A Good Week for The MED

This was a good week for The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.
It got a commitment from the city of Memphis for $2 million to upgrade hospital equipment, received encouraging news on state legislation regarding Tenncare funding and changed its fundraising slogan to a more positive message.
The hospital’s new chief executive officer, Dr. Reginald Coopwood, suggested changing the old slogan of “Save Our Med.” One of Coopwood’s top priorities is to lead The MED past its culture of constant crisis.
(See The Daily News www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=48491)
The new slogan is “Tomorrow’s MED. A Healthy Investment.”
The MED Foundation worked with RedRover Company LLC and Dr. Coopwood in developing the new slogan. Coopwood wanted a slogan that would convey a message of investing in the future.
The financial woes of the publicly owned safety net hospital and its specialty centers, however, are for from resolved. But it is making progress.
The hospital is working with the Shelby County Commission on a plan that would drop insurance co-pays for county employees who use the hospital. This is a plan that Coopwood implemented in Nashville when he headed the Metropolitan Hospital Authority there.
Once Shelby County implements the program, the hospital may offer it to other employer groups in an effort to lure more patients with health insurance.
The Shelby County Commission earlier this year increased funding for The MED by $10 million to help offset state budget cuts.
On Tuesday, the Memphis City Council approved spending a total of $2 million for capital upgrades. Of that amount, $490,000 will go for digital mammography, $430,000 for two mobile C-arms, $900,000 for anesthesia monitors and $180,000 for operating room instruments.
City Council Members Joe Brown, Harold Collins, Edmund Ford Jr., Janis Fullilove, Myron Lowery and Barbara Swearengen Ware voted for the expenditure.
Voting no were Council Members Kemp Conrad, Shea Flinn, Wanda Halbert, Bill Morrison and Jim Strickland.
Councilman Reid Hedgepeth did not vote on the measure. Councilman William C. Boyd was absent.
Also this week, the Annual Hospital Assessment Act of 2010 emerged from key committees in the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives, said Letisha “Tish” Towns, The MED’s vice president for government affairs.
She made the comments at this week’s meeting of The MED Task Force.
Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford has led a series of brainstorming meetings of community leaders who belong to this special committee. The goal is to find new ways of raising revenue for the hospital.
Ford and other county officials have begun reaching out to corporate leaders in Memphis to get them involved in supporting The MED.

Dansette

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