Delta Health System Announces Leadership Change

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Delta Health System has announced a management change at the Greenville-based hospital group which also operates Delta Health Northwest Regional Hospital in Clarksdale and Highland Hills Hospital in Senatobia.

Delta Chairman of the Board, Sam Newsom, announced the appointment of Iris Yeldell Stacker as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Delta Health System (DHS), who will oversee overall operations for all hospitals and clinics. under the umbrella of Delta Health System.

Stacker replaces Scott Christensen, who will step down at the end of the month.

Stacker, who served as vice president and chief system compliance officer for Delta Health System, has had a career spanning more than 40 years in healthcare and administration, including time at Kings Daughters Hospital in Greenville, Catahoula Parish Hospital in Jonesville, Louisiana and the former South Washington County Hospital in Hollandale. His various responsibilities have included compliance management, patient services, plant operations, health information management, information services, case management, materiel management, food and nutrition and environmental services.

“There is no one more experienced and qualified to manage a hospital system than Iris Stacker,” Newsom said. “Our Board of Directors unanimously agreed that she was the best person to fill the most senior position and we are confident that she will continue to provide the strategic leadership that we have become accustomed to under Scott’s tenure. Iris has our full support.

Stacker graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Allied Health Professionals with a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. She also holds the Authorized Health Information Administrator certification. She is a graduate in leadership from Washington County. Iris was also a clinical instructor at the School of Allied Health Professionals at the University Medical Center.

She is a past president of the Greenville Rotary of Club and served as an assistant governor.

She also served as Past President of the Greenville Community Red Cross and the Greater Greenville Housing and Revitalization Association, Inc. Iris is a life member of the National Junior Auxiliary, as well as a former United Way of Washington Board of Directors. County and Good Samaritan Clinic. Stacker is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, and resides in Greenville. She is also an active member of Calvary Presbyterian Church where she is an elder.

“I thank the Board for their trust in me and fully understand the responsibility we have as a community to keep our hospital system thriving,” Stacker said. “Knowing that I have their support and working with a proven team of quality clinicians and hospital staff will make this transition a smooth and successful one. I look forward to continuing the positive direction that my predecessor charted.

Christensen took over Greenville Hospital as a single entity and leaves it as a group of community hospitals in the Delta and beyond.

The hospital has grown to include locations in Clarksdale and Senatobia as well as clinics in Arcola. Christensen also oversaw the hospital’s recent rebranding as Delta Health System.

Clarksdale Hospital

How the leadership change might affect health care in Clarksdale is unclear.

DHS announced in February 2021 that it was taking over management of the former Clarksdale Hospital which became the Northwest Mississippi Regional Hospital. This was DHS’s first hospital expansion under the new Delta Health System.

At that time, DHS said its goal was to build and strengthen relationships with physicians, improve emergency departments, provide additional primary care with certain specialties, and educate the county and surroundings to the care and services offered in the new hospital.

Janet Benzing was named the new administrator of Delta Health Northwest Regional in March 2021.

Delta Health System had been working for some time with the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors to take over management of the hospital facility from Community Health Services.

CHS took over management of the Northwestern Mississippi Regional Medical Center from Curae in May 2019. Curae declared bankruptcy in August 2018, with hospitals in Clarksdale, Amory and Batesville directly affected. Amory Hospital was sold to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and Batesville Hospital was sold to a group of local investors.

The Coahoma County Board of Supervisors released a statement in November 2018 saying it planned “to continue operations at the Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center with the ultimate goal of identifying a new buyer for the hospital.” .

Coahoma County signed an agreement to transfer the Northwest Regional Medical Center from the Community Health System to the Delta Health System in mid-January.

Supervisors signed a letter of intent to transfer its Community Health System (CHS) lease to Delta Health Systems (DHS) out of Greenville, modify tax payments and obtain assurances on physical modifications to the plant to the hospital.

The deal saw the remaining 14 years of the lease with CHS honored, taxes that would be paid by the hospital over those guaranteed 14 years, and maintenance and approximately $2.3 million in needed improvements to the hospital. satisfied.

The dollar amounts for the county’s top three areas of concern are: a lease that generates about $500,000 a year; $900,000 in county, municipal and school taxes paid annually by CHS; and what is more than $2 million in renovations, improvements or demolition needed at the NMRMC.

County lease payments are deposited into a designated hospital trust fund for emergencies related to the provision of health care in the community. The fund currently has approximately $25 million in the account. The county can borrow from this fund and drew $2 million from this account in 2020 to build on work on the Jonestown Bypass, County Fire Hall, and complete the new Coahoma County Justice Center and Jail. .

DHS is a non-profit corporation owned by Washington County and as such does not pay property taxes. Coahoma County’s concern about the lack of local representation on the DHS Board of Directors was discussed.

Health care numbers

Supervisors hired Flowood’s Trilogy Healthcare Solution as a consultant in 2019 to help them assess needs at Clarksdale Hospital and investigate possible solutions to problems the hospital is facing.

Trilogy’s report to supervisors in October 2019 said the current 181-bed hospital in Clarksdale was built in 1952 and much of the sprawling facility’s infrastructure needed repair. The report also suggested that the hospital’s footprint be reduced to around 50 beds.

The report says the hospital sees around 24,000 people a year in its emergency room, which acts as the “gateway” to the hospital.

Northwest Regional is currently a Level 4 trauma center, which means it can handle most emergencies and can perform surgery to stabilize patients before sending them to a Level 5 trauma center – the highest level of emergency care of medical professions.

Northwest Regional is also a primary stroke center and consistently delivers better outcomes for stroke patients. The hospital is also an approved center for chest pain.

The hospital has a labor and delivery ward, which includes two labor/delivery wards, five regular labor wards, two delivery wards, and a 23-crib newborn and intensive care nursery. Northwest Regional saw more than 700 births in 2020, or about two a day.

One of the main concerns in the negotiations had been staffing and the number of employees at Clarksdale Hospital.

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