Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital's leadership optimistic about future, despite struggles

Updated: Apr. 28, 2017 at 5:44 PM CDT
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Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Gary Kendrick is back for a second time as an interim CEO. He says, "Things are getting...
Gary Kendrick is back for a second time as an interim CEO. He says, "Things are getting better." (Source: KTRE Staff)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - An interim CEO confirmed Friday that layoffs, unpaid bills, and worried employees are all occurring at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

However, his optimism for a stable future is rock solid.

It's been four months since Gary Kendrick with Plano-based Community Health Corporation Management Services began serving a troubled Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. It's his second trip back.  The prognosis is ...

"Things are getting better," Kendrick said. "It's going to take a while to get back to where we want to be."

Following an operational assessment, layoffs were conducted about a month ago.

"We targeted about 60 positions," Kendrick said.

The previous closure of the geriatric psych unit released about 20 positions. The closures of two rural clinics reduced the staff slightly. There were staff reductions through attrition as well.

"As it turned out we eliminated 13 positions, or basically 13 employees," Kendrick said.

Kendrick said it's not good for any of the 13, but it's beneficial for the hospital.

"We'll save, we estimated, about $3.6 million a year," Kendrick said.

Funds which are needed to release vendor holds and pay overdue bills.

"All of that is true. When we walked in the accounts payable, the amount of money we owe to vendors was huge," Kendrick said. "We have reduced that by about $4 million."

Kendrick lists three priorities: make payroll, pay physicians, and settle up with vendors.

"We have a plan," Kendrick said. "We can't pay everybody what we owe them for the past right away, but we are doing our best to stay current and pay our current bills. Things are better."

The recovery period could be up to 10 months. Once the hospital is stable, the search for a permanent CEO will begin. Stability is what attracts promising candidates.

Nacogdoches Memorial has retained Community Health Corporation for full-time management services. The executive and financial officers will be full-time CHC employees.

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