Thursday, September 1, 2005
The ideal candidate for the position of administrator at The Memorial Hospital will meet a long list of community requirements.
Hospital board members will seek input from the public to determine exactly what type of person this community thinks will best represent the hospital and the people it serves.
"It will involve a lot of input from administration, stakeholders, medical staff and commissioners," board member Ron Danner said.
TMH is looking for an administrator to replace its longtime leader, Randy Phelps, who resigned in August after 18 years.
The hospital's management company, Quorum Health Resources, hired Susan McGough to staff the position in the interim, which is expected to last for about two months.
Quorum's Group Vice President Bill Donatelli said the company has fielded about 75 resumes from interested candidates.
Donatelli said he would whittle down the applications according to candidates who seem to best fit qualifications set by board members and the community. Donatelli said he should present an abbreviated list of candidates to board members by about mid-September.
"Part of this process depends on their criteria," Donatelli said about the board.
But board members are taking the hiring process one step further.
Danner said board members are querying representatives of local government, leaders at the college and hospital staff to gather input on qualities they would like to see in a new administrator. Hospital board members also will take suggestions from the community at an upcoming city council meeting.
"That will tell us what their opinions are," Danner said.
The board ultimately has the final decision on hiring a new leader.
An administrator for the hospital will be starting at an exciting, yet challenging time for TMH. Hospital officials expect to start construction on a new multimillion-dollar facility by June. But the nonprofit hospital also is attempting to reduce its bad debt to create a hospital with enough breadth and scope to be viable well into the future. Last year, the hospital wrote off more than $5.6 million in bad debt and uncompensated care.
The lost revenue also is because of low Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates, unpaid bills or by the hospital's mission to provide charity care.
These are just of few issues a new administrator will have to tackle.
"It's one of the most significant decisions a board makes," Donatelli said about hiring a new leader. "It's vital that they (the board) find someone who fits the hospital and the community."