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Eagle Ford: Three new members join hospital board following election
Wilson Memorial Hospital District board members (from left) Ronnie Eckel and Sam Carter and newcomers Larry Richardson, Tom Miller, and Tom Ray are sworn in at the board’s May 16 meeting.
Wilson County NewsMay 22, 2013 4,613 views 4 comments
There are three new faces at the table of the Wilson Memorial Hospital District board of directors following the May 11 election. The board oversees the operation of the Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville.
In addition to newcomers Tom Ray, Tom Miller, and Larry Richardson, incumbents Ronnie Eckel and Sam Carter -- both of whom ran unopposed -- were sworn in at the board’s May 16 meeting.
After the board was seated, Eckel again was chosen as president. Amy Clark will serve as vice president, while Sandy Yow will serve as the board’s secretary/treasurer. Eckel also made committee appointments, which were approved by the board, including:
•Bylaws and Personnel: Clark, Miller, Yow, and Carter.
•Finance: Keith Johanson, Richardson, Miller, and Tommy Soriero.
•Joint Conference: Eckel and Carter will join Chief of Staff Dr. Emily Frye and two representatives of the hospital’s medical staff.
•Executive: Eckel, Clark, and Yow.
•Strategic Planning: Clark, Richardson, Ray, and Miller.
Eckel reminded the board members that each committee meeting is posted in compliance with the state’s Open Meetings Act and that all are welcome to attend.
Also during the meeting, the board accepted the April 2013 monthly and year-to-date financial and statistical reports. According to Chief Financial Officer Patricia Solis, the hospital ended the month with a net loss of $9,846. The budget had projected a profit of $240,295. Solis believes that a drop in inpatient revenue because of a slow month in Connally’s emergency room contributed to the shortfall. Another contributing factor was employee merit pay increases, which became effective last month.
Year-to-date, however, the hospital remains strong. Solis reported that the hospital has realized $762,381 in net income, compared to a projected $1,946,951.
The hospital’s financial picture also continues to brighten as it relates to assets and liabilities. Solis said that Connally’s net assets are valued at approximately $25,939,000, compared to $24,224,000 in 2012. Liabilities have decreased from $15,483,000 last year to $14,092,000 in 2013.
Also relating to finance, the board approved the allocation of up to $310,000 to purchase a new digital radiography and fluoroscopy X-ray machine. Connally’s Chief Executive Officer Jerome Brooks said the current unit is no longer functional because it has become too difficult to find parts, due to its age. The machine was first put into service at the former Wilson Memorial Hospital, which preceded Connally.
The board also approved the expenditure of up to $12,000 for the purchase of a biphasic defibrillator.
The two purchases will help the hospital to better prepare itself for Wilson County’s future medical needs. That also is the hope of the board’s ongoing strategic planning process, for which Brooks said the goal is to map out Connally’s next three to five years. The board voted unanimously to retain the services of Peter Maddox of Royer-Maddox-Herron Advisors, who will help facilitate this process for the next nine months. The board voted to pay Maddox up to $8,000 plus expenses.
In other business, the board met in closed session. One of the items related to “consultation with attorneys.” Hospital spokesman Nancy Preyor-Johnson said following the meeting that when the board reconvened, it voted to terminate the services of the Cox Smith law firm. The board also directed Karl Hittle of Endeavor Healthcare to select another firm to aid the hospital district in a lawsuit.
The board had voted in March to have Cox Smith prepare a suit against Davis & Wright, P.C. -- formerly Davis & Wilkerson -- related to that firm’s representation of the hospital in the execution of a 2009 physician recruitment agreement with doctors Jerome D. Kizzart and Roy S. Fisher.
In attendance: Board members Ronnie Eckel, Keith Johanson, Sandy Yow, Amy Clark, Sam Carter, Tom Miller, Tom Ray, and Larry Richardson; former board members Monica Flores and Sue Coats; Chief of Staff Dr. Emily Frye, Chief Executive Officer Jerome Brooks, Administrative Assistant Shirley Bienek, Chief Nursing Officer Celeste Brizzee, Quality Director Sue Tackitt, Chief Financial Officer Patricia Solis, Staff Accountant Barbara Meza, and Karl Hittle of Endeavor Healthcare.
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