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More new staff joins ranks at Sheridan Memorial

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees approved Dr. David Walker to join the hospital staff with privileges to practice internal medicine at Big Horn Mountain Medicine at its regular meeting Wednesday.

Walker completed a doctorate of osteopathy at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Santa Barbara, Calif., and an internal medicine residency at the University of Nebraska. He has practiced in Spearfish, S.D., and Temecula, Calif., and has served as medical director of a surgical hospital and chair of a peer review committee. He has a wife and four sons.

Three other new doctors — out of a total seven new doctors added to hospital ranks in the last couple months — were also present at the meeting.

“All these new doctors coming in is an exciting thing for Sheridan,” board Chair Ron Mischke said.

The board also voted to approve its Scope of Services, which is a listing of all the services provided by the hospital that is required by the Joint Commission and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Sheridan Memorial Hospital CEO Mike McCafferty said.

“It’s something the board has to review, and take action on and sign off on. It’s an obligatory process,” McCafferty said.

The remainder of the meeting was informational.

Board members discussed the recently completed Champion Group survey, an assessment of the hospital completed by consultant Sandy Champion that included a physician needs assessment, a community opinion survey and a market analysis.

The overview revealed that Sheridan Memorial Hospital has an 80 percent capture rate, meaning that approximately 80 percent of those surveyed stayed in Sheridan for medical services, and that the overall opinion of the hospital in the community was favorable.

“We have a great reputation in the community,” McCafferty said. “We’re not always going to be perfect, and there will be times that we fail, but I think what really sets us apart is how we respond when we do have challenges. I think our organization and our people in the organization do a great job of that, and it shows through those surveys.”

The Champion Group survey also examined physician supply and demand through 2016, and data indicated that the hospital will need more doctors. McCafferty said the hospital will continue to assess its needs and determine the best strategies for increasing its staff.

Chief Financial Officer Ed Johlman said that July was a strong month financially with revenues higher than July 2012.

The hospital made approximately $300,000 in total net operating income in July, which is comfortable, McCafferty said, noting that there are still challenging times ahead.

“Our hospital has zero debt, and we have a strong operating model,” McCafferty said. “We’re a conservative organization. We pay attention to the things that are important to us and to this community, and we align those values with the way that we manage this organization.”

Facilities Supervisor James Rader reported that work continues in the new urgent care clinic that will be part of the emergency room. It should open in early to mid-fall.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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