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Three candidates are seeking one seat on the Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees. Incumbent Jay Loveland did not seek election for a five-year term.
Here are responds to a questionnaire. They are listed in alphabetic order.
JERRI S. CRUMP
Tell us about yourself —I have been married to Scott Crump we have five children combined. I have lived here in Texas County my whole life. Graduated from Houston High School. Then attended and graduated from Missouri State University with a Associates Degree in Nursing. I have been in Healthcare for 32 years, practicing in numerous nursing positions. Emergency Room Director, Med Surg Director. Direct Patient Care Nurse. I have also worked from home for the Federal Government as a Tele a health Triage nurse for active duty military and their dependents around the world.
TCMH is one of the county’s largest employers. What needs to occur to guide the institution during a difficult time for rural health institutions? Continue to recruit long term Health Care Physicians to the Hospital who will admit and manage patients here at home. Focus on Providing Quality Patient care. Improve and upgrade current medical equipment.
What does TCMH do well? How might it improve? Collaboration with outlying Facilities Providing Advanced Care not available at TCMH. Need to recruit and retain Healthcare Physicians long term. Changing Physicians frequently causes delays and missed opportunities for needed Medical evaluation, treatment and follow up management whenever there is a lapse in medical management.
What should receive top priority as part of the hospital’s strategic initiatives? Increasing Tele-a Health options for patients. Looking at home care Physicians that actually go to the patients home to evaluate and treat for any medical needs. Updating facility, equipment, patient rooms. Focus on long term physician and nursing retention.
What is the role of a trustee on the hospital board? To ensure that the hospital doors stay open and that quality and compassionate care is provided. Ensuring the hospital’s financial stability. Ensuring that all patient and employees are treated fairly without bias.
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Ross Richardson. I was raised in Houston. After high school, I graduated from SMSU, now Missouri State University. After a 40 year career with State/Federal Government, I returned home to serve my community. I am a past City Council alderman and currently on several boards to include the City’s Industrial Development Authority, Houston Community Foundation, Houston Education Foundation and MU Extension Council. I am a member of Community Crossroads Church in Raymondville. My family includes my wife Linda and daughter Leah Biddinger, son-in-law Dwayne and granddaughter Zoey of Huntsville, Texas.
TCMH is one of the county’s largest employers. What needs to occur to guide the institution during a difficult time for rural health institutions?
Attention in making decisions for the best interest of the hospital. It must maintain a healthy financial status in working with all the various private/governmental sectors and numerous complex regulations. We must create incentives to attract qualified staff and physicians to the hospital.
What does TCMH do well? How might it improve?
The hospital has staff that cares and are very personable. The hospital continues to update equipment and facilities that benefits patient care. The hospital should seek more specialty physicians so patients can be treated locally. New avenues must be examined to retain existing staff and physicians.
What should receive top priority as part of the hospital’s strategic initiatives?
While working well together as a staff is vital, patients and patient care should be the main focus of the hospital. Patients must receive quality and consistent healthcare.
What is the role of a trustee on the hospital board?
A trustee, as part of the board, provides the oversight and direction of the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer while allowing the management team to lead operations. A trustee assists in formulating/guiding policy decisions. While serving as an advocate for the hospital, a trustee creates/maintains relationships with local/State governments and community interest groups.
Tell us about yourself — I believe in three things. God, Family and Country. My relationship with God and Family is secure. However, I am losing my country. It is on a jet ski to socialism/ communism. And if we cannot stop it we will no longer be the land of the free. Right now, there are not enough brave men and woman that will stand up and be counted. We are lacking as a people to stand for freedom. Including freedom for our health choices. We allowed Communist pencil necks to tell us what to do and even how to think about COVID for the last three years. Which, as the Bible says the pig will return to the mire and the dog to its vomit. So we should expect them to try to enslave us. And we only have ourselves to blame for allowing it to happen. I feel we need to take responsibility for ourselves and stop relying on the Government to tell us what to do. America operates on the consent of the governed. And without bravery we can never have freedom
TCMH is one of the county’s largest employers. What needs to occur to guide the institution during a difficult time for rural health institutions? I am not sure that everyone in the community understands how important the hospital is to our area. Yes the leadership of the community might say they do, but the general public doesn’t think about TCMH anymore than they did about the Town and Country Mart that used to be in Houston. Which is no longer in Houston, because people would rather go to Walmart than shop there. However the Town and Country Mart in Mountain Grove is doing fine and they have a bigger Walmart to compete with. Why? How many folks that you know (including your family) will go to OMC or Cox/Mercy or Rolla for services that they could have done right here at TCMH. As for the community leaders that say they understand how important TCMH is. How many of them have their medical procedures done here? Until the entire community (not just those that have no choice) wants TCMH to be there provider for medical services nothing will get better. What needs to occur is that folks need to choose TCMH for healthcare.
What does TCMH do well? How might it improve? There are lots of things that TCMH does great. The real question is how many people know that TCMH is doing great things? If the tree falls and nobody hears it did it fall? I say no. Yes TCMH is having fundraising golf tournaments. How many golfers are getting their healthcare at TCMH? I submit that most go elsewhere. TCMH needs to show and tell that they can and do provide high quality healthcare for everyone. Transparency is a vital part of every institution and I am not sure how transparent TCMH is. For instance, the county 911 is setting on over 1.5 million is CD’s and a checking account, with two banks. But unless someone asks for this information does the community know? And it took several different questions to get the information. How much is unknown about TCMH because no one knows what questions to ask.
What should receive top priority as part of the hospital’s strategic initiatives? According to a report last year (published in the board minutes) The hospital ended the month of May 2022 with a negative bottom line of $658,172 and a year-to-date loss of $2,047,669. “This is very alarming with the hospital only being five months into the year,” (CFO Linda) Pamperien said.
Whatever strategy that gets developed needs to address this problem. But at the same time reality is; the main revenue streams are from three sources. Medicaid/Medicare/private insurance.
Medicaid patients are going to come to TCMH because they have no choice, however according to some reports, providers lose money with Medicaid. Medicare patients will go where they feel comfortable. TCMH needs to show them they are the better choice for their health needs. However according to some reports, providers break even with Medicare. And of course, the (self pay) uninsured is what it is. The goal is to get the private insured to use TCMH. That has been a bridge too far for a long time.
What is the role of a trustee on the hospital board? The trustee position is defined in the origination of the hospital. However, as a member of this community I want to see our hospital meeting the needs of as many folks as possible. There are several things that TCMH can be doing to raise community perception. Some may not make money in the beginning but would yield great profits and positive support from the community. Our health system is based on people getting sick and seeking treatment. Why are we not promoting people staying well and preventing illness? Just as Jesus said, “you will always have the poor with you.” I think that we will always have the sick. But everyone we can encourage to be healthy longer is better for our community. If the course is not corrected soon the choices of healthcare provider will be limited. The government cannot be allowed to control every aspect of our county hospital. And the TCMH board needs to make sure that does not happen.
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