In his third week with Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital, new chief administrative officer Sean Johnson is spending time getting to know his staff and the community.
“I’ve spent time with each department,” Johnson said. “I provided a list of questions to my eight managers to learn more about them and their thoughts about the hospital.”
Johnson said by opening communication with the staff and getting invaluable feedback, he can determine what is in the best interest of the hospital and what is best for patient care.
“I’m big on enhancing employee engagement,” Johnson said. “I take a lot of pride in that. [The staff] feels like they have a voice and a part of what we are doing. That all spills over to patient care which is most important.”
Johnson has been in Critical Access hospital management for 14 years, and after visiting Tyler Holmes over the years on a professional level, he was very familiar with the hospital before taking the job.
He said Tyler Holmes’s two clinics, two physicians, and two nurse practitioners is a real benefit to the community, and he is currently focused on converting the two clinics to rural health status, which will be beneficial to the hospital due to the enhanced reimbursement rates from Medicaid and Medicare.
“We look to have all that done by mid-year,” Johnson said. “There will be some adjustments needed with the physical plant, but those things are minor.”
Johnson said there are many small hospitals across the state that do not have Tyler Holmes’s financial health.
“We have a healthy income statement and a healthy balance sheet right now,” Johnson said. “We have a solid board that cares, and we have had good management in the past.”
Johnson said to keep Tyler Holmes financially sound in the future, the hospital’s leadership must be creative in what services are available to the community. The hospital’s Swingbed program, which provides skilled-nursing for patients for an extended period of time, is well-used in the community, as is the 24-hour Emergency Room. Physical therapy is also a popular service that also integrates into the Swingbed program if needed.
“We have great services like our Senior Life Intensive Outpatient care, our wound care, and swingbed,” Johnson said. “We want to continue to listen to the community, and offer what we can right here.”
Specialty care is an area Johnson has had success with at other hospitals, and he is hoping to bring those services to Winona.
“I’m talking to the doctors to learn what services are needed,” Johnson said. “By providing specialty care, it can also help our ancillary services. It is also good for the community as a whole.”
Johnson stepped into his role as the face of Tyler Holmes also immediately. He has already met with the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, Winona Chief of Police Tommy Bibbs, Sheriff Bubba Nix, representatives from various banks, and the members of the Winona Rotary Club. In fact, Johnson was last week’s speaker at the Rotary Club.
“We want to participate where we can,” Johnson said. “I want to meet with as many people as possible.”
Johnson also relocated to Winona and moved into his new home Monday.
“I think it is important for any hospital CEO to live in the town,” Johnson said. “I want to live here.”
Johnson, who came to Winona from Magee General Hospital, is a native of Jackson and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and his master’s from the University of Southern Mississippi in hospital management.
In his free time, Johnson said he enjoys traveling, especially to Ole Miss sporting events and to Flowood to visit his parents.