Texas County Administrator offers help

CMH Employees lose insurance on Nov. 1


by Nancy Roberts

The board of Cimarron Memorial Hospital , Nursing Home, and Clinic met at 10 am on 10-17-06 in the conference room of the facility. Present at the meeting were members Lois Burkhalter, Matt Roberts, and board president Ralph Warren along with John Freeman and Kenny Maness, county commissioners. Absent from the meeting was board member Don Starks. Frank Lynch has resigned, and another board member from Boise City is being sought.

Jim Grocholski, CEO of Guymon's Texas County Hospital , addressed the board. He said his board had authorized him to speak with the Cimarron Memorial board in order to see if there is something TCH can offer to assist the local facility. He mentioned that their management team would be willing to meet with the management team at Boise City to do an analysis of the local facility in all areas. He stated he had ideas that might help keep Cimarron Memorial alive and that it is sometimes easier to see areas that needed fine tuning if a person wasn't so close to the problem. Grocholski related he would suggest that the areas of financials, balance sheets, payor rate, etc. be explored with Kevin Conner, interim administrator, at the board's approval. He also said another avenue to explore was a federally funded health center, to which Tammy Avent commented that a meeting was to be held October 17 at 7 pm on this issue.

Grocholski related he really loves the field of health care and previously was employed at Muskogee Regional Medical Center in the operational end of the facility until 2004. He had his own for-profit consulting company for a couple of years and then elected to return to the not-for-profit arena with Texas County Hospital . In total, he has 30 years in the health care field, 20 of those years in executive management positions.

Warren asked if Grocholski was aware of the current situation of the facility. He stated he was not. Then Burkhalter shared the top priority at this time was coverage of the emergency room and providing breaks for Doctor Wheeler. Grocholski said that just this week, he had received calls from three doctors who are interested in working in the Panhandle area.

Warren then inquired what kind of proposal would Grocholski would suggest. Grocholski stated he would need to look at financials, income, revenue cycles, salary, benefits, and staffing ratios. He would then offer recommendations on re-tooling. When Warren asked what it would cost, Grocholski stated just his costs would need to be covered as he did not intend to make money off the facility. He said much of the work would probably come after hours. He went on to say that he is just a regular guy working in a rural hospital and that his board and the Texas County commissioners were looking to be helpful. Warren stated the board was interested in proceeding to talk with him, and they approved Grocholski meeting with Conner and the CMH management team further. Grocholski emphatically stated, “We don't want to step in where we aren't wanted.”

In further comments from the community, Shelley Fowler asked about the status of Dr. Nims. Conner related Nims was on his way back to Michigan . Burkhalter stated he had passed one part of his licensure but not another.

Tammy Avent shared that Dr. Prameela Yoganandan, who recently completed over 30 PAP tests in the clinic the weekend of October 6-8, had offerred to provide coverage at the facility on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays beginning in November.

The board recessed for a conference call with Dave Peyok, who is suggesting ways to obtain J-1 visa physicians, who are generally doctors from other countries who need to provide services in the United States in order to get their full medical license in the US . He can also assist in finding physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The board made an agreement with Peyok as a consultant. The board then adjourned.

It was learned that insurance for all CMH employees will end on November 1.

Boise City News
P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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