WMH Administrator talks future of hospital

Kyle Lovern/WMH Williamson Memorial Hospital Administrator Cindy Segar-Miller is shown speaking at the recent meeting of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority.

Cindy Segar-Miller, the Administrator for Williamson Memorial Hospital (WMH), spoke to the Board of Directors of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) at their regular monthly meeting last Thursday.

“We really appreciate all that you have done with helping the hospital,” Miller said. “We are going to continue to focus on our primary care and preventive services. We are going to focus on providing those services through our emergency room department, through our inpatient medical services, intensive care and our specialty clinic.”

The MCRA was integral in fighting the proposed buyout of WMH by Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH). Back in May of this year, the West Virginia Health Care Authority (WVHCA) denied the purchase of WMH by ARH.

“Our goal is and has always been to provide a safe environment and very high quality care for the residents here,” Miller continued.

“We are getting ready in the next few weeks to make an announcement about an addition or our medical staff,” Miller added. “We will be adding a general surgeon to our staff in the next few weeks.”

“We’ve been able to secure a high-qualified candidate,” Miller said. “We know he has a good track record.”

Miller said she could not officially release the name of the new doctor until after a WMH Board of Trustees meeting on July 21.

“We are also working on some general facility spruce up,” Miller said. “We want to encourage patients to come back to the campus.”

“That is where we need your help,” Miller stressed to the MCRA. “We are open for business and we really need to spread this by word of mouth.”

Miller said that WMH has the ability to see patients very quickly in its emergency room.

Miller also wanted to stress that she feels that WMH has quality care.

“We have a lot of dedicated, long-term and committed employees who have stuck with the hospital,” Miller added. “They have continued to provide great care despite the CON (Certificate of Need) process – which was lengthy.

“We are in the position to move forward,” Miller said.

Miller stressed that communication is so important, especially when individuals in the community have concerns.

The administrator said that the health care industry is fighting battles with such things as reimbursement and other issues.

She said that the facility needs to be realistic on “demands of services” based on the needs of the population.

“I look forward to working with all of you,” she told the MCRA board.

Miller has been talking to community and business leaders and she said that will continue as WMH moves forward.

Miller also said that certain patients can be transferred out of that facility to other hospitals. For example those with psychiatric needs are transferred to Three Rivers Medical Center.

“We are always willing to partner and collaborate in cases that make sense,” she added. Miller says the facility also can transfer patients to other facilities when needed for certain medical emergencies.

It was decided that the hospital will organize a meet and greet with key community leaders in the near future. It was agreed that the hospital would work with the MCRA to hold such an event to get people back on the campus of WMH.

WMH is owned by Community Health Services (CHS), which includes 199 affiliated hospitals in 29 states. Four of those facilities are in West Virginia and three in nearby eastern Kentucky.

“We want to be involved in the community,” Miller said.

“We want to encourage patients to come back to the hospital and use our services,” Miller concluded.

(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)

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