In an April press release, Community Memorial Healthcenter (CMH) announced that it had begun an assessment process to assist its Board of Directors and Senior Administration in short and long term strategic planning for the Healthcenter so that it can best meet the community’s health care needs.
As is the case with many hospitals today, CMH must adjust to today’s ever changing healthcare environment and plan for the future. Hospitals are now faced with increasingly challenging issues that include, among others, reduced reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers; changing physician practice patterns; increasing cost management pressures; and an increasing number of uninsured and indigent patients.
Several months ago, the CMH Board of Directors engaged Navigant Consulting, Inc., one of the nation’s leading healthcare consulting firms, to conduct an independent, objective assessment of CMH’s strategic, financial, and operational position.
Board chairman Wayne Parrish remarked, “Navigant has completed its initial assessment and has presented their findings to the Board of Directors. According to the Navigant report, 70 percent of the nation’s hospitals are currently aligned in some way with larger systems and there are multiple models of affiliations available to hospitals, if the decision is made to affiliate. As the next step in the process, the Board has appointed a Special Steering Committee of its members to explore potential affiliations and partnerships that would enable CMH to continue to meet its commitment of delivering compassionate care and outstanding clinical services to our citizens.”
The eleven members of the Steering Committee, appointed by Chairman Parrish and approved by the Board, are John Lee of Clarksville who will serve as the committee’s chairman, co-chair Denny Hardee of South Hill, Tyler Howerton and Jerry Reynolds of South Hill, Cindy Pecht of Lawrenceville, Billy Wilkinson of Dundas, Wayne Parrish of Kenbridge, and CMH President and CEO Scott Burnette. Members of the medical staff serving on the committee are Dr. David Brown, Dr. Tony Adams and Dr. John Strunk. Chairman Lee remarked, “It is critically important to involve our communities early in the process and for us to understand what the community needs and wants from its local hospital as we evaluate options. Should the Board decide that a partnership or affiliation is in CMH’s best interest and brings value to the communities we represent, we must find the relationship that is the best fit for our community, and most importantly, one that shares our culture, mission, vision and values.” Lee explained that, in order to accomplish that goal, the Steering Committee would also establish a Community Advisory Committee composed of 20-25 recognized leaders from the communities that CMH serves to work with the Board’s Steering Committee and provide its members with perspective and insight onthe community’s healthcare expectations.
“Knowing the communities’ expectations will be critical as the Board considers options thataddress today’s challenges, while sustaining its community driven mission,” stated Board Chairman Parrish.He added, “We all want what is best for our community, and the members of the CMH Board of Directors are dedicated to making sound and prudent decisions that will position CMH to best meet the healthcare needs of the people in our region now, and into the future. We will make every effort to keep the community updated and involved in the process,” said Parrish. The Steering Committee of the Board is expected to complete its work sometime in the fall.