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New Mexico hospital inks new management agreement, will implement performance improvement plan

Gallup, N.M.-based Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services has a new, three-year management agreement with Community Hospital Consulting, according to a May 12 statement from both parties.

Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services is a health system that includes Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital. Community Hospital Consulting is the management and consulting arm of Plano, Texas-based Community Hospital Corp. The agreement took effect May 3.

"Last August, the board sought a management company with industry leaders who know the importance of maintaining the independence and financial viability of the hospital," Steve McKernan, Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services board chair, said in a news release. "At that time, the board hired a nationally recognized hospital management firm to provide an experienced interim CEO. The RMCHCS board believed that engaging a management company with the expertise and experience with similar rural hospitals would be important and helpful."

The board decided to expand Rehoboth McKinley's relationship with CHC Consulting to be able to access operational resources to assist with operational, financial and clinical productivity improvements, said Mr. McKernan.

Craig Sims, Community Hospital Consulting's senior vice president of hospital operations, expressed excitement about the new agreement in the news release.

Community Hospital Consulting placed Don Smithburg as interim CEO, effective last September, and for an initial 12-month period. Mr. Sims said Community Hospital Consulting also conducted an in-depth operational assessment of the health system, and will begin working with health system leadership on the implementation of an action plan focused on performance improvement.

Additionally, Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services, which serves communities in northwestern New Mexico and eastern Arizona, will launch a new family medicine residency program in July.

The management agreement comes after an audit of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital released last September found the hospital had been improperly managed and operated. The audit was released after the board of Rehoboth McKinley fired former CEO David Conejo in June 2020. Luis Robles, Mr. Conejo's defense attorney, refuted the audit findings after the findings were released.  

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