ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Tom Faulkner, chief executive officer at Hillsboro Community Medical
Center, announced late last week his intention to resign for
reasons, effective June 30.
Faulkner said he would prefer to continue in his role, but made
decision on the advice of his physician. He said his resignation
nothing to due with the current fiscal crisis facing the hospital
to the Balanced Budget Act, which slashed Medicare reimbursements
hospitals such as HCMC.
?Anyone who jumps to that conclusion is grossly underestimating my
reasons,? he said. ?My reasons are for health only. All the other
ramifications really have no bearing on my decision.?
Carl Long, chair of the HCMC board, said he will be sad to see
Faulkner step down.
?He?s done a great job for us,? Long said. ?We?re sad to see him
go?and I think he is too, but it?s not his decision. We?ll just
to go forward. We?ll start a search to find someone else to come
and run the hospital.?
The board will be meeting Thursday to develop a search strategy,
Come June 30, Faulkner will be completing his second tour of duty
HCMC. He first came to the hospital as interim administrator from
October 1997 to March 1998. In August 1998 he accepted an
to return in a permanent role.
Faulkner cited recent improvements to the physical plant as a key
achievement of his tenure.
?With the help of the city and the improvement bond, I think the
things that have taken place to bring about a more functional and
safer environment is probably a major, major step,? he said.
?It doesn?t sound too important to talk about a new roof, new air
conditioning, new boilers and new lighting, but it was all done
Faulkner also said he feels good about his effort to develop a
spirit among the staff.
?I think we?ve pretty well developed a team concept,? he said.
?Everybody seems to be pulling in the same direction rather than
odds. We?ve got good people here, darn good people.?
Faulkner also helped spearhead cooperation talks with St. Luke
Hospital in Marion in an effort to address the difficult economic
issues facing most hospitals in Kansas.
?I think those talks should continue, and I think they will,?
said. ?What the ultimate outcome will be, I have no idea.
?We can?t cure what the government created,? he added. ?I don?t
hospitals are asking for more than what they deserve for the
they provide. We?re not fat cats or cash cows, and never were.
just trying to watch operations to make certain the facility stays
?The facility has to stay open, there?s no question,? he added.
?Whatever that takes, I?m sure it will be done.?
Faulkner said he would continue in his role at HCMC if his health
permitted it because he has enjoyed the work and the community.
?The community as whole is delightful, progressive, kind,? he
don?t think you can find a better community, really. Everybody
to be forward-thinking, and that?s certainly healthy.?
Faulkner?s years of experience in the hospital field will be
missed at HCMC, Long said.
?We relied on that experience a lot as a board?and his ability to
communicate not only locally, but across the state to other
health-care people,? Long said. ?He knew a lot of people in the
health-care business. Not only was he able to tap information for
himself, but for the hospital.?
Faulkner, who twice before has tried to retire, will live in
?I plan to come up this way and
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF