In Nov. 24 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
After a lengthy executive session last Tuesday night and another executive session during the hospital board's regular monthly meeting Thursday that lasted around three hours, there is still no word on the possible hiring of a new, permanent CEO.
The hospital has been without a CEO for nearly a year and has had two interims in the meantime, both George Walz and the current interim Bernie Zucker have served in that capacity since former CEO Gary DelForge was relieved of his duties in January.
The hospital board is reportedly down to three candidates for the open position as interviews have already taken place, according to Alliant Vice President Jeff Buckley. The potential CEO candidate resumes and interviews were discussed during the two executive sessions.
An announcement by the board on a new CEO could come at anytime.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• CFO Ken Kimsal said the month of October was "pretty low for us," financially.
"Being a critical access we can weather some of those dips," he said, saying the hospital does not rely solely on volume.
"We were, overall, about 20 percent behind budget for the month and most of that was a result of inpatient, which was 46 percent behind budget," Kimsal said. "And this was one of the rare times that outpatient was low."
He said that within the past week, things have turned around and business is back to normal for this time of year
"That put us at an operating income of about $12,000, still in the black, somewhat below our $44,000 budget for the month," he said. The hospital's net income for the month was just over $35,000.
For the year to date, the hospital's total assets are $14,925,590.
"We're still in good shape as far as liquidity goes," he said.
• Zucker told the board the hospital was looking for a new lab director after Lisa Johnson recently submitted her resignation to purse another opportunity.
• Jeramy Coffey with the city of Russell Springs talked with board about the proposed widening of Cortez Rd. near the entrance to the hospital as to allow more ease for emergency vehicles.
Coffey told the board the cost just to widen the road would be $39,400. He said state permits would cost an additional $3,000 to $4,000 but that they could possibly use the city's bond for that.
Hubbard told Coffey the board still didn't know where they were financially yet on this project but it was one they would like to proceed with if at all possible.
In the coming weeks, a meeting is likely between the hospital board, the city of Russell Springs and county judge-executive-elect Gary Robertson about how to go about the project with financial input from all entities.
"We'll get all the parties together at the appropriate time and go from there," Hubbard said.
Coffey also said Lacey Dr. would also have to be widened to take care of traffic, with the city incurring that cost.
o Zucker told the board the USDA loan application requesting funds for the possible expansion of Russell County Hospital was ready to be signed and mailed to them.
CFO Ken Kimsal said the architects had turned in everything they needed to for the report, including the feasibility study.
• Zucker said the OIG had visited the hospital this month and found no healthcare deficiencies.
• The board accepted an RECC loan resolution. Board Chairman Jeff Hubbard signed the letter of credit and Kimsal signed the loan agreement and the promissory note.
• Zucker said that on Nov. 3 the Kentucky Hospital Association filed suit to prevent payment reductions to the critical access hospitals, such as RCH. No word has been heard back from the case as of yet.
• The board voted to update the hospital's sprinkler system.