Bond pushes hospital toward change

One hospital is pushing to keep its doors open for good after declaring bankruptcy. Things are looking up for The Lost Rivers Medical Center after this month’s bond  for the hospital passed. Since then, it’s starting to look like a vibrant institution, but CEO Bradley Huerta said the institution still has work to do.

“Prior to my arrival, the hospital struggled a little bit, for a variety of reasons,” he said.

Huerta has only been with the medical center for about eight months, and has already brought the hospital out of the stone ages with the new bond.

“We had to have a 66 percent majority to pass this bond and we crushed it, frankly, with 80 percent,” said Huerta.

He said the bond is just one part of the center’s journey to success.

“It just wasn’t about cutting costs, but it was about raising the bar in terms of quality and finding ways that we could do that without raising the costs to patients. We still wanted to be able to turn our organization around to the point where we can continue to provide good health care,” said Huerta.

He said the secret to the institution’s success is its hard-working staff. He said employees like Michelle Pehrson are what keeps the center’s doors open.

“We have to be (hard working) because we’re rural. We’re front-line, so everything we do, we have to do it good and better than everybody else,” said Pehrson.

Being good at what you do has its rewards. Huerta rewarded the employees with turkeys in light of the Thanksgiving holiday. This was just another way the hospital shows that it’s community-oriented.