New St. Francis CEO speaks out on past mistakes, future improvements

New St. Francis CEO speaks out on past mistakes, future improvements


Financial crisis, setbacks and job lay-offs at Saint Francis Hospital have made headlines across the Chattahoochee Valley in recent months.

However Kirk Wilson, the new interim CEO, says he's trying not to focus on the hospital's troubled past. Rather, he is looking for ways to improve.

Bouncing back from a $30,000,000 financial error that cost 80 people their jobs last November is one of the major issues St. Francis Hospital is working to overcome.

"The hospital is operating on a sound financial footing now," said Wilson.

However, while a potential buyout from a Tennessee-based company Community Health Systems or CHS is up in the air, layoffs are once again a concern for some.

Wilson says the company will do its best to place any person whose job may become un-needed into another position within the company, along with a normal turn-over of employees.

"Hospitals have natural rates of attrition, and that's especially true in a community where you have a major military installation where spouses follow each other on to the next assignment," said Wilson.

Jobs like bedside-care positions are still in demand, and hospital administrators say 35 new associates had their orientation Monday, April 13. They claim they are searching for even more nurses, lab and X-ray techs to better serve patients.

Wilson explains that a relationship with CHS would help even more.

"An ability to provide additional capital resources, ability to provide that network of 200 hospitals for us to relate to, an opportunity for associates to be apart of a bigger family of hospitals," said Wilson.

Department heads will now present Wilson with a plan for the next 100 days with ways they can move the hospital forward.

"What they're going to do to improve the organization, whether it's in service or quality, or financial performance, through put, various things they either haven't addressed or haven't been able to address, " said Wilson. 

Wilson says, at the moment, the plan is to serve as CEO only for a transitional period.

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