It’s official! After a 5 month stint as acting CEO, Paul Skowron became full-time Chief Executive Officer for the Surgical Hospital of Munster, in Munster, IN, October 1st. Paul has been Regent’s Corporate Controller since 2007. His association with Regent began when we acquired Palos Surgicenter. Paul had been the administrator at Palos for 15 years. After we began managing the facility, we hired a new administrator for the ASC and recruited Paul to Regent. As Corporate Controller, Paul oversaw A/R procedures and Chargemaster development for all our facilities. He did a fantastic job helping all our facilities manage these business aspects correctly. At the start of 2008, we sent Paul to oversee the installation of a new hospital information system at the Surgical Hospital of Munster, formally Calumet Surgery Center. We had recently converted the surgery center from a five OR outpatient facility to a four OR, one procedure room, nine bed surgical hospital. It soon became apparent that Munster was going to need a little assistance finding its wings, and Paul took over the role of acting CFO in February to guide it on its way. By September 2008, Munster was on the path to success. According to Paul “Licenses were in place, and provider numbers and contracts were sufficient, allowing the hospital to return to 80 percent of its prior volume and growing. Cash flow was returning to normal, and clean bills were going out the door. I could return to the Regent office and focus on company-wide priorities.” Then disaster struck. On September 13th, the worst rainstorm since 1954 settled over Northwest Indiana, causing the Little Calumet River to overflow and flooding the brand new hospital which was situated less than a football field away. Paul was called upon to assist Munster and Regent with the daunting task of cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess. Paul recalled that “With $0 in revenue coming in, every day was critical”. With his assistance the hospital received state approval to reopen on December 12, 2008, less than 90 days after the flooding that shut it down. It was an incredible group effort, and Paul was an integral member of the team. After the hospital reopened, Paul faced the harrowing task of starting from scratch to get the facility back to the financial stability it was just beginning to enjoy before the disaster. He dug back into his acting CFO duties with a vengeance, establishing payor contracts, ensuring revenue cycle for cash flow, and controlling labor and supply expenses. At the start of 2009, it became apparent that there were issues that needed to be addressed at Munster, and they were the types of issues that required the assistance of a CEO. In order to grow, the hospital needed to ramp up its physician recruitment drive and start looking to add new services, such as a spine center of excellence. A full-scale search was launched to recruit an experienced hospital CEO to the facility, but in the meantime Paul was called on to act in the interim, and he became acting CEO in May. The hiring processes turned up two likely candidates for the CEO position, but Munster’s board rejected both of them. They had decided that they didn’t want a new CEO, they wanted Paul! His experience with the in’s and out’s of the surgical hospital, his rapport with the doctors, and his knowledge of Munster’s medical community made him the perfect choice to take on the job. Paul graciously accepted, and his position as CEO became official. Looking ahead to 2010, Paul sees 3 major goals for Surgical Hospital of Munster. He said “The Hospital needs to establish its own identity in the community as a hospital, and stand out from the pack. We need to focus on increasing case volume by encouraging our current partners to bring more of their cases to the facility and by recruiting new doctors from the larger Northwest Indiana medical community. Finally, we need to increase our non-surgical medical admissions, building confidence in admitting physicians that we can handle the responsibility.” I wish Paul the best of luck as he settles in to tackle this latest challenge. With his guiding hand at the wheel I expect to see The Surgical Hospital of Munster make great strides towards reaching its goals, positioning itself for current and future success.