As a physician and hospital trustee, James Rogers, 47, has never wavered from his belief that hospitals are an integral component of medical care in rural communities.He stood behind his conviction even as Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet, Minn., turned in a dismal financial performance in fiscal 2003, which ended Sept. 30; it lost $1 million on operatingrevenue of $15 million. The loss came just as the 25-bed hospital was poised to embark on an ambitious, $15 million expansion. "We were in a place where we (would) either expand and develop services or fall by the wayside and disappear," says Rogers, who joined the board of trustees eight years ago, taking over as chairman in 2003. Rogers convinced the board that physicians would support the project. At the same time, he also encouraged the administration to cut spending and convert to critical-access status, which allows rural hospitals to collect Medicare payments based on costs rather than prospective payment. The designation boosted revenue $600,000 in fiscal 2005. Rogers also worked diligently to build trust between the administration and physicians -- something he believed would ensure the success of the construction project. "He is a good facilitator of discussion," says Rick Breuer, the hospital's chief executive officer. The hard work paid off. In fiscal 2004, the first year the hospital was in the black, it earned $1.6 million on operating revenue of $26.1 million. In fiscal 2005, the hospital earned $2 million on operating revenue of nearly $31 million. For his accomplishments, Rogers was named an honorable mention for the small healthcare organizations category in Modern Healthcare's 2006 Trustee of the Year awards competition.
James Rogers - honorable mention
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