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News

Preferred Appoints New Corporate Leader for Patient Quality
January 8, 2015

A new leader for quality initiatives at Schleicher County Medical Center was recently appointed by Preferred Management Corporation.  Kathleen Kathy” Mechler, RN, is the latest addition to the Preferred Management team who support the 10 hospitals affiliated with Preferred.  

“Kathy has focused on the design and implementation of healthcare quality projects since 2000, working as the director/chief operating officer of the Texas Health Quality Alliance until 2002, and then as co-director/chief operating officer of the Rural & Community Health Institute at the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center through the end of 2014,” said Mike Easley, chief operating officer of Preferred.  

“She was responsible for the development of the virtual physician peer review program that we use at most of our hospitals,” noted Easley “and served as the coordinator for numerous projects addressing healthcare information technology, patient safety, patient satisfaction, medical record reviews and hospital errors.”  

Mechler will be based in the Austin, Texas, office of Preferred, and will work closely with the administrators and chief nursing officers of Preferred facilities.  Other responsibilities assumed by Mechler under the quality umbrella include development and enhancement of nursing standards, corporate compliance, regulatory surveys and risk management.   

“Helping colleagues improve quality of care provided to patients has always been my primary focus,” commented Mechler.  “The advent of electronic medical records has added to the complexity of healthcare. However, it has created opportunities for improvements in quality,” she continued, “which makes the integration of information technology and quality paramount in the future.”      

Mechler also brings significant management and clinical experience to her position, serving as the administrator of a psychiatric hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, and as nursing supervisor for Santa Rosa Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
 
Throughout her career, Mechler has been active in various professional organizations, serving as:  a gubernatorial appointment to the Texas Health Services Authority; a member of the technical advisory panel for the Joint Commission Critical Access Hospital Project; a member of the editorial board of the National Association for Healthcare Quality; a Code Red task force member on a statewide commission to evaluate the status of the underinsured and uninsured in Texas.  

Mechler received her Masters of Science in Health Professions and her Bachelors of Science in Health Professions from Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, and her Registered Nursing Degree from San Antonio College, San Antonio, Texas.  

“We are pleased that Kathy has joined our team,” said Andy Freeman, president of Preferred.  “Providing high quality patient care is our top priority,” he continued, “and we know that Kathy will help to maintain and enhance our standards.”

Kathy Mechler, MS, RN, CPHQ, is the new Director of Clinical Services for Preferred Management Corporation.
 

 
New Hospital Administrator Appointed
October 13, 2014

Kermit, Texas (October 13, 2014) –Robert “Bob” Pascasio was named interim administrator of Winkler County Memorial Hospital (WCMH).

Pascasio brings over 20 years of healthcare experience to Kermit, including 15 years as chief executive officer of several public, community and Critical Access Hospitals.  The majority of these assignments have been in Texas, with a brief stint in Missouri.   

 “I look forward to using my experience to benefit WCMH and the communities it serves,” said Pascasio.  Most recently, Pascasio was the CEO of Sutton County Hospital District, Sonora, Texas, encompassing a Critical Access Hospital, Rural Health Clinic, wellness center and EMS agency.

“We are pleased to have someone of Bob’s, caliber and experience to serve as our interim administrator,” said Suzanne Smith, district board chair.

Pascasio was recruited to Kermit by Preferred Management Corporation, the Shawnee, Oklahoma based operator of WCMH.  Including WCMH, Preferred operates one Critical Access Hospital in Oklahoma and nine in Texas.

Pascasio received his undergraduate degree in business administration and his graduate degree in health professions from Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.  He lives with his wife, Vickie, in Anahuac, Texas, but will be in Kermit full-time, typically traveling to Anahuac on the weekends.    

“Bob is an effective communicator with a strong financial background who will work with the provider and hospital staff to address critical priorities identified by the District and Preferred,” said Mike Easley, chief operating officer of Preferred.  We think he will be a good fit with the hospital and community, and are glad he was available to take on this assignment.”

Prior to joining Preferred, Pascasio served as the CEO of Hancock Medical Center, Bay St. Louis, Missouri, Chambers County Public Hospital District #1, Anahuac, Texas.  Other assignments have taken him to Gonzales, Richardson and New Braunfels, Texas.



Pascasio has authored papers and presentations regarding the challenges facing the healthcare industry, and has secured several grants for the various hospitals.  He is also very active in community and healthcare organizations including Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, the Texas Rural Health Association and Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals (TORCH).

For More Information Contact
Bob Pascasio

 
New Hospital Administrator Appointed
October 6, 2014

Muleshoe, Texas (October 6, 2014) – William “Bill” Buck was named interim administrator of Muleshoe Area Medical Center (MAMC) during the regular meeting of the Muleshoe Area Hospital District (MAHD) October 7.  

Buck brings over 35 years of healthcare experience to Muleshoe, including almost 25 years as chief executive officer of hospitals ranging in size from 14 to 353 beds.  His career has taken him to facilities located in Mississippi, Wyoming, Washington, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.
 
“Although I’ve worked in several larger facilities, I really enjoy working with smaller hospitals and communities,” said Buck.  “I know how important small hospitals are to the communities they serve and look forwarding to working with the staff of MAHD to enhance quality of care provided, and re-build community trust in our capabilities.”

“We are pleased to have someone of Bill’s caliber, experience and commitment to serve as our interim administrator,” said Allen Smyer, MAHD board chair, following MAHD board approval of Buck’s appointment.
   
Buck was recruited to Muleshoe by Preferred Management Corporation, a Shawnee, Oklahoma based operator of Critical Access Hospitals.  The MAHD hired Preferred to provider interim management services to the hospital after the resignation of David Burke.  Including MAHD, Preferred operates one small community hospital in Oklahoma and nine in Texas.  Included on this list is Parmer Medical Center, 30 miles north of Muleshoe, where Preferred has provided management services for almost 25 years.

Buck received his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance from San Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, and his graduate degree in health administration from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.  He lives with his wife in McKinney, Texas, but will be in Muleshoe full-time, typically traveling to McKinney every other weekend.  “My wife, who is a speech pathologist, also plans to periodically visit Muleshoe as soon as I get settled here,” reported Buck.  
“Bill likes to work as an interim administrator,” noted Mike Easley, chief operating officer of Preferred, “and is very skilled at identify and evaluating problems, and working with local staff to develop and implement solutions.  We know that he will be a good fit with the hospital and community, and are glad he was available to take on this assignment.”

 “Please call me Bill,” said Buck during a meeting of the hospital department managers.  “I have an open door policy, and encourage each of you to bring your needs and concerns to me, so we can discuss how to best improve services,” he continued during an open discussion regarding the issues facing the hospital.
Staff expressed concerns that community perception of the hospital and employee morale have declined over the last year.  These items will be high on Buck’s priority list as he meets individually with hospital staff and providers over the next few weeks.
 
“The healthcare environment presents us with new challenges every day,” said Andy Freeman, president of Preferred.  “Everyone on the hospital staff plays a role on the team, and everyone has to play their role well if these challenges are to be overcome,” he continued.
    
“The board appreciates the efforts of the Preferred team,” said Smyer.  “In a very short period of time, they have helped to identify some of the key needs of our hospital and we look forward to working with them to develop and implement plans to address those concerns.”


 

For More Information Contact
Bill Buck
(806) 272-4524