HMH Board of Trustees Approves $1.2 Million Investment in Cardiology Services

The Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) Board of Trustees authorized $1.2 million in capital funding at its June meeting today to support the healthcare system’s growing cardiology program. The HMH cardiology team cares for more than 14,000 patients, adding more than 3,000 new patients a year. The funding will allow HMH to add a new cardiologist and additional nurses next year at HMH Central Cardiology Associates. The Cardinal Drive practice location will also undergo renovations to accommodate the growing team, allowing them to see more patients and provide improved comfort and care.

HMH Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Tom Carrico said the investment will enable HMH to purchase new nuclear imaging equipment that will be housed at the hospital’s main campus.

“HMH is committed to providing evidence-based cardiology care close to home. When the Central Cardiology Associates team joined the HMH family three years ago, it allowed us to take our heart program to a whole new level,” said Carrico. “Today, this critically important investment will allow us to keep growing to meet the tremendous demand for cardiac services”.

HMH Medical Group Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Joseph Valayam, M.D. was on hand for the board meeting and expressed enthusiasm.

“We want to provide HMH cardiac patients with the very best care,” said Dr. Valayam. “Improvements to our practice and the latest in nuclear imaging technology will help us do just that.”

The capital funds for cardiology services are part of the fiscal year 2020 budget that the board unanimously approved today. The budget also includes capital funding to replace the roof on the helipad tower. Built in 1993, Carrico said, the roof system is significantly beyond its service life, exhibits extensive deterioration, and is a main contributor to water leaks into the building.

In order to replace the roof, the HMH heliport has been temporarily relocated to the third level of the parking garage.

“These capital investments are exciting but barely scratch the surface. Until the sale of HMH to Baptist Health is final, we will not have enough capital to make all of the investments HMH needs and our patients deserve,” said Dennis Johnson, HMH President and CEO.

In other board news:

Financials. Also at the meeting, HMH Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lennis Thompson presented the financial report for fiscal year 2019 through May, reporting a net loss of $878,000. Thompson said Standard and Poor’s (S&P) recent rating affirmation of A- on 2013 revenue bonds that Hardin County issued on behalf of HMH pointed to the pending sale of HMH to Baptist Health as an indicator of HMH’s long-term financial stability.

Thompson said the report specifically cited “… that HMH’s sale to Baptist will mitigate HMH’s long-term capital needs and underfunded pension liabilities, generate beneficial operating synergies at HMH, and limit disruption in service at HMH.”

Ambassadors. Tim McDowell was named the HMH Ambassador of the Month for February. McDowell is a security officer. A co-worker nominated him for not only keeping everyone safe but doing so with a positive attitude, compassion and a genuine willingness to help people.

Ralph Jenkins and Dr. Thad Jackson, M.D. were named the HMH Ambassadors of the Month for April. Jenkins works in environmental services. A co-worker nominated him because of his kindness, eagerness to help others and his ability to lift everyone’s spirits. An HMH employee nominated Dr. Jackson for the incredible care he provides to his patients and the respectful way he treats the staff, taking a personal interest in each person with whom he works.

Kelly Johannes and Deborah Flynn were named HMH Ambassadors of the Month for May. Both Flynn and Johannes are physical therapists. Patients nominated them for their ability to put people at ease, actively listen and provide therapy and encouragement that improves patient outcomes.

Sandra Russell also was named an HMH Ambassador of the Month for May. Russell is a medical office clerk at HMH’s Central Cardiology Associates. A co-worker nominated Russell for her positive attitude and willingness to help people in any way she can. The co-worker said Russell helps make the workplace run smoother and makes everyone’s day brighter.

Pamela Fulkerson and Jean Plis were named the HMH Ambassadors of the Month for June. Fulkerson is a patient registrar. A friend of a patient nominated Fulkerson, who went out of her way to find the patient’s missing wallet that had dropped in the parking garage. The patient, who had mobility issues, was astonished and appreciative of Fulkerson’s willingness to go the extra mile. Plis is a scheduler with HMH’s Surgical Specialists. A co-worker nominated Plis for the kindness she displays to patients and her ability to put them at ease. The co-worker said Plis always gives extra effort to make sure everything is handled correctly.

Daisy Award. HMH’s Charlene Chism, a registered nurse in the HMH Emergency Department, also recently received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. A House Manager nominated Chism for the expert care she provides patients, noting the diagnosis of a 2-year-old for whom Chism recommended additional testing that resulted in appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The child fully recovered and avoided what likely would have been another visit to the emergency department.