Top administrative personnel of Rural Hospital Group (RHG) were on hand Tuesday morning at Cooper Country Memorial Hospital (CCMH), to move forward with their plans after the purchase of the hospital.
On site from Rural Hospital Group were Darrel Morris, CEO; Bill May, Associate; and Mark Hirshberg, current CEO of CCMH. Their intent with this visit was to meet with staff and employees, and to update the community. They know the importance of keeping the citizens of the community informed on what is planned as of now. This group is evaluating the plant facilities and all operations.
Legally, the name for the hospital will be Cooper County Community Hospital, but signage will remain Cooper County Memorial Hospital for the present.
Morris wants the citizens of Cooper County to know the company now has an investment in our community. They will be working to make the hospital efficient, cost effective, and caring. They want a place people can go when they are ill, knowing the administration, staff, and employees will want what is the best for the patients.
RHG believes if the people know the goals of the company, it will give them the interest and impetus to fully support the hospital in the future.
They are pleased to be part of the community and hope to serve it well. With this in mind, they do intend to keep a local advisory board, such as the one now in place, to provide liaison for local concerns.
Why Boonville? Rural Hospital Group is in the business of buying rural hospitals that find themselves under an economic strain. The financial problems are due to the way the medical sector of the economy has tended to move toward larger medical centers offering “across the spectrum” care. Cooper County Memorial Hospital was a good fit for them as an acquisition target.
Present plans are to have a new building in approximately two years. The present building may be razed. No decision has been made on this.
They have an ongoing relationship with ACI Boland Architects and J. E. Dunn Construction, both Kansas City firms they have been working with long term, and who will be working on the building plans and construction. The intent is to use local contractors and workers for the project.
With the change in how medical care is handled, rural hospitals tend to be less involved with inpatient care and more involved with outpatient care. This will have an impact on the building plans.
Inpatient care facilities will not exceed fifteen beds. These would include “swing beds.” Swing beds can be for hospital patients, but would also be available for patients such as those who had a hip or knee replacement and needed to have a week or two of rehabilitative therapy within a medical facility.
There will be no Maternity Ward or Delivery Room, no Intensive Care Unit, no Long-Term Care.
There will be an Emergency Room, a Surgical Unit, Laboratory, X-Ray Unit, all of what it takes to run a rural hospital where most of the patients are seen on an outpatient basis.
The Medical Clinic and the Physical Therapy Unit in the building south of the hospital are part of the change. Both will continue to operate along with the hospital, as they are now.
There was a meeting scheduled later Tuesday morning where the RHG representatives would speak with employees. The company knows how important it is to keep employees current on planned changes.
The sale of the Cooper County Memorial Hospital to RHG-C for nearly 3.9 million was completed on February 7th.
Larry Arthur, CEO of RHG-C, has over 40 years of experience in rural hospital development. Arthur stated “our company looks forward to serving and working with the people of Cooper County. Our priority is to offer the highest quality healthcare attainable. Mark Hirshberg, CEO of Cooper County Hospital noted “I am excited about the transaction and what it will mean to the long-term survivability of our hospital as well as our ability to recruit nurses and other professional staff.”
RHGC and its partners have worked with over 800 hospitals in 42 states, a large percentage being rural providers. RHGC was founded to help keep health care accessible to rural communities through professional management and access to capital. RHG-C leaders have extensive developing and operating hospitals in rural settings.