Fulton County Hospital Chief Executive Officer Angela Richmond handed over her 30-day notice and resignation letter to the board during the March 30 board meeting.
Richmond was working part-time between two hospitals, Community Medical Center of Izard County in Calico Rock and FCH in Salem, for the past year.
Her past experience includes director of finance at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Mo., (1998-2006); owner and president of Richmond Management Services, Inc. (1995-present); chief cost accountant at Capital Mercury Shirt Manufacture in Gassville (1987-1995); and director of information systems at West Plains Hardware, Wholesale in West Plains, Mo., (1978-1986).
She had been working at CMC since 2006 and now she is going back to work full time.
Last week's issue of The News printed much of Richmond's resignation letter. In the letter she writes that the FCH board was wanting an answer as to whether she was going to work at the hospital full-time or resign. FCH's unwillingness to share resources to CMC was one of the reasons behind Richmond resigning, she writes. "Dr. Arnold has told me the board is insisting that tonight I must make a decision to come here full-time or walk away. In spite of the struggles, this has been a great journey that I would do all over again just to be part of giving my local hospital a fighting chance. But the relationship between the CEO and the board must be one of respect and not one of micro-managing and control. Unfortunately, for this reason, I must decline the board's offer," she writes.
"I want to thank you for everything you've done for us thus far," board member Sue Hertzog said. "It's just amazing to me that we've done so much while you've been here, and I can't imagine anyone else who would have accomplished it."
"I appreciate the fact that you've always been honest with us," board member and Salem Police Chief Albert Roork said.
"Angie, you've done an incredible job at this hospital," chairman Dr. Griffin Arnold said.
"The opportunity to change your mind is still there," board member Jerry Estes said.
In other business, Tony Caudel, director of maintenance at the hospital, gave a bid package presentation on how much damage the ice storm and every day wear and tear did to the roof of the hospital. Caudel created a slide show presentation which had pictures of the roof that showed the open old phone lines, exposed pipes and pools of water that is up there.
Caudel showed part of the roof where a pond of water collects when it rains. He said this is the area that maintenance would like to get reroofed. "If you have water that ponds like that, that's a problem," Caudel said.
Caudel said maintenance has been in the process of replacing the air conditioning and heating units on the roof. He said there is a boarder around these units which was put up to avoid people on the ground from seeing the units. When the new roof is put on, Caudel said, those boarders will no longer be there. He said these boarders are places where water can get in and start puddling. Caudel also said there are old units that are no longer used and other materials on the roof that he intends to take off the roof. "We want to take off everything that does not need to be up there," Caudel said.
He said the main problem with the roof is the ponding of water. "A flat roof is not good any way you look at it," Caudel said.
"The area we're looking at (to reroof) is going to be between 15,000 and 16,000 square feet," Caudel said. "We are looking at putting a hot applied built-up asphalt roof." He said a vent layer will be put under the existing roof to dry it out so they can get working on putting a layer of light concrete down and an asphalt layer.
Caudel estimated that the total cost of the project would be between $150,000 to $200,000.
Richmond said the hospital's insurance is trying to work something out with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on covering some of the cost to repair the roof. She also said if FEMA doesn't reimburse the cost, the hospital has enough contingency money to cover the cost. "If we don't need it for the roof, then we will use it (the contingency money) to finish remodeling the old part," Richmond said.
"Speaking of remodeling, the rooms that have been redone look wonderful," board member Vicki Fowlkes said.
In the information technology update, Richmond reported on all of the new technology and software that has been added on to the hospital since March 2008. The hospital now has an up-to-date computer network and communications network. It has also been able to implement the PACS system and a new digital dictation system and has updated software and technology across the board at the hospital to better suit the needs of patients and receive a faster response time in treating them.
March 18 was Chief Information Officer Philip Hughes' last day at the hospital. "Although Philip has resigned, we are grateful to him for directing us and giving us the technology to compete in the 21st century," Richmond said.
Jesse Romine has received an I.T. scholarship of $50,000 from the hospital to continue his studies and be able to act as the hospital's new information technology officer. "In one year I have seen Jesse grow and learn at an exceptional pace, and if he remains committed, he has the potential to be a strong I.T. professional," Hughes said.
In the financial report, Richmond said cash assets had decreased in February compared to January by about $20,000.
Richmond said the hospital is waiting on a sales tax ordinance to pass at the Fulton County Quorum Court that deals with a couple of doctors who now are required to rent their clinic space in the hospital for $200 per day. One of the doctors is willing to sign the contract but the other is not, according to Richmond. The county clerk, Vicki Bishop, has been made aware of the situation and is changing the ordinance to suit the needs of the hospital.
The hospital's line of credit at the Bank of Salem is down to $21,864, Richmond said. She said the sales tax the hospital will get from the county will go toward that line of credit, which will bring it down to $7,745. "We're very happy to have (the line of credit) down to that amount," Richmond said.
The monthly gross revenue increased to $305,678, and the year to date gross revenue increased to $5,279,051.
The net operating revenue also increased. The monthly revenue increased to $155,820, and the year to date revenue increased to $2,601,665.
"As we see inpatient days growing, it is good for us, financially, to also see our swing bed days continue to grow," Richmond said. "However, it is concerning, but expected with our current economy, to see our cash inpatient days growing from .9 percent in 2008 to 4.34 percent in 2009 and our Medicare inpatient days dropping. Inpatient self pay was at 1 percent in 2008 and it went to 7 percent in 2009."
In the monthly report of hospital services, inpatient admissions were down by nine from last year and swing bed admissions were up by four from last year. Total inpatient days went up from 298 from last year to 376 this year. The total swing bed days were also up from 50 last year to 81 this year.
The next Fulton County Hospital board meeting will be April 27 at 7 p.m. in the dining hall. All are welcome to attend.