Texas County Memorial Hospital has hired Lynsey Sullivan, a family nurse practitioner, from West Plains, board members heard at their monthly meeting last week.
Sullivan comes to TCMH with 13 years of experience as a nurse in the emergency room and six years as a nurse practitioner. She will practice family medicine with outpatients from birth to the end-of-life at the TCMH Medical Office Complex in Houston.
Sullivan specializes in “functional medicine,” a patient-centered approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of diseases. Sullivan will be board-certified in functional medicine in April.
“Lynsey has a passion to help people,” said Stace Holland, TCMH chief executive officer. “Her functional medicine certification will allow Lynsey to focus on prevention and vitality of life. We are excited and are very blessed to welcome her as we feel she will be a great asset to our patients and community.”
Helania Wulff, TCMH physician recruiter director, detailed current recruiting efforts. A family medicine physician who intends to practice obstetrics as part of a future practice will visit the hospital this month.
“We are also actively seeking an internal medicine physician and an additional general surgeon,” Wulff said.
According to Wulff, Latricia Juneau, FNP, who recently signed a contract with TCMH began seeing patients at the Medical Office Complex in Houston in December.
“We are very fortunate to have Latricia at our Houston clinic,” Wulff said. “She provides quality care to her patients, and they seem to connect with her.”
Wulff said Stephanie Thurman, FNP, who also recently signed a contract with TCMH began seeing patients at the Cabool Medical Clinic in November alongside Dr. Stephen Hawkins and sees patients part-time at the Licking Family Clinic.
“We are thankful for Stephanie and how well she transitioned from our medical-surgical department into practicing family medicine,” Wulff said. “She has already proven to be a great provider for our patients.”
Also at the monthly meeting, board members heard that Sara Openshaw, FNP, will return to the Mountain Grove Clinic and begin practicing family medicine full-time. As a family nurse practitioner, Openshaw will see patients of all ages – from birth through the end-of-life.
“We are extremely happy to welcome Sara back to the Mountain Grove clinic,” Holland said. “Sara is passionate about providing care to her friends and neighbors in rural America and we are confident she will do a tremendous job for TCMH.”
Wulff said Brittany Dahlager, DO, Cox family medicine and obstetrics physician, signed a one-year contract with TCMH. She is currently in her third year of residency and is providing part-time emergency room, pediatrics and medicine call coverage at the hospital.
In addition, Amit Shah, MD, a family medicine physician, extended his current contract to a three-year contract with TCMH. Shah is practicing medicine at the Medical Office Complex in Houston several days each month along with seeing patients in the hospital. He specializes in adult patients providing care for routine health as well as managing healthcare for patients with multiple chronic conditions.
“Dr. Dahlager and Dr. Shah are great additions to our medical staff, and we are very pleased to have them at Texas County,” Holland said.
Holland discussed the house owned by the hospital that is located behind the Hutcheson Pharmacy building. The board approved to pursue a remodel of the house.
“We are excited to utilize this house in the future for temporary housing for physicians or other staff that the hospital recruits,” Holland said. “It will be a great asset during the staff recruitment process.”
April Crites, TCMH quality and risk management director, presented the recent Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores for October through December. She said the data compiled reflects that patient discharge information scores were very high and doctors treating patients with courtesy and respect scored exceptionally high at the hospital.
Crites discussed the hospital’s Quality Assurance Performance Improvement reporting for year-end. She said the Mountain Grove Clinic is performing remarkably well with 530 new patients in 2022.
According to Crites, Dr. Elton Hoerning, a family medicine physician, at the Mountain Grove Clinic has established 236 new patients in 2022, and Christy Bramwell, FNP, has established 147 new patients since she started practicing family medicine part-time at the Mountain Grove Clinic in October.
“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Hoerning and Christy serving the Mountain Grove community with walk-in and scheduled patients from birth to end-of-life,” Holland said. “They provide quality healthcare to patients who have anything from routine care needs to complex medical conditions.”
Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the financial report for December highlighting an increase in outpatient revenues of $333,142 over budgeted expectations. The outpatient revenues were primarily through the emergency room, ambulance and laboratory departments.
“Our inpatient volumes did take another hard hit this month and were down $719,979, a 39.8 percent decrease from our budgeted expectations,” Pamperien reported.
The contractual adjustments at TCMH – the difference between the charge for care provided and the amount of money the hospital receives for the services – were substantially lower for the month.
“The hospital’s business office staff have done an exceptional job with our accounts receivable,” Pamperien said.
TCMH ended December with a positive bottom line of $1,173,228 and a year-to-date loss of $3,305,377.
Courtney Owens, TCMH chief nursing officer, reported that state surveyors arrived at Hospice of Care onTuesday, Jan. 2, for an unannounced federal and state recertification survey, the first agency survey since 2017.
Owens applauded the efforts of Caly Scantlin, TCMH hospice of care director, and the staff involved in the survey.
“Surveyors noted seven deficiencies that were all related to documentation, and a plan of correction has been submitted and accepted,” Owens said. “We are very pleased with how well the survey went.”
Nursing retention and recruiting have been a top concern at TCMH. Owens reported on efforts that include raising the nursing sign-on bonus to $2,500, a tuition reimbursement program of $1,000 per semester for full-time employees and student nurse interns pursuing a nursing degree, and a nursing loyalty program for the hospital’s full-time nurses.
According to Owens, the hospital has sourced three external agency nurses to ease the workload of hospital-employed nurses. “We want our nurses to know we appreciate what they do and want to prevent burn-out with overloaded schedules,” she said.
Holland said that Dr. Hollis Tidmore, general and vascular surgeon, and the outpatient surgery clinic will be moving across the street from the hospital in the same building as Hutcheson Pharmacy, Home Health of the Ozarks and Hospice of Care. Dr. Tidmore began seeing patients in the new clinic on Feb. 1.
Board members approved an amended Texas County Jail contract for inmate healthcare that reflected an 8 percent cost increase retroactive to Nov. 1.
Present at the meeting were Holland; Wulff; Crites; Pamperien; Owens; and board members, Joleen Durham; Jim Perry, OD; and Allan Branstetter.
The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is noon Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the hospital board room.