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Murray County Medical Center’s interim CEO gives hospital update

SLAYTON — Murray County Medical Center (MCMC) Interim CEO John Osse gave his initial presentation to the MCMC Hospital board during its Tuesday meeting at the Murray County Government Center.

Osse gave an administrative report on what he has done since becoming interim CEO, and on some of the events that the hospital has hosted.

“We had a meet and greet last week and had a steady number of people that came through, and without exception I definitely felt welcomed,” Osse said.

Osse also commented on the health fair that MCMC hosted earlier in the month. He said over 40 vendors were present and about 150 people attended.

Osse also gave a recruitment update, noting that a physician will be resigning from the hospital late June.

“I’ve contacted a recruiting company that has been successful in the past in recruiting physicians,” Osse said. “They’re working on that right now.”

In addition, the hospital has hired three registered nurses, a laboratory director and two emergency department physician assistants.

Osse also stated that the hospital has implemented exit interviews for all employees.

The CEO will review the interviews and discuss them with the appropriate department managers, according to Osse.

“We are also considering an employee survey and I’ve spoke with a company who issues those,” Osse said. “They’ve given us a price, so that will be implemented very soon.”

The hospital’s debt was also addressed at the meeting.

According to Murray County Medical Center CFO Renee Logan, the long-term debt is $5.8 million, but the current portion of the debt is $345,000. The current portion is due to both the MRI and the building project.

The hospital also saw a net loss of $388,000 for the month, which was partly due to the severance pay that was given to former CEO Mel Snow, according to Logan.

MCMC hospital board chair Bob Moline announced that the board, including Osse, met with four citizens to discuss the public’s concerns with the hospital.

Cal Wurpts, a former mayor of Slayton, read a letter at the Tuesday meeting on behalf of “several hundred Murray County citizens” stating their opinion on what should happen with the future of the hospital, according to the letter.

“Our concern arises from the fact that we have had four long-term providers who have left MCMC over the past 12 months…with the departure of these providers and other health care professionals, many MCMC patients are now going elsewhere,” the letter stated.

“We feel that it is critical to the future of MCMC to attempt to bring the four providers back, and with them their patients back,” it added. “In our opinion, the best way to accomplish that is to sever the current management agreement with Sanford and negotiate a new management agreement with Avera.”

Osse said he has not seen a breach in the contract with Sanford, but that he understands the board needs to explore all the options.

The MCMC board will be having a strategic meeting from 7 to 10 a.m. April 30 — open to the public — to discuss the hospital’s options of continuing with Sanford Health or negotiating a deal with Avera.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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