The Vital Signs
by Rod Burrus, CEO,
Cimarron Memorial Hospital
Greetings and Happy New Year to You and Yours from Cimarron Memorial! It is not customary to start any correspondence with an apology but in this case I think it apropos. When I was offered this position I promised that I would keep the community informed of the occurrences here at Cimarron Memorial and I failed to write an article for December. My apologies.
Cimarron Memorial is about half way in our endeavor to update our computer systems in order to run a customer friendly service. Our Nursing Home has received new computers and software so they may more accurately document the physical, social and psychological needs of our beloved Residents. The hospital has all new computers and is in the process of implementing a software system known as APS that will provide us with everything from payroll to accounts receivable. The payroll and accounts payable went live the first week in January and the accounts receivable portion will be going live in February. My sincere hope is that all of the problems that we have, (not billing, double billing and delayed billing), will be corrected after February. This falls in line with my theory that you have to have the tools in order to do an adequate job.
If you have an opportunity to drop by our facility please do so. We are anticipating the arrival of four new physicians so we are in the process of beautifying our space. The mauve that was on the wall has been replaced by purples & blue, tans and grays. The old Labor & Delivery suite downstairs has been completely painted and refurbished to accommodate our new endoscopy services. The faded blue paint in the Labor & Delivery suite has been replaced with a brilliant white with forest green trim. The Nursing Home is anticipating a color change as well as local artist Shelley Fowler has agreed to help make the transition. She has already made a wonderful contribution in our Garden Room in the Nursing Home. Jerry Robertson & Lance Fowler worked diligently to improve our surroundings before Dr. Thomas's arrival.
Cimarron Memorial is pleased to announce that Dr. Frank Thomas from Hobart, Oklahoma has agreed to come to Cimarron County and provide endoscopy service the second week of January. Dr. Thomas has been providing endoscopy services for over thirty years and was benevolent enough to provide services to our facility free of charge. He bills insurance for his professional fees and we charge for the facility fees. He is a unique individual that understands our mission here at Cimarron Memorial and knows how he can help. The staff at Cimarron Memorial are indebted to him for allowing us to add this service. I explained to Dr. Thomas that we had the equipment and just needed the talent and he said he would be glad to help. When we were negotiating, Doctor Thomas explained that he had plenty of work in Hobart but had always loved the Black Mesa area and was anxious to spend a couple of days in our area. We intend to roll out the red carpet for Dr. Thomas who is a Board Certified Surgeon.
I alluded earlier to the fact that we have four new physicians that would be visiting us from abroad. Work is still very preliminary so nothing is written in stone, but I would like to tell where we stand. The first, of coarse, is Dr. Thomas. The second is a General Practitioner by the name of Dr. Gary Mathews out of Kerrick. I heard of Dr. Mathews from several of his satisfied patients and asked if he would be interested in providing services in our clinic. He expressed his interest and within days of our conversation we had an application for his Oklahoma license in his hands. The third physician that expressed interest in providing services at Cimarron Memorial was Dr. Ositadinma Opara from Dumas. Dr. Opara is an Internal Medicine Physician who specializes in Cardiology. When we last spoke, he had nearly completed his application for his Oklahoma license. The fourth Physician that I had the pleasure of speaking with is Dr. Dominador Perido. Many of you know Dr. Perido from Elkhart. He has been kind enough to offer his assistance in any manner possible. I had the opportunity to speak with him for several hours last week and I found him to be a very intelligent, easy mannered professional with a giving heart. As I mentioned, I am not certain that any or all of these Physicians will be here, but it looks hopeful that they will provide services on an interim basis. I do know that our facility will welcome any and all!
I am pleased to announce that my good friend Jack Shinkle, PA., PhD. has received his Oklahoma license and is now practicing at Cimarron Memorial Rural Health Clinic. Jack works four days a week, (Tuesdays off), so if you would like to see this gentlemen, just call the clinic at 544-3008 and they can schedule you in with him. Jack has over thirty years of experience and has worked in various locations from the Emergency Rooms of Dallas to a Veteran's Clinic in Florida. He is here to help!
While all of this is good news there are challenging times that have befallen our organization and probably more yet to come. We made real progress over the last four months and have stabilized our facility in many ways. We do however have problems with our financials. Money is short as the holiday season rolls around and people who usually make a payment to the hospital chose to pay for Christmas presents instead of their health care bill. Also, during November and December we had creditors crawling out of the woodwork to collect past due payments which heightened our situation. Many of these creditors wanted to collect prior to the end of the year so added pressure was placed on us to pay. We made deals where we could and paid as much as possible but it hurt us badly.
Cimarron Memorial struggles daily to exist and probably will have trouble for a while. It took years to create the situation that we find ourselves in and I am sure that it will takes years to pull ourselves out. The critical difference between myself and the employees that I have the pleasure of working for is, we will not quit! Failure is not an option! Cimarron Memorial may be threatened, it may be sued, but nothing short of Federal or State Governmental intervention will prompt me or the fine employees of our facility to walk away from this place. We are here to provide the best in quality healthcare to the residents of Cimarron County and surrounding counties and are a major player in the economic stability of Boise City. In closing I want to take a minute and thank our community supporters that have prayed for our continued success and have visited us either cordially or as a patient. Your thoughts and prayers have helped support us through the tough times that we have endured and will undoubtedly help us through our trials and tribulations yet to come.
Boise City News