Hospital Remembers Board Member and Former Employee at Monthly Meeting

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital December board of trustees meeting was opened on Tuesday with a moment of silence throughout the hospital in memory of Jane Kirkwood, member of the TCMH board of trustees and former longtime employee at the hospital.

Jane Kirkwood, TCMH Board Member

Kirkwood passed away unexpectedly on Monday evening prior to the board meeting.

Omanez Fockler, chairperson of the TCMH board of trustees opened the board meeting by remembering Kirkwood, “a friend and colleague”.

Fockler read a passage of scripture from the book of John, chapter 14 and shared lyrics from a hymn about leaving earth and going to heaven.

“Jane would have wanted us to go forward with our business here at the hospital,” Fockler said, “She would have told us to ‘make everything happen’. That’s what we need to do.”

Wes Murray described Kirkwood as “dedicated to TCMH”. “Jane was employed at TCMH over 35 years, and during most of her retirement, Jane was a board member,” he said.

Kirkwood was known as a board member for putting patient care first and for her advocacy for hospital employees.

“Jane will be deeply missed from our TCMH ranks,” Murray said.

Kirkwood began her first term on the TCMH board of trustees in April 2002 and was elected again for the position in April 2007. She had recently filed to run again for the trustee position to be decided in the April 2012 election.

According to hospital by-laws, the hospital’s board can submit a candidate for approval by the Texas County Commissioners to fulfill the remainder of a departing board member’s term.

Texas County Memorial Hospital board members approved the 2012 capital and operating budgets at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The hospital’s 2011 capital budget came in at $748,994.74, slightly more than the $696,188.00 approved in 2011.

“This increase in our capital budget includes some items we anticipate purchasing as part of the expansion project,” Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, explained.

New monitors for intensive care unit totaling $80,000.00 will work with other monitors on the new medical surgical floor. Fifty-thousand dollars has been included for new computers for patient care on the medical surgical floor, too.

A new stress test machine, two new electrocardiogram machines and a new pulmonary function test machine will all be added to the hospital’s cardiopulmonary department for about $92,125.00 in 2012.

“Our physicians are doing stress tests five days a week now, so we are due to replace that equipment,” Pamperien said.

A new colonoscope and video laparoscope tower have been approved for the surgery department, totaling $106,158.00.

Like previous years, the 2011 capital budget also includes $95,800.00 to replace another older TCMH ambulance as well as a $70,000.00 contingency fund.

“Our managers have been very good about not asking for things until they absolutely must have them,” Pamperien said.

Pamperien explained that with budget projections for 2012, she “tried to remain conservative”.

Pamperien also took the medical staff into consideration in the budget planning. In addition to the physicians already on staff at TCMH, Dr. Matthew Brown, a St. John’s physician, will be admitting and delivering babies at TCMH for all of 2012, and Dr. Jonathan Beers, an internal medicine resident, will join the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston next August.

The hospital’s 2012 operating budget projects gross operating revenue of $63,137,425.00 and net operating revenue of $26,621,095.

An increase in obstetrics business and the addition of meaningful use funds from Medicaid have been included in the operating budget.

TCMH projects operating expenses at TCMH in 2012 to be $28,865,647.00 with a one percent profit margin coming in at $287,407.00.

“I hope its a million dollars more than that, but we have to be realistic since we don’t know the amount of care we will provide that we will not receive payment for,” Pamperien said.

Murray reported to board members that construction on the hospital’s expansion project was going as planned. He complimented JE Dunn, the general contractor for project, on the job they were doing in managing the many contractors working on the project.

A large excavator is currently on site excavating the lowest level for the expansion project.

“From Highway 63, you can barely see the big hole that is the future basement,” Murray said.

The hospital’s South parking lot has been open for a few weeks, and a new, temporary front entrance has been routed through the hospital’s cafeteria.

“Parking seems to be running smoothly, and our patients and visitors are getting it figured out,” Murray said.

Murray commended Kathy Richardson of Houston’s Downtown Revitalization group for her efforts in spearheading the effort to re-use the front awning located at TCMH as a pavilion for the Lone Star Plaza in downtown Houston.

“If it weren’t for Kathy’s efforts, none of this would have taken place,” Murray said. “I am really happy we were able to put a nice piece of our building that was slated for demolition to use in another place in our community.”

Pamperien presented the financial report for the month of November.

The hospital ended the month of November with a positive bottom line of $77,497.97 and a positive year-to-date balance of $141,654.24.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Dr. Charlie Rasmussen, chief of staff; Amanda Turpin, case management nurse manager; Joleen Senter Durham, public relations director, and board members Fockler; Janet Wiseman; Mark Hampton and Mark Forbes.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. in hospital’s basement meeting room.

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