Longtime worker returns as CEO of Hillsboro hospital

MarionRegier909

MarionRegier909

For nearly two decades, Marion Regier was a key player at Hillsboro Community Hos?pital in her role as chief financial officer.

After a short time away from HCH, Regier returned last week as the person in charge. Her first day as chief executive officer was Feb. 13.

Regier succeeds Cheri Barton, who resigned from that role for personal reasons earlier this month after a little less than four months at the job.

When Regier?s boss at HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc., owners of the hospital, invited her to step into the lead role, she didn?t take long to say yes.

?My first thought was?you know, I might be interested in that but I need to think about it just a little bit because I?ve always enjoyed the operational side as well as the financial,? she said.

?So I thought about it, then called him back (later that day) and said, ?Yes I would do it.??

 

Role changes

Regier joined the hospital staff in 1993 as assistant to the chief financial officer. When he left the following year, Regier stepped into the role until August 2010.

?Corporate asked me to do some traveling for them, primarily down to Stickler, Okla.,? she said. ?So I worked with that hospital at least once or twice a month, doing financial things for them.?

In July 2011, she officially became a corporate employee.

?At that point, I still traveled to other hospitals,? Regier said. ?My scope of work changed just a little bit, but it was still financial in nature.

?In the last three or four months, I?ve been primarily going back and forth a lot to Kansas City, focusing more at the corporate level on budget and other tasks.?

Prepared for a new role

Regier said she?s glad to be back at Hillsboro Community Hospital, but believes her time with corporate has helped prepare her for her new assignment.

?I?m really thankful I had that (experience) because it broadened my scope,? she said. ?I?ve been to quite a few of the hospitals in Oklahoma, and I went to the hospital in Ten?nessee. I got to work with them on some things and saw how other hospitals function.

?I?ve seen some things the CEOs there did really well, and maybe some things they didn?t do so well.?

Regier said her time at the Kansas City headquarters was beneficial, too.

?Spending those few months at the corporate office was great so far as getting to know the corporate folks,? Regier said. ?I really appreciate what they do and how much they really care for our community hospitals?which is so evident when you?re working there among them.?

Although she worked out of her home in Hillsboro after leaving the local hospital, she was on the road for much of that time. That had its benefits, too.

?It sort of distanced me a little bit from Hillsboro, which was sad in a way, but yet coming back in I think I can look at things with a fresh set of eyes.?

Community concern

Regier is well aware the community is concerned about the future of the hospital after HCH/HMC filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in October.

?One of my primary focuses is to make sure that people know that we?re here for the community,? Regier said. ?We?ve made some great improvements. We have a very unified, qualified medical staff.

?As far as our hospital operations, we are strong,? she added. ?We were profitable last year and we?re profitable so far this year. So that?s a great thing.?

As for the future, Regier said she hoped many members of the community would attend the Feb. 21 townhall meeting, where HMC/CAH officials were going to update the public on the company?s financial status and the prospect of building a new facility.

Regier declined to pre-empt their input but did say, ?things are looking pretty positive.?

Helped by many

During her initial tenure at the hospital, Regier worked under six different CEOs.

?I learned a little bit from every single one of them,? she said. ?They all had their strengths, some more than others. But I did learn something from all of them.?

Regier credited Barton with strengthening staff morale during her relatively short stay. She said Barton?s background as a nurse gave her a clinical approach to management, which was helpful.

?I really admired her for that because she could relate to the providers on their level, and I can?t relate in that way,? Regier said. ?But I?ve learned a lot over the years, and I?m surrounded by people who are very willing to let me know when I?m wrong because they know me.?

At the same time, ?I think (my) business background is essential to make sure the hospital is operating as it should,? she added.

Regier said her long tenure with HCH, combined with her time away from it, was good preparation for the work ahead.

?Having that history (with HCH), I?m not having to spend time getting to know the facility and the people, because I know them,? she said. ?So I can sit down and tackle some of the things that need to be done without having to learn the history behind it.?

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