HCH owners say building plans still in place

More than 60 people attended a public meeting Tuesday in the Hillsboro High School auditorium to learn more from executives of HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc. about the current state of affairs at Hillsboro Community Hospital.

Larry Arthur, chief executive officer of HMC/CAH, which has its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss what has transpired at the Hillsboro facility following the company?s decision to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

?We also naturally need to stay in touch with the community because you are the lifeblood of whether or not we survive as a hospital long term,? he said.

Besides assuring the community that HMC/CAH remains financially strong, Arthur talked about the company?s relationship with the Hillsboro facility?one of its 12 critical access hospitals.

He said plans are still in the works to build a new $11 million, 30,000-square-foot hospital.

?(The HMC/CAH board) has the same vision it had when we first started, which is we want to buy older rural hospitals and replace them with new facilities because we think that is where the future of health care is in rural communities,? Arthur said.

He said the company has not waivered from the original goal of building a new facility.

?We would have never gone through the hoopla of the groundbreaking last year had we not felt that we were going to be able to accomplish that,? he said.

In addition to answering questions, Arthur introduced Marion Regier as HCH?s new chief executive officer.

?Marion?s job prior to coming back to the hospital was as regional chief executive officer for a number of our hospitals,? he said. ?She went and worked directly with the hospitals at different locations and worked in the Kansas City corporate office.?

Arthur said he thinks Regier was getting ?burned out? from all the travel.

?When we talked with (Regier) about the job,? Arthur said, ?she jumped at the chance (to take the job) and we jumped at the chance to have her.?

Regier told the group that HCH finished the past fiscal year with a positive bottom line.

?We are off to a great start in the first four or five months of this fiscal year,? she said.

Regier said she believes the reason for these successes is because of the HCH employees who provide health care to their community.

She added that the new Hillsboro?Clinic is exceeding expectations since opening in October 2011.

?Our clinic is busy,? she said. ?We are seeing an average of 20 to 25 (people) a day,? Regier said, adding that some residents have returned to Hillsboro for their primary care.

?Our goal is to keep people in Hillsboro for their health care,? she said, ?and great things are happening.?

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