The three-year deal – worth $380-thousand dollars annually – was adopted last month (December) by the hospital’s board of directors, which is appointed by the Assembly.
Quorum is the largest provider of hospital management services in the country, and has been involved in daily operations at Bartlett for more than 20 years.
Under the new contract, the board will hire its own Chief Executive and Chief Financial officers, positions previously employed by Quorum. Past board President Kristen Bomengen says the group felt it was in the best long-term interest of the hospital to have its top-level managers be employed by the local board.
“Our community will have the best control of our own hospital, if we’re able to directly hire and hold our CEO accountable to our board and our community,” Bomengen told the assembly.
Bomengen says the board is close to hiring temporary replacements for Morrow and Hamblin while it conducts a nationwide search for a new CEO, who will be responsible for hiring a new CFO. The board is also in the process of selecting a search firm to help it recruit and select candidates for the top job. Bomengen expects that to take six months.
“First step is to place individuals in the interim positions, and we’ve already identified a number of candidates that are very good potential for those positions, and during this week we expect to complete that process,” Bomengen says.
The Assembly approved the contract with Quorum by a 7 to 1 vote. Assemblyman Randy Wanamaker was the only member to vote against it, saying he didn’t see the need to change the management arrangement.
“The people that served in those capacities were valued members of the community and provided good service for the community,” Wanamaker says. “We only have to look at the quality of care that Bartlett provides to this community and the advancements it’s made through the years, with the assistance of the board and the management teams, to understand that that model has worked. And I see insufficient reason to justify this significant change.”
Services covered under the contract’s “base fee” include: Business and Strategic planning; Operations and Financial Advisory Support; and free tuition for Bartlett managers at training programs offered by Quorum. The contract also gives the hospital access to Quorum’s purchasing network, which helps with obtaining equipment and supplies at special prices.
Bartlett Regional Hospital has an operating budget of nearly $90-million dollars a year. Most of that is funded by patient fees.
- A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.
- When a school closes in rural Alaska, families who stay face tough choices. They can send their children away to school in another village or city, or they can home school their kids. Clark’s Point fought for a third option, to reopen their school. The school, which closed in 2012, will be back in session next week.
- So far no reports of injuries in large fire that continues to burn at large, remote salmon processing plant on the Alaska Peninsula. One dock was cut away, and production facilities heavily damaged according to on-the-ground reports.
- Orutsararmiut Native Council held its first Science and Culture camp in July for high school students. Campers collected juvenile fish, like baby king and red salmon, and participated in activities in avian biology, ethnobotany and workshops on federal and state subsistence management.