Pender Community Hospital has found its new leader, and she’s got a familiar face.
The hospital district board extended an offer to current chief financial officer Melissa Kelly of rural Thurston to become the next CEO of PCH and she has accepted the promotion.
Kelly, who has been on maternity leave since late February after she and her husband, Jeff, had their fourth child, will start in her new role on May 31.
In addition to their infant, Camden, they also are parents to Caleb, six, Lane, five, and Reese, two.
Kelly has worked for the hospital district as CFO for the past eight years and owns a master’s degree in professional accountancy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was heavily involved in securing the financial footing for PCH to build its $20.5 million facility that opened in February 2012. It is that background in the financial aspects of running a rural critical access hospital that make her the winning candidate for the position.
“With all of the changes in healthcare, a CEO is going to have to know the financial side of things,” Kelly said. “I’m very excited. As with anything, you just hope you can excel at the new position. Healthcare is changing rapidly, but we are in a great position here with our staff and facility.”
Interim CEO Roger Lenz of Mercy Medical, which is contracted to manage PCH, said Kelly is prepared for her new chair.
“I’ve worked with her before. She is ready for this position,” Lenz said. “PCH has a great staff. I am so impressed with the quality of the services. Everyone who works here is top notch.”
According to Kelly, one of the most sweeping changes in how critical access hospitals are reimbursed for their services to medicare patients is coming down the line soon.
The hospital has historically been reimbursed on the quantity of their services, but new metrics related to outcomes could have a major impact. For larger hospitals that have more volume, averages tend to reflect the quality of care more accurately. At a smaller hospital, the numbers may not consistently average each year and that could impact cash flow.
“We want to get ahead of the curve on this before it begins,” Kelly said.