Marshall quickly learning needs of Demopolis hospital

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Things haven’t quite settled down for Mike Marshall. The new CEO of Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital doesn’t know everyone’s name, and he probably can’t tell you the quickest route from Sweet Water to Thomaston.

But it’s not for a lack of effort.

On Sept. 8, Marshall spent his first full day at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital, and in the past two weeks, the new CEO has worked tirelessly to become an administrator who is approachable to his employees. During his first few days at the hospital, Marshall literally took the door off of the administration office.

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And getting to know the employees is what Marshall has enjoyed the most, as well.

In his first two weeks, there have been other pleasant surprises for Marshall, as well.

Marshall is quick to point out, however, that all isn’t perfect with the space being used inside of his immaculate building.

Having physicians who can man the ER is one area Marshall knows needs improvement.

Marshall’s assessment of the need for improved ER quality is accurate.

Plan for Change

It’s still premature for Marshall to outline every specific detail he wants to instill to improve Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital. In his first two weeks, though, the administrator has formed precise philosophical ideas about how he will change the community image of the Demopolis hospital.

To Marshall, improving service and medical accessibility to people in southern Marengo County is an important step toward changing the perception of the hospital.

One of the most difficult issues facing Marshall has been the ongoing dispute between Marengo County and the amount of money reimbursed to the hospital for indigent care.

On Thursday, Marshall will take part in a mediation process that he expects to resolve many of the problems between his hospital and the county.

Last year, Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital and former CEO Charles Nabors sued the County Commission for funds they believe were due to the hospital for taking care of patients that couldn’t afford their hospital bills.

While the hospital argued it should be paid for the care, members of the Commission have argued that some indigent care patients do not come from Marengo County, meaning the County Commission should not pay for those patients.

To do that, Marshall said, "We have to sell the community on our hospital."