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Letter to the Editor

By Matt Prince, Doug Uhland, Junior McDowell, Ken Flory

February 2, 2022

Dear Kiowa County Friends and Neighbors,

On January 26, 2022, we (a group of concerned citizens) attended the Keefe Memorial Hospital Board Meeting in Cheyenne Wells, CO in an effort to educate ourselves on Hospital Board operations and to inquire about their experience with Pathway Design Group. As most of you know, our hospital is in the midst of a challenging period, we have lost a number of experienced and respected providers, and continuity of care has suffered. After hearing of the successes at Keefe Memorial we were interested in learning firsthand about their turnaround and experiences.

The following statements are facts we learned during the meeting directly from the Board of Directors and Staff:

  • All five of the Directors are pleased with their experience with Pathways.
  • None of the Directors have ever expressed regret in their decision to hire Pathways to oversee their hospital turnaround.
  • The Directors acknowledged the turnaround process was expensive, time consuming, and at points painful; painful because there were hard decisions to be made.
  • The Directors shared that Pathways has spent a lot of time training and developing current employees and did not have a widespread termination of employees; there were very few employee separations.
  • CFO Casey Halde has been developed into an important asset for the hospital and clinic to the point where she and others took the opportunity to dig into the intricacies surrounding critical access hospital cost reporting which produced an increase of 309% in Medicare patient visit reimbursements (approximately $100 previously to over $400 per patient per visit).
  • The Board Meeting was well organized and operated very efficiently with good attendance from the Board and Staff.
  • With the help of Pathways, the Board received 59 applicants for the permanent CEO position, have narrowed to 3 finalists, and have a 3-day interview process scheduled with the candidates, their spouses, the community, and the entire Board of Directors.
  • The Staff, that we interacted with, were very thorough in reporting to the Board and had positive attitudes about being a part of Keefe Memorial.
  • The Board was very pleased with the Team approach that Pathways brought to their facilities and staff.
  • Continuity of care has been achieved through a regular rotation of the same providers.

In closing, it was important to us to share with all of Kiowa County the truth around Keefe Memorial’s experiences with Pathway Design Group. We were all impressed with the professionalism, intelligence, drive, and degree of care that Keefe Memorial’s Board of Directors and Staff and Pathway Design Group displayed.

Matt Prince, Doug Uhland, Junior McDowell, Ken Flory