UPDATE: Murray County hospital board approves interim CEOPublished by on
SLAYTON – The Murray County Hospital Board Wednesday morning unanimously approved a motion to offer the job of interim CEO of the Murray County Medical Center to John Osse of Casper, Wyoming, contingent on approval of the contract by legal advisors and completion of a background check.
According to Murray County Commissioner Bob Moline, the contract approval could come back sometime today. The background check could take up to a week.
An interview with Osse was conducted in an open meeting at the Murray County Government Center. His resume reflects a wealth of experience in interim management of hospitals in crisis.
Osse said he spent Tuesday at the hospital speaking with staff in small groups, and that he learned a great deal in the process.
“You have the finest hospital I’ve seen in my career,” he said. “And I’ve seen a lot of them.”
Everything is in place logistically for Murray County to have a first class system, he said, but there are challenges.
“There is a great deal at stake,” Osse stated. “But understand, my first focus will be the hospital. Staff and moral is not good, and you’re entitled to an opinion, but when you walk in the hospital, your focus has to be on the patient.”
Osse said he will take a close look at medical staff and board by-laws and personnel policies. As an interim CEO, he generally only stays from seven months to a year at a facility, he said, and the time will come when he will leave. The situation won’t be cleared up in a year, he admitted, but the healing process will be started and the next person will carry on.
The staff is asking for help and leadership, Osse stated, and they need direction and boundaries.
Osse said he could probably start the position late next week, possibly by Wednesday or Thursday.
Commissioner Gerald Magnus said there are other candidates, but they wouldn’t be available for another 30 days or more.
“I don’t think we have 30 days,” Magnus said. “We need to strongly consider this candidate.”
Osse admitted he would likely not be available in 30 days.
“I do this for a living and it's first come-first served,” he stated. “I wouldn’t wait 30 days for a decision.”
After listening to Osse’s comments and his assessment of the situation, some of the citizens who have been vocal in their disapproval of the medical center and the board had positive things to say.
Slayton resident Mike Stelton, who on Tuesday chastised the board for not looking at more candidates, said Osse seems to have a positive outlook and seemed a good fit for the position. Former Slayton mayor Cal Wurpts said he was impressed by Osse’s willingness to listen and liked that he emphasized being fair.
Trish Grieme, a former MCMC employee and the person behind the Taking Back MCMC Facebook page, said she felt he acted fair, and was pleased to hear he talked to everyone, no matter what their department or level.
“I think someone who is coming in willing to listen to everybody across the board is going to make a difference,” she stated.
As the meeting concluded, Moline said the by-laws state there can be up to nine members on the Hospital Board, and that they are looking at adding people. Anyone interested can speak to a commissioner or write a letter to the county nominating committee.