October 4, 2022

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Valley News – Mascoma health center sees leadership turnover amid fiscal difficulties

3 min read

CANAAN — In spite of powerful group assist for the Mascoma Local community Health Centre, it continues to confront issues.

The executive director, Rebecca Ekholm, opted not to renew her contract right after just just one year, and the wellness center’s medical director, Dr. Pierre Angier, whom Ekholm hired, also has specified his recognize.

The change in management will come as the nonprofit Canaan health and fitness middle, which very first opened in 2017, has however to break even and is having difficulties with funds move issues.

“Hopefully all those things iron by themselves out around the up coming pair of months,” Peter Thurber, the board’s chairman, mentioned of the economic challenges.

“It comes in and goes suitable out at this level,” he claimed of income. “Our payers are 30-60 days powering (but) our distributors continue to want to get compensated on time.”

Ekholm, a 44-yr-aged Plymouth, N.H. resident, reported it was not the organization’s fiscal problems that led her to depart the leadership post, which she described as her “dream task.”

The corporation, which now has 5,800 individuals, “is a diamond in the tough,” she stated, and it serves a “medical desert.”

The “health centre is vital for that area for guaranteed,” she claimed. “I hope the group will proceed to support the practice.”

But, she claimed, “I felt that my mission for the exercise may have been inconsistent with the board’s course.”

She declined to deliver details about the variance in “operational direction” that she and the board have, but mentioned that she would like to return to lead the organization at some stage in the future.

“I would like to go back,” she mentioned. To do so, on the other hand, she would like to see a “more secure local climate.”

A concept left for Angier at the wellness heart on Monday was not returned by deadline.

For now, Scott Berry, the center’s earlier executive director, has returned from retirement to direct the center, Thurber said. Berry is predicted to guide the center for as very long as a year till the board can find a long-lasting alternative for Ekholm. The board strategies to start lookups for lasting replacements for Ekholm and Angier quickly, he claimed.

“In the meantime, operationally nothing’s seriously switching right now,” Thurber mentioned. It’s “staffed just where we would be.”

The firm has almost 20 workers, Ekholm explained. It supplies major care and dental treatment in its Roberts Road place.

“The personnel are genuinely what drives that area,” she stated.

Ekholm agreed with Thurber that the transform in leadership really should make tiny variation to clients.

“I consider that they’re heading to be fine,” she reported. “The place will run the exact same way. The foundations are there.”

For now, Ekholm continues to support the corporation with the paperwork necessary to support it turn out to be a glimpse alike federally competent well being heart, which has been a target considering that the middle initial opened in get to enable the corporation to receive federal payments to help its get the job done.

Thurber mentioned he hoped that position will be achieved inside a year. That will be a few decades guiding agenda thanks to the pandemic.

The group was poised to ink a offer with Franklin, N.H.-primarily based HealthFirst Household Care Center when the pandemic strike in 2020.

That deal would have introduced the Mascoma Local community Health Middle such perks as a federal grant to help assist working costs, an opportunity for companies to choose gain of an educational personal loan forgiveness application, a increase to reimbursement charges from government insurance payers Medicare and Medicaid, accessibility to a decrease-expense prescription drug method and federal malpractice insurance plan.

The pandemic triggered the Mascoma Community Wellbeing Center’s revenues to dip by 50 percent, along with its donations, which it makes use of to offset revenue shortfalls, Thurber said. The group has an annual working funds of about $1.7 million.

“We ended up hemorrhaging dollars (and) they had been hemorrhaging money,” Thurber explained. The “timing didn’t work.”

Now, the Canaan wellness heart is active plenty of that it can make a go for the federal standing on its own, Thurber reported.

It is “still in start out up” and they “still have points to fix,” he reported of the overall health middle. But the “fact is we have hardly ever been so hectic.”

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3213.

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