Texas County Memorial Hospital photo

Texas County Memorial Hospital will no longer require a Covid screening to enter the hospital as a patient or visitor, the TCMH board of trustees heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.  

Chris Strickland, TCMH chief executive officer, said Missouri and Texas County’s classification level has been downgraded from extremely high to very high as Covid numbers have declined considerably. The intensive care unit bed occupation capacity in Missouri has dropped significantly to 76 percent which enables TCMH to transfer patients to other hospitals much easier.

Strickland explained that TCMH employees screening for Covid at hospital entrances have been removed. Most of the screeners have found other positions of employment at the hospital. 

“We will continue to isolate Covid patients,” Strickland said. “Also, any patient being moved to our medical surgical floor from the emergency room will still be required to be tested for Covid.”

According to Strickland, the hospital will review the current visitor and mask policies and will follow Centers for Disease Control and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines for healthcare facilities.

“We are looking forward to getting ‘back to the basics’ of medical care as we move into a post-Covid environment,” Strickland said. “At TCMH, we are ready to focus on the overall health of our patients without the pressures created by Covid.”

Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the January financials which showed inpatient revenue in line with budgeted expectations and outpatient revenues down $87,176 below budget expectations. The hospital’s overall expenses were down by $181,193, a 5.5 percent decrease.

“With the decrease in revenue, the hospital ended the month of January with a negative bottom line of $57,075,” Pamperien said.

In new business, Courtney Owens, TCMH chief nursing officer, introduced Jason Mayberry, the new education director at TCMH, who is responsible for coordinating new employee orientation, continuing education for all TCMH employees and education and outreach for the hospital.   

“We are excited to have Jason on our team to lead our training and education,” Strickland said. “Our education department is an important factor in process improvement, in boosting patient care, and enhancing the overall patient experience.”

Helania Wulff, TCMH director of marketing and public relations, announced the return of two events to TCMH. It will host a Community Blood Center of the Ozarks blood drive from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday, March 18.  TCMH will also host a Community Health Fair from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday, April 14. Both will be held in the TCMH Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room.  

Jeff Gettys, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, highlighted recent projects by the foundation.  The TCMH obstetrics department will receive a new bed, specially designed for obstetrics patients thanks to funding provided by the Mendel Foundation, Timmons Foundation and the TCMH Healthcare Foundation.  The hospital plans to donate the old bed for local educational use.   

Strickland said installation of a new computerized tomography (CT) unit will be in March.  During the transition from the current CT unit to the new one, the hospital will have a mobile CT unit on site March 7-23.  

“We are excited to upgrade the hospital’s CT unit to the latest and greatest in technology for our community,” Strickland said. “The CT unit is equipped with special lung and cardiac software that will give us the ability to do more for our patients with acute medical needs.”

Strickland also reported that TCMH is working with Salem Memorial District Hospital to ensure that both communities maintain access to local healthcare. 

“TCMH physicians are offering a helping hand in different areas where SMDH can use their help.  Our lab is also continuing to assist with blood bank and typing,” Strickland said. “We are willing to help our neighboring hospital get back on their feet as much as we can.”

Present at the meeting were Strickland; Pamperien; Owens; Wulff; Gettys; Jonathan Beers, DO, chief of staff; Renina Pearce, medical staff coordinator; and board members Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Joleen Durham, Allan Branstetter, Jay Loveland and Steve Pierce.

Due to a scheduling conflict, the next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees has been moved to the fifth Tuesday, March 29, at noon in the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room. To attend the meeting via teleconference, call 417-967-1236 to be placed into the teleconference meeting.

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