Texas County Memorial Hospital will add another full-time physician in November, hospital board members heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.
“Dr. Jennifer Groner has signed a contract with us to work full-time in the Mountain Grove Clinic,” Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, said.
Groner is a board certified family medicine physician with fellowship training in surgical obstetrics. She currently resides in Lees Summit, MO, but she will relocate to Texas County.
“Dr. Groner will see patients of all ages, and she will provide complete OB care, too,” Murray said. Groner will also participate in the on-call rotation at TCMH, providing coverage for hospital inpatients.
Murray reported that recruiting efforts for a full-time general surgeon are also underway.
“We have a site visit with a physician planned later this week,” Murray said.
According to Murray, the general surgery candidate and his wife have ties to Missouri and hope to return to the area to practice when the candidate completes his residency program in 2018.
Murray reported that the Sleep Studies Lab in the TCMH Office Annex has increased its appointment days to four days a week and five days a week in alternating weeks. The Sleep Studies Lab is two beds.
“Our goal is ultimately to increase the sleep lab hours to a seven day a week operation, but we’re moving into that gradually,” Murray said.
Juan Mella, MD, pulmonologist and sleep studies specialist oversees the Sleep Studies Lab at TCMH.
“Dr. Mella is very positive about how we are progressing, and he’s doing everything he can to help us get there,” Murray said.
Renovations at the TCMH Medical Complex have been underway for several months as TCMH geared up for the arrival of Dr. Cory Offutt and additional mid-level provider help in the TCMH Walk In Clinic. In addition to creating additional exam rooms for patients, the renovation includes creating one common waiting and reception area for both sides of the building.
“Renovation work is going strong,” Murray said. “We are about to open the hallway connecting the two sides of the building.”
TCMH officials believe the creation of one reception area will better utilize staff and the flow of patient care in the clinic. Additional clinic rooms are next on the renovation list in the Medical Complex.
Murray reported that Marvin Colyer, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, will return to TCMH in October to work full-time in the surgery department.
“Marvin left here on very good terms several years ago to be closer to his grandchildren in Farmington,” Murray said. The Colyer’s plan to move back to Texas County for the full-time position.
Hospital board members unanimously agreed for Murray to sign a certified resolution as part of a $206,000 grant request from the Delta Regional Authority State Economic Assistance Program.
The grant would be paired with TCMH Healthcare Foundation donations and tax credits to complete the construction portion of the new surgery department. The resolution says that the completion of the project would create five new jobs and retain the 312 full-time-equivalent employees currently at TCMH.
“We believe that the completion of the new surgery department and the subsequent renovation to the obstetrics and intensive care departments would definitely help us create five new positions and retain our current full-time staff,” Murray said.
If the hospital receives the grant funding, the hospital’s maintenance department would be responsible for doing the construction work. Murray indicated that an additional person would be hired to do construction and other maintenance-related work.
According to Murray, a new surgeon would also require a nurse and additional staff members would need to be added to cover the increased work the new surgeon would bring.
TCMH should hear from the Delta Region Authority in September regarding the potential funds.
Home Health of the Ozarks recently underwent a survey by state and federal home health inspectors. An official letter has not been received by the department but at the exit interview only “standard level” deficiencies were cited.
“Overall the surveyors were very pleased with what they found in the department and in the in home visits with patients and staff,” Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer, said.
Todd-Willis explained that the surveyors were impressed with “the compassion of the staff for their patients”.
“We expect to be able to easily correct deficiencies,” Todd-Willis said.
Deficiencies discussed in the exit interview with the surveyors included use of outdated departmental forms that didn’t have current agency business hours listed and a staff member not using hand sanitizer in between glove changes.
The TCMH ambulance service has also passed their service inspection which is done every five years by the Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.
The bureau also approved “training entity accreditation” for the TCMH EMS department. The accreditation allows the department to train basic emergency medical technicians on site for the next five years.
Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the financial report for July which showed an increase in revenues and inpatient volumes.
“Inpatient admissions are showing an upward trend compared to last year,” Pamperien said.
Swing bed utilization was down to only 11 admissions for the month of July.
Swing bed patients are hospital inpatients that have been admitted for a skilled nursing stay at the hospital following a recent hospitalization. Swing bed patients come to TCMH to recover from illnesses and surgeries when they are not able to care for themselves at home.
July financials at the hospital showed a positive bottom line of $72,092.02 at TCMH for the month, improving the negative year-to-date balance to $305,756.17.
Present at the meeting were Murray; Todd-Willis; Pamperien; Joleen Senter Durham, public relations director; Amanda Turpin, quality management director; Dr. Jonathan Beers, chief of the TCMH medical staff; Ron Prenger, CoxHealth representative, and board members, Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Omanez Fockler, and Janet Wiseman.
Board members Mark Hampton and Russell Gaither were not present at the meeting.
The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., Sept. 27 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.