Rod Burrus named as hospital CEO

by C.F. David

Rod Burrus, formerly of Friendswood, Texas, is the newly chosen Chief Executive officer of Cimarron Memorial Hospital.

Though Burrus and his family, wife Angela and two children, Hollie, 11 and Riley, 7, are moving here from near Houston, they are not unfamiliar with the High Plains.

“She [Angela] is eager to get here. Burrus' wife is an R.N. Certified in Advanced Cardio-Life Support.

Asked if she will work at CMH, Burrus replied, “That depends on Connie or Wanda, she will put in an application just like anyone else. If they wish to hire her, that's OK as long as she doesn't report to me; if they don't that's OK too. I don't think it would be ethical for me to hire her, or for her to answer to me.”

Burrus graduated from Dumas, Texas High School and Angela from McClean, Texas in 1987.

Burrus' wife is a nurse and took her first job in Methodist Hospital in Lubbock, where Burrus found a job in Materials Management; he was hooked on the health field.

“I hadn't done particularly well in school; but when I went for my master's Degrees, I was an Honor student. Working at Methodist Hospital was a life-changing event for me,” Burrus explained.

“I have dual Master's Degrees, in Health and Business Administrations from the University of Houston, Clear Lake, Burrus said.

“I did a year's residency in Christus St. Joseph's Hospital.”

“We wanted to move to a place like Boise City for the quality of life. In Houston, you can do anything you want; get anything you want at 4 a.m. But, the things you think are common, a friendly wave, being able to look someone in the eyes, are not,” Burrus smiled.

“I have worked in a hospital for eight years and have never been invited to a function. Here I worked for one day and was invited by John Smith to go to the Rotary Club. But, you see, that really wasn't something John did; it was espoused by the community,” Burrus explained.

Asked why he accepted a job at Cimarron memorial, a hospital that has had a quick succession of CEO's and is debt-laden, Burrus smiled.

“It wasn't a difficult decision. I believe in this community and the opportunities here to raise children.”

“I see it [the hospital] as a benefit.”

“I guess you can call it faith...or fate. The board let me know up front that this hospital is needed in the community. They had a passion to keep this hospital open. They inflamed me. I don't think the community has any idea of the time this board of trustees invests to keep this hospital going.”

“This hospital is vulnerable. They have a difficult revenue cycle, and accounts payable that need to be paid.”

“But, the sales tax passage shows that the county stands behind this hospital,” Burrus pointed out.

“If I do nothing more over the next couple of years other than get this hospital to making money, then I've made a commitment to this community.”

“I appreciated that my parents didn't move me around as I grew up. I'd like to have that for my kids. Hollie is beginning the sixth grade; I'd like to keep her here through the eighth grade at least...after that, we'll see.”

“ This hospital needs stability in this office. Where do I start? I've already talked to the senior staff, the Directors of nursing and the Nursing Home Administrator. We are going to form a finance committee and we are going to make a roadmap out of debt. I intend to have that road map for the trustees by my second meeting with them. You have to start chipping away at that debt, just as if you were getting out of credit card debt.

“We need some new technology, we are running computers on outdated technology.”

“We need referrals coming into this hospital.”

Asked about the possibility of surgery being done at Cimarron Memorial again, Burrus nodded his head.

“Surgery usually pays very well. The big problem is Anesthesiology. But so much surgery is done laproscopically. I feel if we had the talent...I intend to do a cost analysis,” Burrus said. “I was surprised we didn't offer Obstetrical services.”

“Can it be done? I think so.”

Burrus then said he'd like to see dental and Opthomalogical services provided as well.

“I'd like to ask the community what they'd like from their hospital, what services they'd like.”

Asked how the new designation of Cimarron Memorial as a Trust Authority, might help with financing, Burrus replied, “Short-term financing gives us the opportunity to pay off some of our creditors and to make the hospital run more efficiently.”

“I see short-term financing as an opportunity to provide debt consolidation; to get back where we want to be.”

Asked to clarify that the change to a trust did not mean that the hospital's board meetings might be closed, Burrus said, “Absolutely not.”


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Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
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