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Hospital looks toward future
Pat Solis, finance director for the Connally Memorial Medical Center, presents the December 2012 financial and statistical report during the Jan. 17 board meeting of the Wilson Memorial Hospital District.
Amid continued growth, the year 2013 could come with a lot of changes for the Wilson Memorial Hospital District. Change was the overriding theme of the district’s Jan. 17 board meeting.
Perhaps the board itself could experience a change in its makeup. Connally Memorial Medical Center Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jerome Brooks told the board that the terms on five of its nine elected seats end in May. This is why the board voted to order an election May 11, in which voters will select a representative from each of the county’s four precincts and an at-large representative. These seats currently are held by:
•Monica Flores, Precinct 1
•Ronnie Eckel, Precinct 2
•Sue Coats, Precinct 3
•Sam Carter, Precinct 4
•Jimmy Fietsam, at large
The filing deadline for places on the ballot is Friday, March 1, at 5 p.m.
Another change will come in the form of a hospital CEO. Karl Hittle of Endeavor Healthcare, which manages the hospital, said 73 applicants responded to a recent posting for the position. The field already has been narrowed to 35, he said, and it again will be narrowed to 15. From there, Hittle said he would narrow the list to five, which he will bring before the board at its February meeting.
The board in November had selected Tim Jones as Brooks’ successor, after the current CEO announced he was leaving Connally to perform regional management duties for Endeavor. Jones since has decided against leaving his current position as CEO of the Heart of Texas Healthcare System in Brady, Brooks said.
In other business, board members reached a consensus to hold a strategic planning workshop during a special meeting in February. Among the items to be included in the discussion are:
•Updates on the status of goals the hospital set in 2012.
•Alternative means of physician recruitment.
•The future of the North County Health Center on U.S. 181 near F.M. 775, following the termination of the hospital’s agreement with Jerome Kizzart P.C. The board since has approved an agreement with another group -- which will include Dr. Rodney D. Ekmark -- to practice there.
•Improved utilization of the two-story medical office building adjacent to the hospital on U.S. 181, for which the hospital is seven years into a 15-year lease at $29,000 per month.
In attendance: Board members Amy Clark, Sue Coats, Monica Flores, Keith Johanson, Sam Carter, Tommy Soriero, Ronny Eckel, Jimmy Fietsam, and Sandy Yow; Chief of Staff Emily Frye, Administrative Assistant Shirley Bienek, Finance Director Pat Solis, Marketing Director Nancy Preyor-Johnson, Chief Executive Officer Jerome Brooks; and Curtis Rojas and Karl Hittle of Endeavor Healthcare.
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