Brownsworth to leave Weems

Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 03:19 PM.

Brownsworth said that he is hoping by the time he leaves in mid-July, Weems will have submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a $10.25 million loan to go towards renovations and additions to the existing hospital, first built in 1959. Included with that application will be an opinion letter from BKD as to the feasibility of the project, he said.

“The community can no longer just accept the existing facility,” he said. “They’re going to have to have a new renovated facility for the future, and that’s because of changes with regulations as well as changes as to how health care is provided.”

With nearly three-quarters of the hospital’s revenues coming from the emergency room and outpatient services, Brownsworth said the revamped facility will be limited to fewer than a dozen beds, half the number there are today. Each will be private, with its own rest room and shower area.

“It’s a balance of new inpatient and outpatient areas,” he said. “The trend is away from inpatient care but you need inpatient options locally for those with inpatient needs. Many people don’t want to travel 25 miles.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, Brownsworth was flanked by the hospital’s new chief financial officer John Graham, who began at his fulltime post April 21.

Graham has said he is not interested in the CEO post, Brownsworth said, but has recommended some possible names to put into the mix of candidates to be vetted as possible candidates by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, which is conducting the search.

“TMH is assisting in the search but the decision is made locally,” Brownsworth said. “I’ll assist in any way I can, helping to vet candidates, and the board will make the decision.”

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