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HMH board hears update on doctor recruitment


By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

The Howard Memorial Hospital board heard a physician recruitment report from CEO Debra Wright during a meeting June 27. 

Dr. Lisa Hendrix has begun covering shifts in the emergency department, Wright said, and is seeking a full-time position in the department beginning in October.

Dr. Hendrix completed the Family Medicine Residency program in Texarkana and has several years experience working in hospital emergency departments, according to Wright. 

“We are excited to welcome her to HMH.”

Wright told the board that a contract offer has been made to hire a hospitalist. 

“More information will be provided once the contract is signed,” she said.

Wright provided a number of other updates during the meeting.

Howard Memorial earlier this summer was named one of the top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States and was named to another CAH ranking.

“A task force is in the process of planning a celebration,” Wright said. Related story, 5A.

“I hope everyone associated with HMH is as pleased as all of the staff is for receiving this recognition. It takes all of us working together as a team to achieve the results necessary for these honors.” 

A strategic planning retreat was held June 15 to develop the 2024 strategic plan and corporate goals in advance of the 2024 operating and capital budget preparations.

The proposed plan and goals were presented at the board meeting.

Installation of the hospital’s fluoroscopy upgrade has been completed. The equipment was due to be operational when applications and staff training were completed.

Roddy Smith Jr., Howard County emergency management coordinator, has discussed the April 2024 solar eclipse with HMH. A countywide plan will be developed “to address the anticipated influx of people to Howard County and surrounding areas” to observe the eclipse.

Clint Schooley and Steven May will represent HMH for disaster preparedness and training in to help develop the plan.

CFO Bill Craig presented the financial report for May.

HMH had 31 days revenue in accounts receivable, Craig said. The target is less than 45 days.

The hospital had 115.2 days cash on hand. The target is greater than 145 days, according to Craig.

For the month, HMH recorded a loss of $151,064, compared to a budgeted profit of $32,099.

Collectible revenue from patient services was nearly $61,000 above budget, Craig said.

The average daily census was 8.0, with a budgeted ADC of 6.9.

Surgery cases exceeded projections, with 98 cases compared to 92 budgeted.

Receipts for May, excluding civics, amounted to $2,363,891.

Operating costs for the month were nearly $201,000 above budget, the report said.

Employee benefits exceeded budget $173,005, driven by health insurance costs, Craig said.

The hospital’s care of net income from LHC Home Health JV was $10,833. The budget was $35,000 profit.

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