For over fifty years now, McCurtain Memorial Hospital has been a pillar in McCurtain County and over the half century she has stood, many have come and gone. Yet, she stood. Despite many adversities, she stood. And, I am pleased to say, she is poised to stand for another half century and beyond.
I am excited to share with you several exciting pieces of news tonight about your hospital. My team and I have worked diligently to expand this hospitals service lines and I am extremely proud of the direction we are headed in. I suppose I will begin with some recent changes in our executive leadership team, first.
In February, I promoted two additional executive leaders. Lane Manginell, a Registered Nurse who has lead the hospitals Medical/Surgical Unit (2nd Floor) and later became the Director of Risk Management was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. About the same time, Charlie Johnson, also a Registered Nurse who is working towards her Masters, was the hospitals Emergency Department director and was promoted to Chief Compliance Officer. Both Lane and Charlie have added a unique dynamic to the leadership team at the hospital and I could not be more proud.
Kena continues to lead an exceptional team of folks in various departments, including Business Office and Accounting. Dustin, of course, continues to head all nursing.
Dr. Nitin Sawheny was promoted to Chief Medical Officer in May. Dr. Sawheny has been with MMH for over 2 years as a hospitalist and has lead the team of hospitalist for over a year now. Dr. Sawheny has been such a blessing to our hospital and has shown over the last two years that he is truly dedicated to our success. The hospital is truly grateful for his support and his assistance in growing our service lines.
In April, my team and I began conversations with a general surgeon who showed interest in coming to McCurtain Memorial. In mid-April, we met and interviewed Dr. Michael Brown, D.O., and a week later he signed a contract with me to come serve as the hospitals General Surgeon. Dr. Brown hit the ground running on May 1 and has already been seeing patients in his clinic and has performed some procedures. Dr. Brown is housed inside of our Idabel clinic. The MMH maintenance staff renovated his clinic and I must say, it is remarkable.
Dr. Brown has began taking patients.
I have to give a huge shout-out to Dustin Leonard, Chief Nursing Officer. Dustin has done a fantastic job recruiting a top-notch surgery team to assist Dr. Brown. We have hired some of the best talent MMH has ever had in the way of circulators and scrub techs. The team we have assembled is likely one of the best teams this hospital has ever had and we are so proud.
The hospital and the community was so saddened to learn of Dr. Herron's wife who has dealt with some health issues. I recall when I came to MMH, there was never an ill-word spoken of the man and truly, he is a legend. Often times in my discussions with other physicians, they comment that they do not know how he is able to keep up with the patient load he has for all of these years. His dedication to his patients and our hospital was impressive to me and that is why last fall I dedicated the 3rd Floor women's unit in his name.
We lost Dr. Herron as a full-time OB doctor when Kim became ill and we understood that by her side is the only place Dr. Herron needed to be. With no other OB doctor in the area, we closed our OB unit while Dr. Herron is focusing on his family.
The team and I went to work searching for a new, fulltime OB doctor and I am pleased to announce that Dr. Steven Murrell and his family are joining the MMH team on September 1. Dr. Herron will return to the OB unit, delivering babies and seeing mothers, we hope within the next few weeks. Dr. Murrell will be on staff starting September 1 and the hospital is currently looking to add additional doctors. We deliver about 170 babies per year and we are excited to see that number increase to 300+.
Oklahoma Heart Hospital
MMH has partnered with Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City and in fact, in April, the OHH held its first clinic at our Idabel clinic location. Within days of announcing that we had partnered with the OHH team, the clinic was booked solid. Since that time, three additional doctors have been added to the clinic and their schedules are booked as well.
MMH owns the clinic that is currently occupied by Advanced Heart Care. I informed them that I would be ending their lease and this space will be occupied by OHH in mid-June. I must give a huge shout-out to Lane Manginell for his tireless work on this relationship with OHH and his determination to get the clinic up and moving as quickly as possible.
New services to come
The team and I are working on some additional services that I can't really go into at the moment, as well as some exciting new relationships and partnerships that we are fostering. I can truly say, MMH is headed in the right direction and the sky is the limit for what we can achieve. This community has stood behind us for the last year I have been here and I could not be more proud and honored. I cannot wait to update you all on new developments as they come to fruition. Keep the hospital in your prayers as we progress forward together.
Update on lodging tax litigation
There is really not a lot to report at this time. On June 7, we go before Judge Maxwell in McCurtain County where we believe the case will be heard and decided that day. We do anticipate that the case will result in an appeal but we expect that to be heard quickly. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the 65%+ voters who supported us in this tax to build a new hospital. It is shameful that two people up north used someone from out of state to file this litigation but we will prevail. The voters spoke and the voters will ultimately prevail.
I will update once the hearing is over on June 7 as to where we are on that and where we go next. Rest assured, MMH is holding talks and moving forward with planning to built a new hospital. This will not stop us. Not by a long shot.