Searchlight on page 9A.)

Just prior to the start of the executive session, the new director of nursing for the hospital was introduced. Lori Eubanks, a Bainbridge native, has spent the last 35 years working at Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany. She received her B.A. in Nursing from Darton College and holds a Master’s in Nursing Management from Troy State University. She began her new assignment with Memorial Hospital on Tuesday.