Kena Allen accepts CFO role at MMH

On Monday, March 7, 2022, Kena Allen, a 27-year veteran of McCurtain Memorial Hospital, formally accepted the role as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Kena is a resident of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Born in Odessa, Texas, Kena and her family settled in the area just before her freshman year of High School. Kena graduated in 1995 from Broken Bow High School.

In April of the same year, Kena began her career at MMH. During Kena’s tenure at MMH, she has worked a number of positions to include materials management, medical records, storeroom tech, accounts payable, payroll and as an accountant.

Kena holds a Bachelors in Business Administration and Management with an emphasis in Accounting from Southeastern Oklahoma State University where she graduated in 2005.

Prior to accepting her latest role as CFO, Kena was the Controller for the hospital but had only been so for a few months.

Mike Orr, a contracted and Interim Chief Financial Officer at the hospital, recognized Kena’s talents and attention to detail in the Fall of 2021 and made recommendation that Kena be promoted to Controller. A very short while later, Kena was approached with the new position and accepted.

Mr. Orr, along with hospital administration and Board of Trustee support, began a search for a permanent CFO in September 2021. Candidates from across the country were interviewed and either lacked the skillset or knowledge of Critical Access Hospital (CAH) accounting - or did not seem a good fit for the role.

Mr. Orr, a CPA who has consulted as a CFO with hundreds of hospitals across the USA, had set a really high bar for any potential candidate. Relying on his expertise, the Hospital administration let Mr. Orr take the lead in vetting candidates. On Friday, March 4, Mr. Orr announced that he was recommending that Kena be considered for the permanent CFO role.

Ms. Allen accepted.

“I had to pray about it long and hard, “ Kena said. And of course, she consulted with her husband and pastor. Kena said that her husband of 26-years, Tommy Allen, was supportive of her decision and joked, “…so long as it gets you home more,” Kena said.

Kena is well known to be one who arrives early and stays late. In fact, on Monday evening, Kena learned of the passing of her mother. Instead of immediately going to be by her families side as encouraged by Mr. Orr, Kena worked into the night ensuring that hospital staff would be paid on time this week. Then, returned Tuesday morning despite objections and pleas not to, so that she could put the finishing touches on payroll. Kena is revered amongst her colleagues as someone with integrity and work ethic that is envied.

Mr. Orr will remain at MMH as a consultant and will continue to work alongside Kena for the next several months and the plan is for Mr. Orr to remain on a retainer as needed. Kendra Gross, Board President, supported the promotion of Kena.

“We should always look for and recognize talent from within. Kena is capable and certainly has the integrity and skill to be a great CFO.” Ms. Gross said. Both the Hospital administration and the Board of Trustees agreed to provide additional training and support to Kena.

Kena is a mother of two daughters, Krysten and Brooklyn. In her new role as CFO, Kena will lead the entire finance and accounting team at MMH.

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