3 board members exit Oklahoma hospital; CEO to retire

Three board members have departed Memorial Hospital of Texas County in Guymon, Okla., and its CEO plans to retire at the end of March, according to a Jan. 4 LinkedIn post.

The board members — Jack Strain, board chair; John Garrison, board vice chair; and Robert Carter, finance committee chair — resigned after a challenging period that included a failed board vote to approve critical short-term funding, according to the hospital. 

William Ermann will retire as Memorial Hospital CEO on March 30 after more than three years at the helm. He submitted his resignation on Dec. 5th as part of a cost reduction plan initiated in May.

Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed facility, continues to battle challenges that rural hospitals across the country are facing, including low patient volumes, staffing shortages, high inflation and diminishing reimbursement from payers. Compounding these issues are a prolonged decline in volumes, aging infrastructure and years of operating losses. 

"Despite the approval of a 0.45% sales tax in 2019 to alleviate operating debt, only a fraction of those funds remains for daily operations," the hospital said in a news release. "Additionally, a separate 0.40% sales tax — intended for infrastructure repairs in the 75-year-old facility — falls short of the estimated $3.6 million required for current repairs."

A special election will be held Jan. 9, offering a chance for the community to provide long-term funding to maintain key services at the hospital. 

Memorial Hospital is searching for a CEO to succeed Mr. Ermann as well as replacements for the three board members.

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