By CRISTINA JANNEY
The new CEO of Russel Regional Hospital has been concentrating the first two months in his position on a $3.5 million infrastructure campaign, including the construction of a new physicians clinic.
Rob Nahmensen began as the Russell Regional Hospital CEO Nov. 1. He came from Stanton County Hospital in Johnson, Kan., where he was the COO and CFO.
The new clinic, which will have room for eight physicians and mid-level providers, such as physician assistants or nurse practitioners, is set open in late January or early February.
The new facility will provide more space for the providers and a more central location, Nahmensen said. The clinic is connected to the hospital by a hallway that begins at the main entrance of the hospital.
The old physicians clinic will be renovated as a speciality clinic. The new speciality clinic space should open in March or April. This will allow the hospital to terminate a lease on a downtown building for its speciality clinic and consolidate all its services on one campus. The project also will expand the hospital’s therapy department.
“It will be really great to accommodate our patients,” Nahmensen said of the consolidation. “It will give them one place to come for all of their health-care needs here in the community. We offer a lot of great speciality clinics, and it will be great to have those located here again. It will be great to have a brand new clinic to provide that care to the patients.”
He said he thought the addition of the new clinic should help the hospital with recruiting new providers and specialist services.
“I think when you recruit physicians and mid-level practitioners, they like to see forward-moving facilities,” Nahmensen said, “and I think having that new clinic really shows that we are committed to providing care to the community now and into the future.”
Also a part of the capital campaign is equipment purchases that will allow the hospital to resurrect its surgery service in January. The hospital has not had a surgery department for about 10 years. The 25-bed hospital will be equipped to do minor surgeries such as gall bladder and tonsil removals.
“I think it will be great to be able to accommodate our patients locally,” he said, “and being able to provide care within our community is something that the residents of Russell really deserve, and it will be nice to have that option available for them here.”
With all the renovations, Nahmensen said he has not had time to set any long-term goals for the hospital. However, he said he wanted to continue to offer high-quality care to the community.
“The hospital is in a wonderful position,” he said. “Rural health care seems like it is struggling, and it seems like Russell is in a very good place financially, and with the providers we have and with our infrastructure, we have a lot of great things coming up on the horizon.”
The hospital ended its last fiscal year in the black and anticipates that it will end its next fiscal year, which will end July, in the black.
Nahmensen noted, however, federal and state legislation could have an effect on that bottom line. Expansion of Medicaid in Kansas would have a positive effect on the hospital’s finances.
Possible cuts in swing-bed funding for rehabilitation services would have a negative effect. The hospital could also lose funding from a pharmacy drug program titled 340B, a program in which the hospital receives money back from local pharmacies.
Nahmensen,31, also worked as the CEO at Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, Kan. He is originally from St. Louis and has also spent time working in nursing homes.
Nahmensen earned a bachelor’s degree in history and theology from Concordia University in Nebraska with the goal of being a pastor and attended seminary in St. Louis for several years. He felt he was being called in another direction and earned an MBA in health care management and a master’s degree in accounting.