Q: Name, current occupation and Somervell County tenure.
1) My name is Pat Bruce. I moved to Glen Rose in 1983 and worked as a pharmacist for 37 years before retiring. My wife, Susan taught at Glen Rose High School, which is where my three daughters Kim, Leslie, and Allison all graduated. I am an active member of First United Methodist Church. My family and I have always supported the Glen Rose hospital, schools, and community.
2) Margaret Drake, currently working as a sculptor and have lived in county 36 years.
Q: Why are you running and what qualifies you for a seat on the Somervell County Hospital Board?
1) I am running for the hospital board because I believe all citizens should serve the public where they reside in some capacity during their lifetime. I currently have the time and energy to commit to this board. I care about this community and having a viable healthcare facility for the citizens of Somervell County, which includes my wife, children, 9 grandchildren, and me. I believe I am qualified to serve on this board for the following reasons: -I am acquainted with and educated in the medical field. I am a registered Pharmacist and have practiced for over 37 years, both as a business owner and provider. -I am very fiscally responsible. I have operated multiple businesses and understand the fiscal responsibility that goes along with it. -I have served on many boards including being a past president of the Chamber of Commerce. -I work well with others, am easy to get along with and would serve this board to the best of my ability.
2) I'm running because I firmly believe that this community should have close access to a hospital and quality healthcare. Although I know something about healthcare and the medical business because I worked in research in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years, I don't profess to be an expert on the business of running a hospital. I do know, however, how to manage people. We have a very capable hospital administrator, and, if elected, I will do my best to listen to him.
Q: If elected, what are three goals for the board that you think are achievable, and would advocate for, over the next two years?
1) The three goals I would like to see accomplished by the hospital if I am elected to the hospital board are: -To find ways to generate more revenue for the hospital and get it on a more sustainable path. It is important for us to not only be independent, but also turn a profit. -I would like to see us vigorously pursue new revenue enhancement programs. Example: Grow the cardiac rehab programs and grow senior care programs. This provides more opportunity for patients. -I would like to research and address rural VA healthcare needs and try to establish a pilot program for Somervell and surrounding communities, making GRMC the hub for the program.
2) I know that the senior care psychiatric building needs to be replaced. We will need to join a larger healthcare network soon. Also, the Hospital District has no financial reserves. This concerns me greatly, and I will be dedicated to working with the Administrator to improve the financial status of the District, while continuing to provide quality care to the District's needy inhabitants as well as the community at large.
Q: From Judith D’Amico: “What is [your] opinion re: spending Somervell district money to improve facilities in Hood County and especially in Pecan Plantation?”
1) Glen Rose Medical Center has had a relationship with Pecan Plantation beginning when Dr. Roger Marks treated migrant workers at the pecan orchards, which is now Pecan Plantation. The relationship that has evolved over the decades has grown to where it is today and is a vital healthcare service, for both pecan plantation and the Somervell County Hospital District. The facility that operates at Pecan Plantation has been very profitable for the hospital district. The patients that use the Pecan facility also use the Glen Rose offices, labs, hospital, and rehab facilities, which brings in more revenue for the hospital district. With that being said, based on this history and relationship, Pecan Plantation is an established part of the Somervell County Hospital District and has helped providing financial stability for the hospital district.
2) Somervell County bears the burden of having an inordinately large indigent population for whom the Medical Center is required to provide un-reimbursed care. The vast majority of folks living in Pecan Plantation are insured, and pay for their healthcare at the Medical Center's facility at Pecan Plantation. This represents money coming into the District that we would not otherwise have access to. Consequently, I ardently support maintaining a satellite facility at Pecan. I believe it is a win/win proposition for the District.
Q: How, if elected to the board, would you begin to address the budget as it pertains to the board? What services could be increased, decreased or eliminated in order to maintain the current level of services being provided to citizens while keeping under budget?
1) I believe in living within your means as you do at home… or should do at home. If elected I would like to sit down with the Administration and other board members and review the budget and sources of income by department. I would look at what is profitable and how to better capitalize on the more profitable departments. Then look at the short falls, examine those scenarios, and develop a plan to rectify any shortfalls. I also plan on visiting other hospitals our size that are profitable, learn from their experience and how it might apply to Somervell County Hospital District.
2) I won't presume to start getting into specifics of what services need to be decreased or eliminated until I'm elected and in a position to make a more educated judgment on those matters.
Q: Any additional information for the citizens of Somervell County?
1) I am a firm believer that if you say you CAN or you say you CAN’T… Either way you are right! I believe in our hospital and the care it provides for our community. I would like to see it continue to flourish, becoming more self-sufficient as a whole. If we want our community to have this amazing access to healthcare it is our responsibility to help make it the best place possible.
2) Somervell County Hospital District needs the support of its constituents. Whether you elect me or not, let's stop the personal vendettas and get behind the District Directors and the Administrator and help make this a viable and successful medical center for our community.