Citizens Memorial Hospital is a proactive provider – delivering health care services to eight counties where it strives to stay ahead of the curve. To that end, CMH has opened four specialty clinics and added pathology services in three years.
“We’re very proactive about what we do and how we do it,” says CEO Donald Babb.
CMH is a fully integrated rural health care system with 2,137 employees and a 2018 operating budget of $501.4 million. In addition to its hospital, the Bolivar-based organization operates 34 primary care and specialty physician clinics, senior health, rehabilitation, ambulance services in four counties, six long-term care facilities, one residential care facility, five independent-living communities, home health and hospice, health transits, home medical equipment stores and two retail pharmacies. Since 2016, the system’s gross revenue has increased nearly 15%.
A new addition was in April 2019, when residents moved into the updated 90-bed long-term care Lake Stockton Healthcare Facility. Additionally, in July 2018, CMH launched an addiction recovery program.
“Anyone who works in health care realizes the issue we have with addiction and just behavioral medicine,” Babb says.
CMH invests in the future of research and medical technology. In 2017, its Missouri Memory Center was involved in the Imaging Dementia-Evidence for Amyloid Scanning study. It also purchased an additional da Vinci Surgical System.
Employee health and well being also is center stage at CMH, which offers a zero-premium option for health insurance with benefits kicking in the first month of hire.
“The thing we deal with in health care is a shortage of professionals and so for us to be competitive in the market, we have to provide services,” Babb says. “It is something our employees need.”
CMH also annually screens more than 12,000 children in rural, public and private schools.
“We felt like it was our responsibility to provide those services for the people who in some cases cannot have health care,” Babb says.
CMH offers free classes for smoking cessation and CPR. The system also works with local schools to raise the next generation of practitioners with classes at Bolivar High School and by acting as a clinical site for Bolivar Technical College and Southwest Baptist University. The Medical Excellence Scholarship has provided over 400 students with $2.2 million in educational funding.
CMH is approaching a new chapter of leadership with Babb’s retirement scheduled for January 2020 after more than 50 years of service. Chief Financial Officer Gary Fulbright will then take the helm.
A Bolivar hospital expansion is in the planning phase, including an emergency department expansion and four-floor tower. The project is projected to cost at least $26 million. Also in the plans are additional clinics, a dialysis center and long-term care facilities.
“We have plans and we have the need to grow and serve,” Babb says. “That will always be our goal.”
For most, winter offers a break from gardening. But there’s plenty of action at Amanda Belle’s Farm on East Primrose Street, a Springfield Community Gardens project at the edge of the Cox Medical Center South campus.