"I believe we had another successful year," Hillsboro Area Hospital President and CEO Rex Brown said during the hospital board's annual meeting, Thursday, Oct. 19.
Brown summed the past year using the hospital's vision statement, to "partner with our community to continue to be recognized as a leading provider of high quality, affordable and personalized healthcare and wellness services."
Referencing partnerships with the community, Brown pointed to the CNA and CEO programs for nursing and entrepreneurial students, work with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to bring fiber to the community, founding membership in the Hillsboro Community Development Corporation to provide loans for housing and businesses, partnership with the Imagine Hillsboro Tech Committee with a $50,000 investment in 3-D printing, and partnership with SIU School of Medicine in the Little Leaps research project that will test the effects of "serve and return" stimulus on child brain development.
"If the research proves to be successful," Brown said of Little Leaps, "we will be sharing the positive outcomes with rural communities across the United States.
Regarding the "continue to be recognized" words in the hospital's vision statement, Brown pointed to a fourth consecutive "Top Workplace" award from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as work with the Illinois Telehealth Network that has earned the Illinois Rural Health Association award of merit.
Referencing the vision of providing high quality healthcare, Brown pointed out that "our quality as measured by the federal government's Hospital Compare continues to demonstrate that we meet the board's expectations of performing equal to or better than the other healthcare providers in our service area."
Board Chairman Dave Imler used the word "dedication" to summarize the past year, characterizing staff as "people who are not satisfied with achievement in the 97th, 98th and 99th percentile."
He also pointed out the board efforts at "reaching into the future" through cooperation with Imagine Hillsboro, Little Leaps, and providing Studer Group expertise for personnel engagement in the Hillsboro School District.
"We're really doing an outstanding job compared to others financially," hospital Vice President of Financial Services Terri Carroll reported.
Although the hospital's average daily inpatient and swing bed census was 5.4 in 2017, down from 6.1 in 2016 and 7.3 in 2015, the hospital's operating margin was 9.5 percent in 2017, up from 7.9 percent in 2016.
"We had an operating income in excess of $2 million," Carroll said.
Employment, too, was up to 164 full time equivalent jobs in 2017, compared to 161 in 2016 and 159 in 2015.
Board Secretary Julie Jenkins reported on hospital auxiliary activities, as well as those of the Hillsboro Area Health Foundation. She pointed out that the foundation's annual purse auction provided the funds for the purchase of a new portable bone density scanner.
The board reelected members Earl Flack and Dave Imler to three-year terms, and Brown announced that the hospital medical staff had re-appointed Dr. Doug Byers for another term on the board.