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Hospital in better shape than this time last year

The Authority of Memorial Hospital and Manor met Tuesday, January 21, for the first time since November, as they took a break during December. Therefore, the financials for both months were reviewed and approved.

The Key indicators for December showed a very positive net income of $1,626,186, attributed in part to the $923,846 payment from the county of the two mil portion of property taxes paid in December to the hospital for indigent care. County Commissioner Rusty Davis, who is also the treasurer for the Authority, reminded the Authority that back when he took office as a commissioner, the City and County were in the midst of a lawsuit brought by the City regarding the distribution of the service delivery strategy. One of the requirements the City demanded was that the County designate a portion of the property taxes collected each year to the hospital. “The County Commissioners had no idea what financial condition the hospital was in at that point,” said Davis. “When the decision was made by the commission to designate the funds, a lot of folks didn’t like it,” continued Davis, who said it has been a lifesaver.

He believes without it the hospital would have been closed by now, and that would have been a disaster for a county seeking economic development opportunities.

CEO Jim Lambert spoke of the key indicators saying, “They are pretty good compared to last year. Both November and December have been pretty good months.” He was pleased that some of the changes that have been made, specifically in the benefits section, are working. Even better, he reported during the corporate scorecard report that 96 percent of customers surveyed have been pleased with the services they have received while at Memorial Hospital & Manor.

One of the items from his CEO Report is that as of January 6 the hospital has partnered with an organization called Turning Point out of Moultrie, to help provide psychiatric evaluations for patients in the Emergency Department. It will help identify the needs of those patients, then facilitate the patient assessment and proper placement to improve patient care and reduce the time to transfer the patient. They also expressed a willingness to help with patients in the Manor, and if there is enough need for psychiatric services in the hospital, Turning Point has expressed a willingness to place an individual in the hospital on a full-time basis.

Another report on the new wound center shows the volume continues to build with a strong influx of new patients. Dr. Don Robinson has joined Dr. Myers and Dr. Walker in serving the center to help handle the volume.

There continues to be a shortage of nurses in the hospital and several projects are being undertaken to remedy some of the issues. The hospital is working with the Foundation to support nursing scholarships and the Inland Golf Tournament this year will help supplement that fund. Meanwhile, orientation and competencies for nurses and CNAs are being revised, and a CNA training program is being developed.