Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

ROCK SPRINGS — Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County achieved several accomplishments or milestones that included reducing an $8 million operating loss and celebrating its 125th birthday in 2018.

• Fiscal improvements.

In fiscal year 2016-17, MHSC reported an operating loss of about $8.07 million, but in fiscal year 2017-18 its deficit dropped to $16,843, according to a report.

MHSC Chief Financial Officer Tami Love told the Rocket-Miner in October that the hospital accomplished this in large part by decreasing its operating expenses by about $6.7 million, “while sustaining our level of revenue through our current services.”

“We were able to decrease purchased services, like contract labor, locum physicians and consulting fees, by hiring our own staff,” she said. “Our goal for fiscal year 2018 was to stabilize the growth from the prior years. We focused on reducing expenses through productivity and enhanced efficiencies. We concentrated on growing existing physician practices and hospital service lines.”

The hospital also saw its days cash on hand go up from 88 in June 2017 to 117 in October 2018.

Days cash on hand represents the number of days a hospital can continue to pay its operating expenses given the amount of cash that’s available, according to AccountingTools.

Other 2018 accomplishments include:

• Receiving funds to work on deferred maintenance projects.

The Sweetwater County Board of Commissioners approved a $1 million budget amendment on Dec. 18 to go toward the projected $3.255 million it will cost to invest in a chiller plant, which contains chillers or refrigerators, and heating plant deaerator tank.

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The investments will reduce the maintenance burden for both in-house staff and outside vendors as well as help increase the plant and tank’s service life, according to ST+B Engineering.

The hospital could receive an additional $3.5 million to go toward the project as a result from interest the hospital saved from paying its bond requirements early and money that was overcollected from a specific purpose tax approved by voters in 2012.

• Coming up with a new strategic plan.

In October, the board of trustees agreed to adopt a new three-year strategic plan.

The plan consists of five priorities, “which are critical areas of focus for the success and sustainability of the organization,” the October meeting packet states.

• A birthday celebration.

In November, the hospital celebrated its 125th birthday. The festivities included cupcakes, ice cream, face painting, kids’ games, trivia, a photo booth, an old-fashioned candy stand, hors d’oeuvres and community birthday photos. In addition, historical items, a timeline and slideshow were put on display.

• A Christmas event.

On Nov. 30, the hospital kicked off the holiday season with the How November Stole Christmas event. The hospital halls were transformed into a MHSC-style Whoville complete with games, cookie and ornament decorating activities, food, carolers, a visit from Santa Claus, and a special guest appearance from the Grinch.

• The hospital also received a Hospital Quality Excellence Award for the second straight year.

For more news from the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner, visit https://www.rocketminer.com/.

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