My name is Angie McWilliams. I am the Business Office and Registration Manager at Cedar County Memorial Hospital.
I will have you a little background. I was born at CCMH, I graduated from El Dorado Springs High School, I married a hometown boy and have lived there my entire life. I came to work for CCMH in October of 1983. I have been employed here for 40 years this month so I feel I have a vested interest in what happens at CCMH, professionally and personally. I have worked under five CEOs in my time at CCMH. Everyone of them different in management styles.
I don’t want to talk about what may or may not have happened in the past. We all have a past whether we want to admit it or not. I want to talk about what is happening now.
I can say it’s only been in the last year under Terry Nichols, that I have truly felt appreciated, that I am a team member and what I have to say matters.
Have Terry and I always seen eye to eye? No, we haven’t but we are able to talk through our differences by discussing the issue. He listens to me and I listen to him and we come to an agreeable solution, together. It is called respect and it flows both ways.
For the first time in a long, long time we have a CEO who cares about:
1. The patient. I mean truly care about the patient. Not as a statistic, but as a patient, a human being. We learned for the get go with Terry that the patient is the boss. The patient come first and foremost.
2. The employees and staff. I have 11 employees that I supervise. In the last year they have finally felt cared for, appreciated and worthy. Terry stops in most mornings and visits with them, jokes with them and listens to their concerns. It has made all the difference in their morale. They finally feel like their voice matters and it does.
3. Our communities, including Stockton. Terry told us fro the beginning that we are not “El Dorado Springs Hospital.” We are the Cedar County Memorial Hospital and that includes Stockton. He has been determined to fulfill his promise that he made to Stockton residents to open the Stockton Clinic. He is there for you, Stockton community members.
We as department leaders know that Terry has requirements for us and our employees. We have rules and regulations that we have to follow. CMS dictates how we are supposed to run our hospital and clinics. It doesn’t matter who you are. Whether you are an employee, Physician or board members. We have to follow the rules set before us. Like it or not.
Hard decisions have been made. There are reasons behind those decisions. They are not pulled out of thin air. It is just that we finally have leadership and are held accountable for our actions. Some people understand that and some don’t, unfortunately.
As I opened the newspaper last week, I was appalled and frankly disgusted by what I saw as a letter to the editor. My first thought was, have we really reduced ourselves to this in our small town or is this just our society in general? I believe it’s both.
So, as I close my statement, I would like to thank Terry and the board members for the much improved atmosphere in which we now work. But I want to ask a question to all of the people, who are all of a sudden, so concerned about the hospital. Where have you been the last 39 years when our employees were leaving left and right, when we were the lowest paid healthcare workers in the area, when employee morale was so low it was hard to get a smile from any employee. Where were you then? Sorry, but I have a hard time believing that the welfare of the hospital is your true motive.