The board of directors reviewed a successful year and looked into the future during their annual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the hospital.
Board Chairman Dave Imler noted how regular awards from the Studer Group, Press-Ganey and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reflect the dedication of hospital staff.
"Awards don't happen by accident," Imler said. "This has–over the years–become a culture here."
Noting the "Little Leaps" partnership with SIU School of Medicine that measures brain development in pre-school children, Imler introduced another possible partnership in the coming year regarding lung screening.
"The percentage of smoking here is about the same percentage as in Chicago, but we have a higher percentage of people dying of lung cancer," Imler said. "We think the difference is screening."
Imler and hospital President and CEO Rex Brown also awarded retiring board member Michelle Ondrey, who has served on the board since 2010 including a term as vice-chairman. The board applauded her service.
Lisa White was elected to fill her vacancy, while Jordan Ruppert and Lindsay Wagahoff were re-elected to terms on the board. Hopper is a third-generation member of the hospital board, following her father Allan Hopper and grandfather Richard "Bob" Hopper.
In his report, Brown highlighted quality, training, and hospital improvements during the past year.
He said the hospital's fall rate is well below the national average, and during the past year, emergency room wait times for admitted patients decreased by over 30 percent.
Brown also highlighted tech improvements at the hospital, $200,000 in new flowing, as well as new early intervention pediatric physical therapy, CT enterography and CT lung cancer screening.
Tremont Ridge, the hospital-affiliated assisted living facility, achieved a 100 percent resident and family satisfaction survey for two years in a row, the highest marks in the state.
He also thanked volunteers and noted the junior board and Montgomery CEO "Our Future" campaign, as well as the "Count On Me" public education campaign.
Terri Carroll, vice president of financial services, reported that average daily census was up for the past fiscal year, employment at the hospital was up, and operating margin and net income were up.
"We had another good financial year," Carroll said. "We actually improved our productivity.
Average daily census was 6.8, up from 5.4 last year, an increase Carroll credited primarily to "swingbeds," and employment was up four full-time equivalent jobs to 168 in fiscal year 2018.
Reporting for the auxiliary and foundation, Julie Jenkins said the Valentine Gala raised $78,000 last year and the purse auction another $16,000–the foundation's two biggest annual events.