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Large turnout elects 2 to hospital board

Staff writer

Don Hodson and Mike Connell were elected Tuesday to positions on the Hospital District No. 1 of Marion County Board of Directors by the largest number of attendees at the district’s annual meeting anyone could recall.

It was standing room only in the conference room in the Marion Family Physicians clinic basement, with more than 90 people showing up to cast ballots for candidates Judy Reno, Chris Gillespie, Hodson, and Connell. Only three people attended the 2011 annual meeting, according to board minutes.

“I moved here 29 years, 10-1/2 months ago, I’ve been to most of the annual meetings and I’ve never seen this many people in this room,” Hodson said.

Connell offered one possible reason for the high turnout.

“There were several e-mails and Facebook posts out there requesting support for certain candidates,” Connell said.

Connell was re-elected for a second term on the board. This will be Hodson’s first term.

St. Luke Hospital CEO Jeremy Armstrong and Chief Financial Officer Bev Reid presented annual reports highlighting operational and financial accomplishments. Armstrong cited three factors that contributed to a good year financially for the hospital.

“We had a 6 percent increase in revenues, we held the expense increase to just 3 percent, and the third was support that we had from the foundation and the auxiliary,” Armstrong said. “The contributions that we had were significant and helped us out greatly.”

“Once we added in our non-operating income, which includes our tax receipts and also the distributions from St. Luke Foundation, our bottom line was a positive $514,000,” Reid said.

“This was a total margin of profit of 6.37 percent. Our audit firm indicates that the total margin of the critical access hospitals they work with was 2.8 percent, so we were above their average.”

Connell and Hodson will take their seats on the board at the June meeting.

Last modified May 31, 2012

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