Hospital names new docs

MMH talks growth in surgery, PT

    Melissa Memorial Hospital CEO Trampas Hutches announced several incoming providers and promotions during the May 28 meeting of the East Phillips County Hospital District Board.
    Many of the appointments reflect the development of new service lines and fulfillment of the hospital’s strategic plan.
    Dr. Anthony Sanchez joins as an orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon, complementing the hospital’s full-time surgical team. Julia Martin was also promoted from an interim role to full-time operating room manager.
    The expansion of surgical services at MMH coincides with the hospital’s strategic plan, and Hutches mentioned that the hospital handled a record 40 cases last month.
    “Having that staff available to do surgeries pretty quickly has helped out quite a bit,” he said.
    Daniel O’Keefe will start July 8 as a physical therapist and rehab manager. The hospital’s physical therapy department has expanded under the direction of Theresa Lopez-Scott, who took over at the beginning of the year. In February, Hutches said the patient volume had doubled since Lopez-Scott arrived, and at that time the department was looking to hire additional staff.
    In the emergency department, Dr. Lewis Bui will serve as a full-time emergency room, hospital and clinic physician, and Mackenzie Flaherty will join Holyoke EMS.
    Cathy Harshbarger was also promoted to chief clinical officer, Katie Buchanan is joining dietary services, and Cassie Chappell will return as patient care coordinator/chronic care manager.
    In his administrator update, Hutches also mentioned that Centennial Mental Health will be leasing space at MMH to offer mental health services, which is another goal of the hospital’s strategic plan.
    Hutches said two companies are also being considered to provide telehospitalist services for MMH.
    
2019 financial slump continues
    MMH CFO Wes White reported that the hospital came in below budget in April, marking a net loss for the month and the year so far.
    He and Hutches indicated a drop in swing bed days as one key strain on the hospital’s budget this year. They also noted that utilization in most areas fell in April compared to the previous month and were mixed compared with the same period of time in 2018.
    MMH saw a net loss of $90,118 in April, contributing to a $44,733 loss year-to-date. Inpatient admissions were 69 compared to 68 in March, and inpatient days remained the same at 198. Swing bed admissions were 16, down from 20, and swing bed days were 112 compared to 202. Emergency department visits also dropped from 430 to 381. Radiology, CT, MRI and ultrasound exams were 1,109 compared to 1,186.
    In response to a question by board member Gary Rahe, White said they hope to see a reversal in their downward trend with a higher volume of surgeries and suggested that the present drop in revenues is part of regular, random fluctuations in utilization.
    Hospital staff said they hope to increase swing bed utilization in part by reaching out to referral centers and reminding them of MMH’s program.
    The year-to-date revenue drop is also offset by $376,000 in grant funds, which is 38% above budget. That does not factor in new grants, including a $400,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation for equipment at the hospital’s dental clinic and a $75,000 grant for projects associated with the Colorado Health Innovation Community organized by CHF.
    
Young, Rahe, Powell return as EPCHD board officers
    Board members Steve Young, Rahe and Angela Powell were respectively re-elected as president, vice president and secretary/treasurer during Tuesday night’s meeting.
    The three ran unopposed and were voted in unanimously by the board. They will serve one-year terms in their positions.
    
Other business
    In other business at the May 28 meeting, the board:
    — Held a 12-minute executive session to determine positions relative to matters in negotiation.
    — Approved the hospital’s quality improvement and infection prevention plans.
    — Heard an update on the Londa Wernet Bradford Cancer Center, which is slated to be finished by June 26. The hospital is currently seeking staff, including a medical director and oncologists.
    — Approved new appointments for Eugene Chung, M.D., Kamran Janjua, M.D., Farukh Mian, M.D., and Jonathan Reed, M.D., in radiology.
    — Approved the reappointment of Michael Hajek, M.D., in orthopedic surgery.
    — Approved provisional ends/regular appointments for Nathaniel Chappell, M.D., Andrew Clithero, D.O., Allison Edwards, M.D., Judith Mago, P.A., and Kathleen Raphael, M.D., in family medicine; Jeremiah Andersen, M.D., in pathology; Jason Hill, M.D., in teleneurology; and Michael Salib, M.D., in telepsychiatry.
    — Approved the resignation of Armando Garza, M.D., in radiology.

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