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Junction, Texas (December 4, 2019) – The staff of Kimble Hospital and Junction Medical Clinic celebrated the holidays last week with a Wild West celebration featuring a “Christmas Chuck Wagon” feast of chili with all the fixin’s, salads and desserts made by various staff members.  

Over 60 employees broke cornbread together, with many wearing cowboy boots and hats in honor of the party theme, with 10 or more plates put aside for the night shift.  Even Santa managed to find a cowboy hat, red bandanna and lariat in his closet.  

Traditionally, the annual Christmas party is also the time that the hospital and clinic recognize staff members who have achieved employment milestones.  

“This year 11 of our employees were celebrated for a total of 155 years of service to Kimble Hospital, Junction Medical Clinic and our community,” said Duke Young, hospital administrator.  

Penny Stewart, RN, received her 30-year pin, along with a gift card and trophy.  Odelia “Nellie” Galindo, medical assistant, and John Ibbotson, laboratory technician, earned their 25 years pins, and were also recognized with a gift card and trophy.  

Lou Zane Gardner, RN, was awarded a 15 year pin and gift card, and Martean Alborn, physical therapy director, was awarded a 10-year pin and gift card.  Five year pins were presented to Maria Alvarado, clinic receptionist, Katie Bowers, medical records director, Edward Glen, housekeeper, and Adriana Munoz, LVN.   

With 25 years and 5 years of service, respectively, Brenda Black, laboratory and radiology technician, and Michelle Morales, clinic receptionist, were unable to attend the party.  

“I also want to acknowledge the contributions of 2 long term employees who are retiring this year,” noted Young.  “Anna Rotge, dietary manager, is retiring after 22 years of serving great food to hospital patients; and Terry Zimmerman, RN, is retiring after 16 years of providing patient care and more recently coordinating the hospital’s Swing Bed Program.  We will miss them both.”

Employee congratulations were also extended by the leadership of Preferred Management Corporation who attended the party:  Andy Freeman, president and CEO; and Mike Easley, vice president of hospital operations.   “We have a highly qualified and caring staff at Kimble Hospital and Junction Medical Clinic, “said Easley, “and appreciate the opportunity to thank them in person for all they do.”  

Kimble Christmas

Penny Stewart, RN, was honored last week for 30 years of service to Kimble Hospital.  Presenting her award (from the left) were Duke Young, hospital administrator, Andy Freeman, president and CEO of Preferred, and Mike Easley, vice president for Preferred hospital operations.

Junction, Texas (February 20, 2019) – Kimble Hospital was recognized last week with the 2018 TMF Gold Award for Hospital Quality Improvement. This regional award was given to only 51 of the 745 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that demonstrated improved performance on specific national quality measures.

“We are very pleased to be recognized by the TMF Quality Institute for both reporting quality measures and improving patient outcomes as reflected by these data,” said Duke Young, Kimble Hospital administrator, “but the benefit to our patients is the true reward.”

“Our staff, led by our chief nursing officer, Sue Gentry, has worked hard over the last four years to systematically identify and act upon opportunities for quality improvement” Young reported. “I am proud of our staff members for their continued commitment to quality initiatives.”

The outstanding performance of Kimble Hospital across quality indicators monitored by Medicare was recognized in August 2016 in MBQIP Monthly, an e-newsletter that provides Critical Access Hospitals with information and support for quality improvement. In 2017, Kimble Hospital was recognized as one of the top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the U.S. based on several criteria including quality, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Gentry is quick to acknowledge the impact of all of her nurses on quality improvement at the hospital. “Everyone works together as a team to identify and address opportunities for improvement,” said Gentry. “Quality is a team effort and I have a great team.”

“I also need to thank the support team we have at Preferred Management Corporation,” said Gentry. “Kathy Mechler provides clinical leadership to all Preferred-affiliated hospitals and helped us to establish the framework for our quality program, Laura Crowell makes sure that we can extract needed data from our electronic medical records, and Megan Cody drives us to report our quality measures to various agencies,” Gentry explained.

“TMF is proud to recognize hospitals for promoting quality improvement activities and their senior management for promoting a quality culture,” said Tom Manley, CEO of TMF Health Quality Institute. “Quality improvement is a complex and demanding process, and we thank Kimble Hospital for their commitment to improving the health of patients and the efficiency of health care.”

The TMF Hospital Quality Improvement Award program is sponsored by TMF, the Arkansas Hospital Association, Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma State Office of Rural Health, Texas Hospital Association and Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals. There are three award categories: Gold is the highest tier, and has the most stringent requirements, followed by Silver and then Bronze.

Seven of the nine hospitals affiliated with Preferred were recognized by TMF in 2018, with five Gold Awards, one Silver Award and one Bronze Award. “Maintaining and improving access to quality patient care in our small communities is the primary goal of Preferred,” stated Andy Freeman, president and chief executive officer of Preferred. “We have invested in the resources necessary to support the efforts of our hospitals to achieve
this goal, and I could not be prouder of the staff at the home office and in our hospitals for their hard work.”

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