Memorial Health, mother corporation for Memorial University Medical Center, last year finished in the black for the first time since 2006, posting a $29.1 million turnaround from the previous year.
Audited financials completed in April by Atlanta-based accountants Dixon, Hughes, Goodman LLP showed system operating income of $1.5 million and system net income of $4.8 million, said President/CEO Maggie Gill.
That was based on $565 million in system revenues — a slight increase over $563 million the year before — and included $2.6 million in investments.
The figures include the medical center, which accounts for 88 percent of the total revenues for the system.
It reversed 2010 when system operating income was a negative $27.5 million and negative $16.5 million in net income, including $11.9 million in investments.
The turnaround occurred during Gill’s first year as head of the region’s largest health care provider and “to the penny” of Gill’s projections in February while awaiting the completed audits.
Gill credits several issues for the turnaround.
“I think it is a combination of having a good understanding of the business, a strong relationship with the physicians and team members and having a financial background,” said Gill, a former chief operating officer since joining Memorial in 2004.
“It is understanding who you are as an organization, focusing on business practices that will ensure viability and sustainability and treating patients and physicians like your customers.”
Memorial’s tradition of good patient care has been a positive.
“I’m very fortunate that Memorial has a strong history of quality health care,” she said. “It makes it easy to build upon a strong foundation.”
And the intangible — “You also have to care about the place,” Gill said. “I consider Memorial to be part of my family and I treat it as such.”
But Gill refused to take full credit for the turnaround.
“There is no one person who turns it around by her or himself,” she said, deflecting credit to “good leaders who make good business decisions, focus on the patients and have the tools to do the job.”
Gill was named interim president/CEO in January 2011, replacing the ousted Phillip Schaengold and inheriting the on-going red ink in operating loss.
She became president/CEO in April 2011, with a vow to restore financial and personnel stability while at the same time keeping Memorial true to its mission.