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Tyrone Hospital Corporation holds 62nd annual meeting

25 years of service
The annual Tyrone Hospital Corporation meeting was held last evening. Outgoing Tyrone Hospital Corporation Board of Directors President Judy Norris was recognized for 25 years of service with Tyrone Hospital’s Board. Also during the meeting, Tyrone Hospital Chief Executive Officer Walt Van Dyke discussed the hospital’s general operations over the last year. (The Daily Herald/Christina Pryor)

The annual Tyrone Hospital Corporation meeting was held last evening at the LGI room of the Tyrone Area Elementary School.
Individuals who are members of the Tyrone Hospital Corporation were encouraged to attend. While at the meeting, hospital leaders provided an overview of the hospital’s performance over the past year, and individuals were also elected to fill positions on the hospital’s board of directors.
Reverend Norman Huff was asked to give the invocation, which was followed by Greg Murray reading the minutes from last year’s hospital corporation meeting.
Outgoing Tyrone Hospital Corporation Board of Directors President Judy Norris then spoke. With 25 years of experience with Tyrone Hospital’s board, she shared with those in attendance her thoughts on Tyrone Hospital, and the many people, employees, medical staff, volunteers and organizations who have given so much for what she believes is one of the community’s finest assets.
She said, “So much has changed since 1954, when the hospital first opened. The change in healthcare has been phenomenal – the change within our community has been equally overwhelming.
“We have had some good days and some bad days, and I think for the borough we are seeing more good days than bad.
“I would say the same for Tyrone Hospital. We, like most small rural hospitals are struggling. We, again like most small rural hospitals, have lost money for the last number of years, and even though we struggle, we are optimistic…and we feel we continue to head in the right direction.”
She added, “I can assure you, the board and management are doing everything possible to meet the challenges that continue to face healthcare, hospitals and Tyrone specifically.
“Our challenge continues to be competing for patients. Of all the people who live in the Tyrone zip code and use healthcare, only 38 percent come to Tyrone Hospital. In other words, for every 100 people, only 38 come here.
“We need patients to be financially sound. We need doctors to bring patients to Tyrone Hospital. We need money to attract new doctors who will bring patients, but without patients, we do not have the money to attract doctors.
“For those of you whose doctor is not Tyrone-based, you can avail yourself to our radiology, laboratory, and physical therapy services. But it is up to you to remind your physician and maybe sometimes insist that you would like to get your ancillary services done at Tyrone Hospital. In this way, it’s your way of supporting the community hospital.”
After Norris spoke, Chief Financial Officer George Berger provided the hospital’s financial report.
Admission to the hospital saw a 1.68 percent decline from 2007 to 2008, with 1,114 admissions; however, patient days saw a four percent increase, with 4,327 days. Outpatient services saw an increase from 6,547 cases in 2007 to 6,886 in 2008. Surgeries saw a decline, with 195 cases in 2007 and 158 in 2008, and outpatient services saw a decrease of 1,100 cases in 2007 to 1,089 in 2008.
For the hospital, gross revenue increased over the year, and net revenue increased. Expenses for the year also increased; however, the operating profit for the hospital saw a 35 percent improvement over the year.
After Berger spoke, Chief Executive Officer Walt Van Dyke discussed the hospital’s general operations over the last year.
He said one of the greatest challenges is attracting doctors to come to Tyrone Hospital. He said that Tyrone Hospital is not unique – all small, rural hospitals suffer from the same problem.
Van Dyke shared some comments to The Daily Herald before the meeting began, saying, “We’re pleased that we are continuing to move in the right direction, but there is still work to be done.”
He added, “All the support we can get from the community would be very much appreciated.”
After Van Dyke spoke, the hospital’s bankruptcy attorney, Jim Walsh, gave an update. He said last year the hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and filed a plan to resolve its debt to the creditors. He said the creditors want to be sure of the size of the unsecured creditors pool. There are two issues yet to be resolved to determine the size of the pool, which includes a lawsuit filed by a former CEO and his assistant and for the claims of the PBGC of the pension plan for hospital employees. Once these issues are resolved, the bankruptcy plan can move forward.
After Attorney Walsh spoke, the nursing, hospital auxiliary, doctor and by-laws committee reports were all provided to those in attendance.
These reports were followed by the election of hospital corporation board members. Those re-appointed were Vicky Shaw, RN and Greg Murray, RN. Those filling current vacancies were William Kirkpatrick and Todd Lewis.
During the past year, two members of the board resigned, and those appointed to fill those positions were Stanley Ayers and Nino Vella.
With no other business to be discussed, Attorney Ed Newlin closed the meeting.