Hospital losing another executive team member

Chief Operating Officer Larry Kahl leaving

At a time when Grays Harbor Community Hospital is facing a financial crisis, it is losing two people from its executive team.

Larry Kahl, the chief operating officer, is leaving as of April 6, hospital CEO Tom Jensen announced Friday in an email to staff and Hospital District board members.

That comes after Joe Vessey, the chief financial officer, resigned recently. His resignation is effective March 23. Both men are still on the job.

Kahl is leaving for a job at a hospital in Oregon.

Jensen said the replacement process for both positions is on hold while the hospital waits for a report from consultants who will come in and evaluate and assess the performance of the hospital and its associated clinics and businesses.

Those facilities are expected to lose more than $8 million once the audit for 2017 is complete, Jensen has said.

The hospital district is asking the Legislature and the governor for help in increasing the rate of reimbursement for inpatient Medicaid billing at the hospital. A bill now pending would raise the rate to 150 percent of the typical reimbursement schedule, but it will take that, plus efficiencies and other actions to get fiancees back in the black, Jensen has said.

Kahl has been with the hospital operation since 2004, starting as director of the Eastcenter Chemical Dependency Unit. He was then vice president of support services, which evolved into vice president of operations in 2009. He often represents the hospital on community boards and civic groups, Jensen noted.

“The timing is never good when you lose an executive,” Jensen said. “But the fact of the matter is this organization functions 24-7” apart from the executives. We’re doing what we can on the legislative side, and on the hospital side we’re getting more efficient and we’ll do what we do until they tell us we can’t.”