The Memorial Hospital Board in Craig to bring in Quorum interim CEO | CraigDailyPress.com

The Memorial Hospital Board in Craig to bring in Quorum interim CEO

— At its regular monthly meeting Thursday, business carried on as usual for The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees despite the news Monday that Chief Executive Officer John Rossfeld had submitted his resignation and would be leaving Dec. 11.

After much deliberation this week, the board elected to have Quorum Health Resources bring in an interim CEO to fill Rossfeld's vacancy until a permanent replacement can be found.

Rossfeld's future tenure at TMH was already in question due to the board's consideration of whether or not to renew their contract with management company Quorum Health Resources. Rossfeld was a Quorum employee, and the contract is up June 30, 2016.

The hospital will announce more details Friday regarding the interim CEO, and expects to fill the position promptly.

The board wished Rossfeld well and thanked him for his service to TMH.

"We appreciate you helping us out in a tough situation, and we wish you all the best," said Board Chair Forrest Luke, adding jokingly, "And we don't want to see pictures from southern California in January."

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The rest of the meeting included approvals for four capital budget requests, including a new set of surgical power tools that elicited oohs and aahs from some of the board members.

Surgical Services Manager Annette Saylor brought in one of the hospital's two current sets of tools made by Stryker Instruments, including a large drill and razor-sharp saw used for cutting bone.

An older set is wearing out, and, after handing the power tools back over to Saylor, the board approved a refurbished set of System 6 tools for $29,605. The item had already been included in the budget.

Other capital budget request approvals included $35,620 for start-up equipment for the hospital's newest addition to the obstetrics and gynecology team, Dr. Eileen Joyce, who is slated to start work in late January. The board also approved a bariatric lift to help nurses and certified nurse assistants lift patients, at a cost of $15,257, and network transcription services for physicians known as Dragon Network, priced at $27,594.

At a total capital expense of $108,076, all of the costs were either budgeted or substituted for other capital purchases, excepting start-up capital for Joyce, however, Saylor and Interim Chief Financial Officer Tim Howard felt the items took priority.

"This was not budgeted and we did not find a substitution for this because we're at end of year and could not find anything left to substitute," Howard said. "However we did have some capital left and felt like this was important enough… and Dr. (Scott) Ellis can use it, too."

Volumes are up in several departments in the hospital, with OB leading the way. Admissions into the OB department are up 30 percent this year through Oct. 31 over the prior year, and 28 more babies were born at TMH this year compared to last year as of Oct. 31, a 27.5 percent jump.

Both TMH Medical Clinic and the Rehabilitation Center were also showing increased volumes, with more than 30 percent more clinic visits through October of this year compared to last, and nearly 25 percent more physical therapy treatments.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

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