SHERIDAN — Sheridan Community Hospital is undergoing some major changes.
The 22-licensed bed acute care hospital serving Montcalm County and parts of Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella and Mecosta counties is now being controlled by two new entities — Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation and the newly created Sheridan Health Care Preservation.
Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation has offices in Deckerville, Saginaw and West Branch. The new Sheridan Health Care Preservation is comprised of the former hospital board of directors.
While both Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation and Sheridan Health Care Preservation are controlling entities of the hospital, Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation is also operator and manager of the hospital.
“We recognize the urgent need to maintain and preserve rural hospitals and other healthcare providers in Michigan’s rural communities,” said Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation CEO Ethan Lipkind. “As the partnership formally begins with Sheridan Community Hospital, we eagerly anticipate this hospital growing ever stronger. We are looking to expand and supplement existing hospital services while ensuring Sheridan Community Hospital continues to employ its wonderful staff right here in Sheridan. There are no plans to reduce staff or cut wages. On the contrary, we hope to ensure Sheridan Community Hospital is the best place to work in the greater Montcalm County region.”
Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation has named Randolph Flechsig as the new administrator of Sheridan Community Hospital. Kevin Cawley, who became administrator in 2006, will be stepping down from that role.
“We are very excited about this new partnership and all the growth opportunities it brings with it,” Cawley said. “Our board is thinking forward and their focus has always been on keeping this hospital right here on M-66, its doors wide open and continuing to provide healthcare services that we’re all proud to deliver, as well as jobs the hospital offers to support our communities.”
Flechsig will report directly to the Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation, as well as to the hospital’s board of directors, which is appointed by the two new controlling entities.
Flechsig previously worked in the health care field and was also president of Davenport University in Grand Rapids from 2000 to 2008. He resigned from the position in autumn 2008 after pleading guilty to drunken driving, according to a news report from MLive. He received a suspended sentence of 93 days in jail, meaning he would only serve jail time if he broke the law during his two years of probation. He was also sentenced to 15 days of community service and other fines and costs.
Sheridan Community Hospital didn’t have a traditional chief financial officer position when Cawley was administrator, but the hospital is now advertising for a CFO in the wake of Cawley’s departure.
“Profitable for the last four years, SCH has recently entered into affiliation with a dynamic physician-driven management company and is now looking for a hands-on, aggressive financial manager to lead a number of key organization initiatives,” the online job advertisement states. “Highly organized self-starters are strongly encouraged to apply.”
According to Cawley, the hospital board entered into discussions with the Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation “some time ago.” The first signs of a transition began in the autumn of 2011 when neurosurgeon Dr. Gerald Schell and his colleagues, Dr. Naman Salibi and Dr. Tim Spencer, both neurosurgeons from Saginaw Valley Neurosurgery, joined the hospital’s medical team.
Sheridan Community Hospital currently employs more than 160 people and has net revenues of $14 million. The hospital also has three family health practices in Edmore, Sheridan and Stanton and a medical office building.
The hospital will continue to be called Sheridan Community Hospital with business as usual or “actually better than ever,” according to Sheridan Community Hospital Director of Community & Employee Relations Sharon Bowers.
For more information about Sheridan Community Hospital or the Michigan Rural Health Preservation, visit sheridanhospital.com or preservemihealth.org online.
History of Sheridan Community Hospital
• 1944: Dr. L.E. Jagnow and Dr. H.R. Seelye leased a large farmhouse south of the village of Sheridan to create a privately-owned hospital. The hospital consisted of eight acute care beds and four obstetrical beds. The building was remodeled six years later to increase its size to accomodate 18 beds. Jagnow served as the first administrator.
• 1956: A new hospital was constructed at 301 N. Main St. in Sheridan.
• 1965: Bed capacity was increased to 42 beds and an obstetrical unit was added.
• 1967: L.B. Walker was named administrator.
• 1969: Harry Whitlow was named administrator.
• 1970: Jack Whitlow was named administrator.
• 1972: A new surgical suite, laboratory, kitchen, central supply and physical therapy department were added.
• 1978: Phillip Hartman was named administrator.
• 1984: John Hudson was named administrator.
• 1987: Jack Howey was named administrator.
• 1989: The emergency room was remodeled and enlarged with an outpatient services department added, where specialists from Grand Rapids began seeing patients.
• 1993: The obstetrical unit closed and eventually was used for offering monthly wellness and educational programs to the community as the result of a new Community HealthWise Center conference room and programming. Family practice physicians began providing care in two hospital-affiliated locations in Blanchard and Trufant.
• 1994-1995: The hospital had 31 licensed beds and employed 129 full-time and part-time employees with 38 physicians on staff. The Trufant family practice closed its doors. New family practices opened in Edmore and Sheridan. The hospital and Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids began partnering with the three off-site family practices.
• 1996: Steve Scott was named interim administrator. The hospital entered into a management agreement with Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids. A family practice opened in Stanton.
• 1997: Christopher Noland was named administrator.
• 1998-1999: The hospital again became the sole owner of the four off-site family practice locations. A swing-bed unit (skilled nursing care) with 10 beds opened.
• 1999-2000: The hospital chose not to renew its management agreement with Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids. Robert Bultema was named administrator. A new medical office building opened in Sheridan. The Office of Development was created to promote, encourage and aid the hospital in raising funds for equipment needs, renovation and expansion.
• 2000-2001: The hospital received a Critical Access Hospital designation, entered into an agreement with Carson City Hospital and went online with sheridanhospital.com.
• 2001-2002: The hospital connected with Carson City Hospital’s information systems and web server.
• 2002-2003: The hospital was ranked No. 1 by the Jackson Organization for emergency department patient satisfaction for 2001. The Physician Specialists and Outpatient Services area was relocated, renovated and expanded with a new entrance to the southwest side of the hospital, instead of through the ER.
• 2006: Kevin Cawley was named administrator.
• September 2012: Michigan Rural Health Care Preservation and Sheridan Health Care Preservation become controlling entities of Sheridan Community Hospital. Randolph Flechsig is named administrator.