Doctor considers future

by C.F. David

As a Cimarron Memorial Hospital employee, Dr. Pam Yoga hasn't been paid for a month. It isn't an uncommon phenomenon; the hospital has been in a financial crisis for a long time.

“But,” Yoga shrugged, I've done it before. They'll pay me when they can.”

Yoga, has her home computer on websites; looking at job opportunities for Board Certified Family Physicians. After Wednesday's hospital trustees meeting, she is considering a move.

“I am not comfortable working for Cypress,” Yoga explains.

“I feel my license will be jeopardized,” she added.

When it's pointed out that the Trustees in favor of retaining Cypress have made assurances the company won't be in a managment mode, Yoga is still suspicious.

“I feel I will be forced even if they act as a consulting company,” she said.

Yoga explains that as a Cypress employee, former Memorial Hospital CEO Alan Bird returned to the hospital last year with a mission according to Yoga of “Whipping the employees into shape.”

“They [Cypress] wanted me to admit 15 percent of the patients I see in the Emergency room,” Yoga said. “That's 15 of every 100.”

“I told him that Guymon, with Family Practice, Obstetrics, enjoined with once weekly visits of Orthopedics and Cardiology, only had an admittance percentage of 8.9 percent,” Yoga explained. ‘They also have a G.I. Scope once a week,” she added.

She turns back to the computer and pulls up a job search for a doctor in rural Missouri.

She pointed at the screen. “Look, they've griped about how much I make. I'm board certified in family practice. That means I must take at least 60 hours of training each year. Last year, I took 115; I have 79 hours this year. I do this to stay current, because you guys, deserve the best.”

The job she has found will pay $120 thousand a year, with no Obstetrical duties and her malpractice insurance paid along with other benefits.

“I would hate to leave Boise City. These people have taken me in; made me feel welcome.”

“I've gone into the county, into homes and treated patients,' she explained.

She also points out that she isn't the only employee who works hard at Cimarron Memorial.

“We have $1.2 million in Accounts Receivable; people owe us that for treating them. How do you think that money got there? Somebody worked their butt off for it.”

Asked what it would take to alleviate her concerns and reconsider leaving, Yoga doesn't hesitate, “Cypress off, and Rod Burrus as the CEO.

Asked why that combination, Yoga replied, “With Rod Burrus, for the first time we got to see the numbers. What we could've done...where we failed.'

“He gave the employees hope.”

“He addressed the inefficiences in the hospital.”

“He came to me and asked me, ‘What can we do to make this better?' ” Yoga explained.

“He spoke to the employees, and told them ‘I'm not a boss, we are a team. I'm relying on you to take this hospital to a better place.' He's transparent,” Yoga concluded.

Boise City News
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Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
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