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Chapel Dedicated on Second Floor at TCMH

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The Volunteer Chaplains Association at Texas County Memorial Hospital recently gathered to dedicate a new chapel space for patients, visitors and employees at the hospital. The chapel is located on the medical surgical floor at TCMH. IMG_9099

Originally a consultation room on the medical surgical floor, the room was not being “utilized to its fullest extent”, according to Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH.

“A private room for counseling can be beneficial on any hospital floor,” Murray said, “But with our private rooms, most physician and patient or family member consultation and counseling is done in the patient’s room.”

With the new construction, and the availability of space TCMH had a “great opportunity” to bring a chapel back into the hospital.

“It’s a place for spiritual reflection, but it can also be used as a place to hold private or family discussions when needed,” Murray explained.

In 2003, with the formation of the Volunteer Chaplain’s Association, Murray designated space for a “quiet room” near the emergency department. The chaplains were eager to bring a chapel back into the hospital after it was removed for renovation and construction in 2000.

“The chaplains had a desk in the quiet room, and it was set up as a place to counsel families with patients in the emergency room,” Murray said.

With the new construction completed in 2013, the emergency department has a larger room inside the department that is available for counseling when needed.

“Credit for this new chapel space goes to the Volunteer Chaplain’s Association,” Murray said. “They have been consistent over the past few years in requesting a designated chapel space.”

Murray explained that the Chaplain’s Association maintains a schedule, regularly providing clergy for hospital patients and family members when needed.

“They care a lot about meeting the spiritual needs of everyone that comes through our doors, and they are very encouraged to have a chapel back inside the hospital,” Murray said.

IMG_9100The chapel was designed and built by the TCMH maintenance department. They lined the rooms with wood panels. Stained glass is lit and placed in the panels on the walls. Furniture that was handcrafted for the original hospital chapel has been placed in the new space.

One large stained glass piece—a dove—was part of the original chapel. The other stained glass pieces—one large, two small in memory of Elmer and Jean Ellis—cam from the Freewill Baptist Church in Cabool. IMG_9104

Murray explained that the Ellis stained glass pieces were purchased with funds donated by Monkey Grip, the business that employed Elmer Ellis, to the Ellis family church.

“The church gave the stained glass panels back to the Ellis family after they removed the panels during a remodeling phase,” Murray said. The four Ellis daughters donated the stained glass panels to the hospital to be utilized in the new chapel space.

IMG_9108Two benches, a kneeling bench, a cross and candle holders made by Loi Leek, a Houston resident and former employee in the hospital’s maintenance department, made the chapel items in the early 1980’s. Leek also made a pulpit that was too large for the chapel space, but can be used elsewhere in the hospital.

According to Murray, the dove stained glass piece, the benches and other handmade items were placed in storage when the chapel was closed for the construction done at TCMH in 2000. The maintenance department refinished the furniture and placed it in the new space.

A large Bible was also in storage with the chapel furniture, and it has been placed on the kneeling bench in the chapel.IMG_9105

“Nobody seems to know the history of the Bible, but it appears to have been presented to the hospital by several businesses,” Murray said.

There is no date in the Bible, but the businesses listed inside the Bible are Progressive Federal Bank; Mr. Terry’s; Richards Brothers; Reese Oil; Houston Mill Inc., and Scheets Hardware.

“The quiet room served its purpose and was very good for the hospital for many years,” Murray said, adding, “But it’s good to bring a chapel, a designated space open to the public, back to this hospital.”

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation, the charitable arm of the hospital, is utilizing the new space for memorial and other donation recognition with brass naming plates on the wooden panels.

IMG_9109Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director, explained that with a minimum $500 donation, a donor may designate a plate in the chapel space.

For additional information about donor recognition inside the TCMH chapel, contact Gentry at jgentry@tcmh.org or (417) 967-1377.

The chapel is located on the second floor of the medical surgical floor of the hospital, just off the main waiting room and North stairwell and elevator. It is open to the public.


Vlietstra Named Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Evania Vlietstra the December employee of the month.

Vlietstra is a medical lab technician in the TCMH laboratory, and she has worked at TCMH for over two years. Vlietstra was nominated for the award by Kirby Holmes, laboratory director.

“Evania has quickly become a highly flexible and efficient team player in the short time she’s been at TCMH,” Holmes said. “Evania can be called upon to perform any task in our laboratory.”

Holmes noted that Vlietstra’s enthusiasm and positive attitude earned her a role as an independent night technician in the lab.

“Evania is frequently selected as the ‘go to tech’ for special assignments that must be done quickly and correctly the first time,” Holmes said.

As employee of the month, Vlietstra received a certificate honoring her achievement; a pin; $100 cash; a special parking place in the TCMH lot; one day of paid vacation; a $50 gift card, and gift certificates to Paws N Claws, D&L Florist, Janstiques and Blissful Nirvana Massage. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Vlietstra.

Vlietstra is eligible for the 2015 TCMH employee of the year award.

Evania Vlietstra, TCMH December employee of the month, with her supersvisor, Kirby Holmes.

Evania Vlietstra, TCMH December employee of the month, with her supersvisor, Kirby Holmes.


First Baby of the Year Arrives

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It’s a boy!

Gunnar Jaxson Teller Green took the honors as the first baby born at Texas County Memorial Hospital in 2015, arriving at 4:18 p.m. on Friday, January 2nd.

Baby Gunnar is the son of Brittany and Rick Green of Licking, and he joins three older brothers and two older sisters in the Green home. Dr. Tricia Benoist, physician at the Mercy Clinic in Houston, delivered baby
Gunnar, and he was eight pounds, fifteen ounces and 21 and one-quarter inches long.

Reese Bucher, a representative of the TCMH Auxiliary, presented gifts and gift certificates to Gunnar and his parents after his birth. Businesses and individuals throughout the county donated the gifts.

The gift basket for the first baby born at TCMH is a project of the TCMH Auxiliary. Area businesses that were not able to participate in 2015, but would like to participate in 2016 should contact the TCMH Auxiliary at (417) 967-1370 or 1-866-967-3311.

Gunnar Green of Licking was the first baby born at Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston this year.  Shown here with baby Gunnar are Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH; Rick Green, father; Brittany Green, mother and holding Gunnar Green, and Reese Bucher of the TCMH Auxiliary.

Gunnar Green of Licking was the first baby born at Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston this year. Shown here with baby Gunnar are Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH; Rick Green, father; Brittany Green, mother and holding Gunnar Green, and Reese Bucher of the TCMH Auxiliary.


Hospital Board Approves 2015 Operating and Capital Budgets

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees gave approval for the 2015 capital and operating budgets at their December monthly meeting on Monday.

Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer presented the budget data for the upcoming year.
The $752,176 capital budget is a slight increase from the 2014 capital budget and includes some of the funds needed to complete the surgery department connected to the new tornado safe room.

According to Pamperien, “big ticket” items in the 2014 capital budget are a new ambulance for $100,655; a cardiac rehabilitation telemetry monitoring system for $41,820; two blood gas machines with a computer and related interface for $34,630; a $23,469 monitor and defibrillator for the emergency department, and an obstetrics department ultrasound machine for $20,000.

Through in-house work and bid collection for the various components needed to complete the in-fill of the surgery department shell, TCMH projects $740,000 is needed to complete the interior portion of the new surgery department.

“We plan to use donations to complete some of the work in the department,” Pamperien said, “And we have budgeted $135,000 in our capital budget this year to put toward some of the work we need to complete in the department.”

Board members also approved the 2015 operating budget that projects gross operating revenue of $69,163,906 and net operating revenue of $30,359.

TCMH anticipates an increase in hospital expenses such as utility and food costs. The operating budget does not project growth in inpatient, outpatient or emergency room volumes.

“We will most likely see an increase in our contractual adjustments in 2015,” Pamperien said. The contractual adjustment is the difference between the hospital charge and the portion of the charge covered by insurance.

The state legislature’s inaction regarding Medicaid expansion continues to negatively affect TCMH.

“We continue to operate very lean,” Pamperien said. “But we are more fortunate than many other facilities. Our accounts receivable and cash flow are very good.”

According to a new report compiled by the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) from hospital data available through the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) and other nationally recognized sources, TCMH continues to be a leader in the delivery of care to patients.

“In overall delivery of timely and effective care, TCMH scored 97.54 percent,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, reported.

According to Murray, the TCMH quality scores are at or above scores for other area hospitals in most measures.

“Hospital data consistently shows that TCMH offers very good care to our patients,” Murray said.

Murray pointed out that the data has not changed dramatically with the addition of the new patient care areas.

“The data shows that we are consistently providing high quality care, and that speaks volumes about the physicians, nurses and healthcare providers that work at TCMH,” Murray said.

Murray noted that many people in the community are not aware of where TCMH ranks when compared to other Missouri hospitals.

“We’re not perfect, and there’s still room for improvement,” Murray said, “But I’m very proud of the efforts by our staff to continuously provide high quality hospital care.”

Additional information about hospital quality, hospital investment in the community it serves, healthcare costs and preventable hospitalizations is available at the MHA website http://focusonhospitals.com. Resources, reports and comparison data are available to the public at the website.

Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer, reported to board members that TCMH is pursuing designation as a Level IV STEMI (ST segment elevated myocardial infarction) facility.

“The STEMI designation will allow emergency medical services to bring any patient with symptoms of a heart attack to TCMH where we can proceed with protocols and begin medical treatment to prevent cardiac muscle damage,” Todd-Willis explained.

After the initial medical treatment at TCMH, the patient would be transferred to a healthcare facility where interventional cardiology is available.

“We have had chest pain and heart attack protocols in place for several years,” Willis said, “The designation will include focusing on community education, data collection and submission and patient follow up.”

Board members unanimously agreed to support the application for a Level IV STEMI designation at TCMH.

The hospital continues recruiting efforts for an additional full-time family medicine and obstetrics physician, according to Joleen Senter Durham, director of physician recruiting at TCMH.

“I am currently reaching out to several physicians in residencies that are looking for a hospital to practice family medicine and obstetrics,” Durham said.

TCMH plans to base the physician out of the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston offering a satellite clinic in Mountain Grove.

“We have restructured the services we provide in Mountain Gove,” Durham said.

William Wright, MD is currently seeing patients in Mountain Grove. Wright has been providing family medicine care in Texas County since 2002.

Tracey Arwood, CNM is also providing women’s health and obstetrical care in Mountain Grove.

The search for an additional mid-level provider for the Mountain Grove clinic is also underway.

“We have lots of patients to be seen, and we hope that by basing an additional physician in Houston, he or she will find an obstetrical practice opportunity at TCMH to be more enticing,” Durham said.

Eight hundred ninety-one patients visited the TCMH emergency department in November which subsequently affected inpatient and outpatient volumes at the hospital.

“The emergency room is the driving force behind hospital inpatient admissions,” Pamperien said in her financial report. The TCMH emergency room averages 1,000 patient visits each month.

The TCMH emergency medical services department also reported an 11 percent drop in ambulance runs during the month—shared by all four of the department’s bases.

“There is nothing we can pinpoint for the drop in emergency volumes, but it did negatively affect our overall revenues for the month,” Pamperien said.

TCMH had a negative bottom line of $191,111.39 for the month of November and a negative year to date balance of $765,243.10.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Todd-Willis; Durham; Dr. Shaun Flaim, chief of staff; and board members Omanez Fockler; Janet Wiseman; Mark Hampton, and Russell Gaither.

Board member, Dr. Jim Perry, OD, was not present at the meeting.
The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., Jan. 27th at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.


TCMH Holds Annual Employee Celebration

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IMG_9195Texas County Memorial Hospital gave out top employee awards and honored 42 employees with service awards at the Thirty-Second Annual Celebration of TCMH Employees on Friday, December 12 at Faith Fellowship Church in Houston. In attendance were approximately 100 employees, many with guests, for a total attendance of about 200 people.

Stuart Mitchell is shown here with Linda Pamperien, TCMH CFO; Wes Murray, TCMH CEO, and Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH CNO.

Stuart Mitchell is shown here with Linda Pamperien, TCMH CFO; Wes Murray, TCMH CEO, and Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH CNO.

Stuart Mitchell of Mountain Grove and Cathy Stilley of Willow Springs took top honors as co-managers of the year at TCMH for 2014.

Mitchell, an employee at TCMH since 2008, is the director of the information systems department at the hospital.

“Stuart could have received this award several times over the past few years,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, said, explaining that Mitchell and his department have taken on electronic medical records upgrades and federal EMR requirements and new construction and renovation of departments in addition to the day-to-day aspects of the department.

Murray described Mitchell’s role at TCMH as “the perfect fit”.

“Stuart is a true manager with a great depth of knowledge and high standards and expectations for himself and his department,” Murray said.

Murray noted that TCMH is the envy of other rural hospitals because of the advanced technology implemented and available at the hospital and the small number of information system staff members that keep the department running smoothly.

“Our IS department is very efficient,” Murray said. “Stuart runs a model department, and he and his team have the respect of everyone in the hospital.”

Stilley has been the clinic coordinator for Dr. Steve Hawkins in Cabool since 1993, and when the clinic became the TCMH Cabool Medical Clinic in 2005, Stilley retained the clinic manager position as an employee of TCMH.

“Cathy’s clinic is a well-run machine,” Murray said.

Cathy Stilley is shown here with Anita Kuhn, TCMH controller and Dr. Steve Hawkins.

Cathy Stilley is shown here with Anita Kuhn, TCMH controller and Dr. Steve Hawkins.

Murray described “systematic operations” going on behind the scenes at the clinic.

“I hold Cathy responsible for having the systems in place that keep the clinic running smoothly every day,” Murray said. “I am confident daily that things went well at the Cabool clinic without even speaking to someone there.”

Murray noted that Stilley has worked closely with Hawkins for many years, and when Hawkins and the clinic became part of TCMH, Stilley had “complete buy-in”.

“Cathy never misses an opportunity to relay hospital information to her staff, and she represents TCMH well to everyone that she has contact with,” Murray said.

Carol Tuner is shown here with Linda Pamperien, TCMH CFO; Wes Murray, TCMH CEO and Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH CNO.

Carol Tuner is shown here with Linda Pamperien, TCMH CFO; Wes Murray, TCMH CEO and Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH CNO.

Carol Turner of Success received the employee of the year honor.

Employee of the year is limited to the individuals who have received the honor of employee of the month since the 2013 employee awards ceremony. All employees are allowed to vote for employee of the year by choosing one employee of the month in a secret ballot vote.

Turner is a registered nurse in the emergency department at TCMH, and she has worked at the hospital since 1991. Turner won employee of the month honors at TCMH in December, and it was the second time she received the employee of the month honor during her employment at TCMH. Doctors, nurses, patients, visitors and other departmental staff members all interact with Turner in her role as an emergency department nurse.

“Carol is a great asset to TCMH because she is willing to work whenever or wherever she is needed,” Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer, said.

Todd-Willis explained that in addition to her position as an RN in the emergency department Turner has also helped out in the medical surgical and intensive care departments as well as serving as house supervisor when needed.

“Carol has excellent nursing skills and provides exceptional patient care,” Todd-Willis said.

Murray noted that Turner is “quiet natured” but “her skills speak for themselves.

“Anyone that talks about Carol describes her as ‘one of the best’,” Murray said.

Todd-Willis commended Turner’s calm demeanor under pressure, her organization, knowledge and love of nursing.

“Everyone that has worked beside Carol has great respect for her as a person and as a nurse,” Todd-Willis said. “I am honored to work with her at TCMH.”

The managers of the year and the employee of the year were honored with an engraved plaque, $500 cash, a pin and a day of paid time off.

The TCMH Customer Quality Team honored two employees that exemplified excellent customer service in the hospital organization in 2014. Shannon Bridges, a technologist in the radiology department, and Barb Wade, a technologist in the laboratory, were chosen to receive the honor.

Shannon Bridges  won a customer service award at the event.

Shannon Bridges won a customer service award at the event.

Bridges and Wade were each awarded a plaque for their efforts and given a cash award.

The Customer Quality Team also recognized the TCMH pharmacy as “Customer Service Department of the Year”.

The pharmacy consistently provided excellent customer service to all departments within the hospital, while continuing to try to improve the quality of the service provided by the department. The Customer Quality Team noted that the pharmacist allows the staff in the department to do whatever is needed to help other departments when issues arise.

The department will receive a special meal in their honor.

Murray and Omanez Fockler, chairperson of the TCMH board of trustees, recognized employees with service awards. Recognized for five years of service were: Holly Atterberry, Shelly Beck, Michelle Bopp, Ray Bruno, Jeff Burress, Paige Crump, Amber Harrison, Cathy Hickcox, Bobby Holt, Dorothy Perkins, Dieu Phillips, Kathrina Pinay, Joyce Rodr, Cody Sells, Brittany Trentham and Randy Vonallmen.

Recognized for 10 years of service were: Connie Brooks, Jay Glover, Michelle Jackson, Amy Jordan, Stephanie Lake, Robin McLarning, Terri Moncrief, Lisa Palmer, Sheena Painter, Sonya White, Eric Wilson and Sam Wilson, Jr..

Recognized for 15 years of service were: Angela Cox, Nancy Fisher, Mary Jungbluth, Anita Kuhn, Kim Montgomery, Charlotte Neal, Ann Hamilton, Donna Sanders, Lea Ann Stein, and Kristy Weaver.

Kim Herndon, Perry Hulvey, Peggy Snow, Sandy Walker and Harry Willis were recognized for 20 years of service.

Reggie Cole, Cathy Maxwell, Shelia Schafer, Sharon Spurgeon and Barb Wade were recognized for 35 years of service.

TCMH also gave out prizes to hospital employees that had volunteered at hospital events throughout the year.


Thomas Named Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Krista Thomas of Houston the November employee of the month.

Thomas is a tech in the TCMH pharmacy, and she has worked at TCMH for over four years. Thomas was nominated for the award by Jennifer Jordan, TCMH nurse manager in the pharmacy.

“You never have to ask Krista to assist when help is needed at TCMH,” Jordan said. “Krista steps up and helps whenever she sees a need.”

Thomas was recognized for exemplary help she recently provided to the obstetrics department during an emergency situation.

“There are no words to describe Krista’s involvement for the emergency Caesarean-section in the OB department, Angela Raymond, obstetrics department director said. “Krista’s assistance was invaluable to our unit.”

As employee of the month, Thomas received a certificate honoring her achievement; a pin; $100 cash; a special parking place in the TCMH lot; one day of paid vacation; a membership in the TCMH Fitness Center; a $50 gift card, and gift certificates to Paws N Claws, D&L Florist, Janstiques and Blissful Nirvana Massage. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Thomas.

This is the second time Thomas has received the employee of the month award. Thomas was the August 2011 employee of the month at TCMH.

Thomas is eligible for the 2014 TCMH employee of the year award.

Krista Thomas, center, with her supervisors, David Phipps, pharmacist, and Jennifer Jordan, pharmacy nurse manager.

Krista Thomas, center, with her supervisors, David Phipps, pharmacist, and Jennifer Jordan, pharmacy nurse manager.


MFA Oil Awards Grant to TCMH Healthcare Foundation

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The MFA Oil Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation’s Care for Your Future Capital Campaign.

Joe Case, district sales manager for MFA Oil, presented a $20,000 grant to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation Care for Your Future campaign.  Shown here with the check are Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer; Case, and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

Joe Case, district sales manager for MFA Oil, presented a $20,000 grant to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation Care for Your Future campaign. Shown here with the check are Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer; Case, and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

Joe Case, district sales manager for MFA Oil, presented the check to the Healthcare Foundation and expressed appreciation on behalf of MFA Oil for the investments made by TCMH in healthcare infrastructure in the county.

“We are glad to see the progress at TCMH with the new construction,” Case said.

The MFA Oil Foundation seeks to provide support to nonprofit organizations to improve communities where MFA Oil has a significant concentration of members and employees. Since its inception, the MFA Oil Foundation has awarded more than one million dollars in grants.

“Rural communities are the foundation of our business,” Mark Fenner, president and chief executive officer of MFA Oil, said. “Our Foundation awards help support organizations that are solving community problems and improving the quality of life.”

The MFA Oil Foundation was able to take advantage of tax credits available from the Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) to benefit the Care for Your Future campaign.

The Healthcare Foundation has been working to raise an additional $500,000 for the new FEMA tornado safe room and community meeting room with the assistance of the fifty-percent state tax credits awarded by the MDFB.

The Healthcare Foundation has until December 2015 to allocate all of the tax credits. Donors may use the tax credits in combination with the standard federal and state charitable gift deductions to further reduce their potential tax liability. The tax credit opportunity allows a donor to invest their tax dollars in a local community project.

“The tax credit program is another way for the Healthcare Foundation to provide a tax deduction for area businesses and individuals while adding to the healthcare infrastructure in our county,” Gentry explained. “We are happy that the MFA Oil Foundation was able to benefit from this program.”

The tax credits give donors the opportunity to receive the traditional federal income tax benefit as well as a Missouri tax credit.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, thanked MFA Oil on behalf of everyone at TCMH. “This is a great gesture on behalf of MFA Oil,” Murray said.

Murray noted that many hospital employees utilize MFA Oil in the communities throughout Texas County and the surrounding area. Additionally, MFA Oil has provided propane to TCMH by proving the lowest bid for propane in the past.

“We are excited and proud to have MFA Oil participating in our vision for the future of healthcare in Texas County,” Murray said.

MFA Oil Company was founded in 1929 as a farmer-owned cooperative with more than 40,000 members. MFA Oil is one of the top ten propane companies in the United States. A subsidiary of MFA Oil also operates Break Time convenience stores and Jiffy Lube and Big O franchises in Missouri and Arkansas.

For additional information about the TCMH Healthcare Foundation and the Care for Your Future campaign or tax credits, contact Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director, at (417) 967-1377 or jgentry@tcmh.org.


Patient and Procedure Numbers Continue to Rise at TCMH

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Patient numbers and procedure numbers continue to rise at Texas County Memorial Hospital, board members heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Nursing department statistics show an increase in surgeries, outpatient procedures, obstetrics deliveries and hospital inpatients.

“We are gaining ground with our hospital inpatients,” Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, said.

Inpatient numbers are still down 145 admissions compared to 2013 admissions, but according to the October financial report, inpatient and outpatient revenues were above budgeted expectations for two months in a row.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, noted that surgeries the hospital continue to rise, too—124 surgeries in July; 105 surgeries in August, 102 surgeries in September and 105 surgeries in October.

“We have already done 110 surgeries in November, and the month is not over,” Murray said.

The surgery numbers for July through November are also higher than the numbers from 2013. The numbers of major cases in the surgery department at TCMH are also higher than the number of minor cases, while both continue to climb.

Dr. Christopher Baldwin, an obstetrician and gynecologist, joined TCMH in June, and Dr. Linda Milholen, a general surgeon joined TCMH in July.

“Both of our new physicians are bringing some additional surgical skills to the hospital and to our patient population,” Murray said.

The October inpatient volume was up $8,865 over budgeted expectations, and outpatient volume was up $139,801 over budgeted expectations.

The length of stay for hospital inpatients was up for the month and the bad debt for the month totaled $307,514 which combined to create a negative bottom line of $30,175.57 and a negative year to date balance of $574,131.71.

“Fifty-seven percent of the bad debt in October was generated by ER patients that did not pay their bill,” Pamperien said, adding, “We also had a few patients that required additional inpatient care that was not covered by insurance.”

Pamperien complimented TCMH physicians on closely managing hospital inpatient care.

“We have some patients that we have to keep longer for the betterment of the patient,” Pamperien said.

Murray presented employee health insurance options to the board members. Due to high utilization in 2014, the current Anthem Blue Cross plan had a 30 percent increase for 2015.

TCMH covers 55 percent of the family coverage and 75 percent of the individual coverage for the employee health plan, a cost of $1,008,909.50 to the hospital in 2014.

“With the 30 percent increase, the annual cost to TCMH would rise over $300,000, and we can’t take on that expense or pass on that kind of increase to our employees,” Murray said.

TCMH has found a healthcare plan from United Healthcare that with changes to the benefits and deductibles will only increase the healthcare plan cost by four percent.

“We are also looking at offering some type of in-house employee health benefit that will assist our employees at minimal cost,” Murray said.

About 200 hospital employees get their health insurance through the hospital insurance plan. Health insurance costs are a significant portion of the cost of TCMH employee benefits annually.

“These are a lot of changes, and we aren’t going to make everyone happy,” Murray said, “But we do want to help our employees get the healthcare they need.”

Board members agreed unanimously to accept the United Healthcare plan with additional help for those covered by the plan.

Pamperien also asked board members to form a subcommittee to help with the operating and capital budgeting for 2015.

TCMH is looking at ways to budget to cover some of the cost of finishing the surgery department that is currently under construction.

“We have $150,000 in grant funds from Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and $250,000 in Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) state tax credit funds that are available for the current construction project,” Pamperien said.

The DRA funds cannot be used unless the surgery department is completed, and the funds must be used in 2015 or they will be forfeited.

“Our plant operations department is piecing out the various areas of the surgery department, getting bids for the areas we cannot do in house,” Pamperien said. “We need to see how much of our capital budget in 2015 may go toward completing the department.”

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation continues to raise funds through the MDFB tax credit program and through other donations to help cover the remaining costs of the project.

The shell of the surgery department is complete, and construction on the tornado safe room is nearly complete.

Joleen Senter Durham, director physician recruiting at TCMH, reported that physician recruiting efforts for the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic continue.

“We have a contract in the hands of a physician that is giving us very strong consideration,” Durham said. “I have also spoken with another physician that is in residency that is interested in an opportunity with obstetrical privileges.”

Murray noted that the TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off on November 8 raised over $44,000 to benefit Hospice of Care.

“Hats off to the community for supporting the Chili Cook Off, a fundraising effort that is extremely beneficial to our hospice program,” Murray said.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Durham; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; Dr. Jonathan Beers, vice chief of staff; Dr. John Duff; and board members Omanez Fockler; Janet Wiseman; Dr. Jim Perry, OD, and Russell Gaither.

Board member, Mark Hampton, was not present at the meeting.

Due to the Christmas holidays, the next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees has been moved up to Mon., Dec. 22nd at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.


Holiday Giving Program Begins at Hospital

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation will begin its sixth year of “Celebrate Our Memories” in partnership with TCMH Hospice of Care this week.

Beginning Fri., Nov. 21st a nine-foot Christmas tree in the front lobby of the hospital will hold Christmas ornaments that can be “gifted” and inscribed with the name or a message in honor or in memory of someone special in their life.

The Foundation will divide all funds generated by the program with another TCMH entity—Hospice of Care, so the Christmas program actually benefits two local charitable organizations.

As part of Celebrate Our Memories, those who have “gifted” an ornament will be invited to keep the ornament as a personal keepsake of their memory at the end of the holiday season, after the tree is removed from the hospital’s front lobby.

The ornaments are hung on the tree as they are gifted. Sponsorship of one ornament is $20, and anyone can gift as many ornaments as they wish. Ornaments can be gifted by groups or by individuals. Gifted ornaments can honor a group, an individual such as a teacher, a parent, a friend, or other loved one.

Anyone who gifts an ornament can provide a name or message that will be inscribed on the ornament tag for them.

“It’s the goal of the Foundation and Hospice of Care to have at least 100 ornaments gifted in recognition of someone this holiday season,” Gentry said.

Hospice of Care uses the funding they receive from the program to provide hospice care, supplies and equipment for patients and their families in Texas county and surrounding areas. The Healthcare Foundation uses their portion of the funds in meeting a mission of ensuring the quality of healthcare services for children, women and men at the county hospital.

“I am already soliciting and receiving sponsorships for the Celebrate Our Memories program,” he said. “We hope to have several ornaments on the tree as soon as it goes up.”

Those who wish to gift an ornament should contact Courtney Owens, director of TCMH Hospice of Care at (417) 967-1279 or download a form here. Forms are also available at the TCMH Auxiliary Gift Shop located at the front entrance to the hospital.

A letter of recognition will be sent to those who gift an ornament, and ornaments will be available for pick up at the hospital after the holiday season.

All proceeds from the program will remain in the area and directly impact the local community. Any donation made to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation or to Hospice of Care is tax deductible.


Annual Chili Cook Off Raises $44,250 for Local Charity

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The Eighth Annual Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off in Houston on November 8, raised $44,250 for TCMH Hospice of Care. About 300 people visited the Texas County Fairgrounds and the Community Building trying out 24 kinds of chili.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

The Healthcare Foundation sponsors the annual Chili Cook Off to benefit the TCMH Hospice of Care. Sixteen chili-cooking teams—outfitted with a team theme that ranged from football tailgating to Japanese garden to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–served up their best meat and bean, red or white, hot or mild chili recipes.

Donations came in the form of sponsorships by area businesses for chili teams, corporate and entertainment sponsorships, cash donations and donations of items for the auctions. Chili teams also raised money prior to the event and at the event. A live auction, silent auctions, raffles and a cakewalk also provided entertainment during the day.

Jay Gentry, director of the Healthcare Foundation, and Courtney Owens, director of TCMH Hospice of Care, organized the Chili Cook Off.

“Once again we received tremendous support from area businesses and individuals in donating to this important community cause,” Gentry said.

Attendees poured in to the Fairgrounds to taste chili and take part in the festitivies.

24 different types of chili at the 8th cook off

24 different types of chili at the 8th cook off

Dr. Christopher Baldwin, Tracey Arwood, Dr. Diana Koenig and their clinic staff had old-fashioned Coca-Cola in bottles and Crackerjacks to sell as part of their St. Louis Cardinals themed booth. Houston High School Future Business Leaders of America had a “Technolochili” booth complete with an interactive display and special chili flavorings invented by the FBLA group.

Fritos, cheese, onions, sour cream and milk were served up as accompaniments to the chili, and a few competitors served up “mild” and “hot” pots of chili.

Houston FBLA Technolochili featured special sauces for the chili samples that were developed by the Houston High School club.

Houston FBLA Technolochili featured special sauces for the chili samples that were developed by the Houston High School club.

Homemade cakes and cookies were given away at the Hospice of Care cakewalk booth. For a dollar, the cakewalks were enjoyed by young and old alike. The Hospice of Care staff also held silent auctions for homemade cakes and other treats.

Silent auctions featuring baskets of seasonal decorations, pet supplies and beauty products; artwork by local artists and tickets and gift certificates to various places in the area. The silent auction items were donated to Hospice of Care for the event.

The individual teams held raffles and silent auctions for their teams, too.

A chili dog eating contest featured chili cook off team members, local business owners and a few hospital physicians. Chris Weaver of Houston and the Roadkill Warriors cook off team won the contest.

“Miso Spicy” a chili cooking team from Community Bank N.A. won 1st place for the 3rd year in a row with their booth decorations and theme.

“Miso Spicy” a chili cooking team from Community Bank N.A. won 1st place for the 3rd year in a row with their booth decorations and theme.

Chili booths were decorated in many different ways. The Houston School Administration “Chili Builders” theme featured blocks salvaged from the old cafeteria and principals outfitted in hard hats and neon vests . The Houston Walmart Supercenter crafted a “rocket” for their “Chili That’s Out of This World” theme. The “Landmark Tailgaters” from Landmark Bank in Houston had a football theme that featured a goal post and playing field.

The Healthcare Foundation held two raffles as a way to raise money prior to and during the event. Eric Wells of Houston won the rifle. Shannon Smith of Licking won the pop up camper.

Shannon Smith of Licking won the pop up camper, the large raffle item that all teams sold tickets for.

Shannon Smith of Licking won the pop up camper, the large raffle item that all teams sold tickets for.

Three chili judges representing sponsors and supporters of the event were Earleen Holder from Progressive Ozark Bank in Houston, Jay Loveland from Wehr Motors of Mountain Grove, and Justin Shelby of State Farm Insurance in Houston. Prizes were given to the chili teams who were competing in several different categories.

“Judge’s Choice” and first place went to “Landmark Tailgaters” for their mild, white chili.

Landmark Bank “Tailgaters” won the Judges’ Choice top prize for their mild chili--a white chili.

Landmark Bank “Tailgaters” won the Judges’ Choice top prize for their mild chili–a white chili.

The cook off judges awarded second place to “Power Chili” Intercounty Electric Cooperative also for their mild chili. The third place “Judge’s Choice” went to “Old Country Doc” sponsored Mercy Clinic of Houston.

“Chili with the Most Kick” prize also went to “Big Country 99ers Brewhahahahaha” which entered a “hot” and a “mild” chili in the contest.

First place in the “Best Booth” decorating category for the third year in a row went to Community Bank N.A. for “Miso Spicy”–a booth and costumes with a Japanese garden theme. Decked out in pink camouflage, the TCMH
Medical Surgical department won second place with their “Pink Ladies” booth. The “TCMH Speculators”—Baldwin, Arwood, Koenig and their staff–won third place for their baseball concessions theme.

Everyone in attendance was given a ballot to vote for the “People’s Choice” in chili. The “FBLA Technolochili ” won first place in the people’s choice category followed by “Road Kill Warriors—TCMH EMS” in second place and “TCMH Speculators” in third place.

TCMH employees in attendance were given the opportunity to vote for the “TCMH Choice” and the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” also won the hospital employee award—their fifth time to claim the prize in eight years of competing.

The Chili Cook Off Teams contributed a large amount to the funds raised for Hospice of Care, contributing a total of $16,574. Chili-cooking teams raised money for their teams prior to and during the cook off. Eight teams raised over $1,000 apiece.

TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” won first in “Team Fundraising” by raising $2,735. Second place for team fundraising went to “Chili That’s Out of This World” for raising $2,026. Third place went to “TMNT—TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks” for raising $1,635.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

Prior to the live auction portion of the event, Dr. Gretchen Price, medical director for TCMH Hospice of Care, spoke to those in attendance.

“Hospice of Care is does everything they can to make sure that the patient and their family are comfortable until the end,” Price said.

Price recounted a personal experience with a patient that was hospitalized while in hospice care.

“The Hospice of Care staff helped the family of the patient bring in and show videos from 1988—a happy year in the patient’s life,” Price said, noting that all of the hospice care is “specialized” for each patient’s needs.

“Thank you for what you are doing here today to help the great work of Hospice of Care,” Price said.

“Your donations really make a difference, and we greatly appreciate the hard work done by all of the teams to help put on this event,” Price said.

Brandon Beck, master of ceremonies

Brandon Beck, master of ceremonies

Brandon Beck, master of ceremonies and meteorologist at KY3 television station in Springfield, also applauded the “wonderful cause” and explained that his 84-year old grandmother died under hospice care earlier in the year.

“I had never experienced hospice before,” Beck said, noting that the hospice caregivers worked with he and his family members in understanding what to expect in the process.

“We all knew death was coming, but it was so helpful to have hospice care there,” Beck said.

Families that were in Hospice of Care service in 2014 and previous years were present at the Cook Off. Some families also made donations to the Healthcare Foundation to benefit Hospice of Care at the Chili Cook Off.

Harold Mitchell made a cedar blanket chest and donated it in memory of his mother, Caroline Mitchell, a patient of Hospice of Care. Carolyn Mason pieced and quilted a quilt in honor of Cecil Biram. Deborah Kell donated a framed and numbered waterfowl print in honor of her late husband, Jim Kell.

The live auction featured numerous handcrafted items, including this Noah's Ark carved by the Lake Ozark Woodcarver's Association.

The live auction featured numerous handcrafted items, including this Noah’s Ark carved by the Lake Ozark Woodcarver’s Association.

“We could not do what we do without the community support and partnerships that we have,” Gentry said to those in attendance.

Owens also thanked attendees for their support of Hospice of Care.

“The Hospice staff and I are incredibly impressed and thankful for the community support that has been shown to us,” Owens said.

The TCMH Hospice of Care Team

The TCMH Hospice of Care Team

Owens commended the teams that put in a long day making and serving chili as well as the time they put in creating teams with themes, decorating booths and raising money prior to and at the event.

After Saturday’s event, the cook off raised $31,299 in cash donations and $12,951 in in-kind donations. All the proceeds raised by the Chili Cook Off support Hospice of Care and remain in Texas County to benefit area residents.

The Healthcare Foundation has a special “Hospice Fund” where the Cook Off funds and other donations to Hospice of Care are held.

Plans are already underway to hold the Ninth Annual TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off on Sat., Nov. 7, 2015. More details about the event will be available from the TCMH Healthcare Foundation.


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