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Health Service district makes change in finance department
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Effective Monday night, the Upper San Juan Health Service District lost its director of finance.

Whether Julia White’s employment was terminated or she left on her own accord is of little consequence. The fact remains, irreconcilable differences between her, the district board of directors and Mercy Regional Medical Center (Mercy), resulted in her immediate departure from the Pagosa Mountain Hospital (PMH) finance department.

Mercy is under contractual obligation with the district to help manage PMH finances, and White worked in its employ.

Apparently, Mercy officials met with the district board in a special executive session at PMH Monday night, in part, to discuss finance reporting concerns and other contractual agreements. In the process, the two entities decided to retain the services of B.E. Smith Inc. of Lenexa, Kan. in finding the district an interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for a minimum 12-week engagement.

B.E. Smith is a national leader in procuring executive search and interim leadership services, and Mercy will also utilize the company to find a permanent finance officer for PMH. Whether that individual will be a CFO or another Director of Finance, the ideal candidate will have significant training and experience with Healthland (formerly Dairyland) Electronic Medical Records and Critical Access Hospital operations.

Meanwhile, according to an e-mail from PMH Administrative Coordinator Kelly Johnson, “A successful audit released this week and a recent cost report show the district in good financial standing. Cash receipts are strong and the billing and collections efforts continue to improve our financial status.”

chuck@pagosasun.com