McGrath Selected as PMC Board Member


Dr. Kevin McGrath being sworn in as a PMC Board Member

Lamar optometrist, Dr. Kevin McGrath, was sworn in as the newest Prowers Medical Center member to the board of directors.  McGrath is replacing former member Jan Hall, who recently resigned from the board.  McGrath will fill the remainder of Hall’s term, until May, 2014.  McGrath, who grew up in Las Animas, had lived in California following his college career and had lived in La Junta for two years until he opened his practice in Lamar in September, 1995.   

He said he hadn’t followed the recent election process very closely, but, “I have always been interested in medicine and how it interacts and we’re a small part of medicine in optometry, but it is becoming a bigger and bigger part of it.”  He thanked the board for selecting him as its newest member.  In another matter pertaining to its operation, PMC board members decided to move their monthly meeting time to 6pm instead of 7pm, still on the fourth Wednesday of each month.  McGrath will receive a briefing from hospital attorney, John Lefferdink next month on the legal aspects of his new position with the board. 

The hospital’s strategic plan for the next three to five years is still in development.  Consultants from Quorum Health Resources conducted several community focus groups last month and QHR Regional Vice President, Mike Miller, told the board those results should be ready for discussion in the next several months.  The PMC Foundation is also expected to present the results of its strategic planning sessions by the September board meeting. 

Recruitment of medical staff was also broached by the board.  Member Ron Farmer asked if the turnover percentage of Prowers Medical Center was normal at about 13%, year-to-date.  COO Karen Bryant and Miller said that the loss of personnel has been consistent for a small community, rural oriented hospital with Miller stating that PMC is a couple of percentage points better than comparable hospitals.  A key position in the hospital was recently filled with the hiring of a Compliance Officer, who will report to the board of directors.  CEO Craig Loveless said that person’s duties will be to ensure that federal and state regulations for hospitals are being followed, as well as local hospital by-laws and policies adopted by the board.  Loveless said his recruitment priority is on family practice and geriatric care, to the point that 2013 medical graduates will be approached for employment.  Several interviews have been conducted and he’ll inform the board of the results of those discussions. 

Loveless added that Prowers Medical Center is continuing to increase the number of specialty clinics for area patients following programs developed with Parkview and Memorial hospitals in Pueblo.  He said a recent agreement with Swedish Hospital for neurology and behavioral health will be a cost effective means of treating patients using telemedicine techniques.  

The financial report showed a net loss for July of $78,273, according to CFO, Audrey Kane.  The net operating loss was $87,520 and the month had been budgeted for a net profit of $93,915.  The board noted that the number of days of cash on hand has dropped for another month, now down to 80.  Loveless and QHR representative Miller said they are taking note of another month’s decrease, but there’s no need for any kind of alarm situation at this point.  Most hospitals prefer to maintain a monthly average of 100 days if possible. 

By Russ Baldwin 


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