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Three Board Members Depart from Memorial Hospital of Texas County

Joe Denoyer - January 4, 2024 3:20 pm

Guymon, Oklahoma – Memorial Hospital in Guymon, Oklahoma, announces the departure of three
esteemed Board Members: Jack Strain, Board Chairman; John Garrison, Board Vice Chairman; and Robert
Carter, Finance Committee Chairman. Their resignations follow a challenging period, marked by a failed
Board vote to approve critical short-term funding. Memorial Hospital, like many low-volume rural hospitals across the United States, is navigating operational and financial hurdles.

The hospital is currently contending with post-COVID low volumes, staffing shortages, high inflation, and inadequate reimbursement from medical insurance companies. Compounding these issues are a prolonged
decline in patient volumes, aging infrastructure, and years of operating losses. Despite the approval of a .45% sales tax in 2019 to alleviate operating debt, only a fraction of those funds remains for daily operations. Additionally, a separate .40% sales tax, intended for infrastructure repairs in the 75-year-old facility, falls short of the estimated $3.6 million required for current repairs.

A special election on January 9, 2024, presents an opportunity for the community to provide the hospital with much-needed long-term funding, crucial for sustaining essential healthcare services.

Expressing gratitude for the departing Board Members, William Ermann, CEO of Memorial Hospital, stated,
“The departure of these three Board Members is significant. Their unwavering dedication has been
instrumental in ensuring medical care remains accessible to the Texas County community. We extend our
sincere thanks for their years of service and commitment to preserving emergency, inpatient, and diagnostic care close to home.”

Mr. Ermann himself submitted his resignation on December 5th as part of a cost reduction plan initiated in May 2023. His last effective date of employment will be March 30, 2024. Reflecting on his tenure, Mr. Ermann stated, “I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with such a high-quality team of
individuals, including our three resigning Board Members. The team has worked tirelessly to significantly reduce costs while simultaneously improving service, quality, and safety for our patients and community.” Noteworthy achievements during his leadership include the implementation of a hospitalist program, the installation of a new GE telemetry system, and the successful attainment of three consecutive years of DNV hospital accreditation, enhancing safety and quality for patients and team members.

The hospital is currently in the process of searching for replacements for the resigning Board Members and a successor for Mr. Ermann. The Board is committed to ensuring a seamless transition in leadership.

 

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