10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

FMC Board of Trustees Meeting November 2022

FMC Board of Trustees Meeting November 2022



Wednesday, November 2, 2022

MEMBERS PRESENT                              

Betty Mueller, President

Doug Varner, Vice-President

Rich Menger, Secretary                             

Alice Kay Schweigert, Board Member

Curt Arnell, Board Member

Bryant Steen, Board Member

Elaine Stanhope, Board Member

            OTHERS PRESENT                      

            David Espeland, CEO

            Marjorie Losing, CFO

            Marissa Skogen, Recorder


Betty called the meeting of the FMC Board of Trustees to order at 5:30 p.m. in the FMC Community Room. 

II.         PUBLIC INPUT – Jimmie Sparks, former FMC employee, shared the definition of a public corporation board member and their obligations to the company stockholders. She read a letter to the Board, expressing her concerns about the work environment while she was an FMC employee, as well as current perceptions as an outsider of how the facility is operating, stating that, “it falls on you if FMC fails.” Discussion was held about the length of time Jimmie was taking for her statement. Betty read a letter sent to her by Mary Grube sharing Mary’s view that both “sides” are a part of the problem and she wishes everyone would be more positive. The letter also states that it is her wish that the Board of Trustees would be able to remove members who don’t have the best interests of FMC at hand. Karol Zachmann, current FMC employee, introduced herself and shared her various roles both in life and professionally. Karol read a letter to the Board that addressed her concerns about Brenda Stoddard’s actions and how they are affecting current FMC employees, the Board of Trustees, and our healthcare system in Baker.


The September 7, 2022 minutes were still tabled due to our corporate lawyer not having confirmed whether the board is able to write policies about topics that aren’t spelled out in the by-laws. No additions or corrections to the October 5, 2022 board minutes as distributed. Minutes stand approved as written.


Maintenance: Brad Kings reported that he has set up new accounts with vendors allowing him to get better pricing on plumbing supplies and HVAC equipment. He has installed the new whirlpool tubs in LTC and they’ve been working great. We have been operating under Brad’s boiler license and he handles most maintenance and repairs of the boilers. He expressed that he loves his job and his employee does a great job; however, the community uproar has caused people not to apply for his open position in his department.

Dietary: Lorie Schell could not attend the Board Meeting.

Informational Technology: Susan Stevens shared that she has worked at FMC for 31 years come January. Susan reported on her background and the various positions she’s held and currently holds at FMC. The Thrive EMR build and implementation has been stressful and not going completely as planned. November 9th is the go-live date, set by our vendor.  Due to electronic medical record systems (EMR’s) being so intricately interwoven in so many departments, things go slowly for a while. The Centriq system that we are moving away from was largely housed in the same company. EMR systems have been changing to outsourcing various modules to different vendors, causing unforeseen hardships. Susan explained the depth of hours put into the EMR build. Discussion was held by the board about the pros and cons of the migration. Susan explained multifactorial authentication (MFA) and meaningful use to the Board of Trustees.

QA/Infection Control: Judy McWilliams explained in great detail the FMC Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Annual Program Evaluation Report for fiscal year 2022, running from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. (Enclosure)


Marjorie Losing went over the September 2022 financials with the Board of Trustees. September was an average month with 19 Inpatient Days and 33 Skilled Days. September’s Gross Revenue was $863,283 while the budgeted amount was $887,443. Net Operating Revenue was $937,944 while the budgeted amount was $908,582. Expenses for the month of September were $1,004,701. Operating Loss for the month of September was ($66,758) and Net Loss was ($38,709). Our AR will go up until we get our new EMR established. (Enclosure)


  1. Board Policies: Due to our corporate lawyer not having confirmed whether the board is able to write policies about topics that aren’t spelled out in the by-laws, the proposed board policies are not yet approved.
  • Investment Account Setup: Jim Cusimano, CFP, needs to know who is going to be signees on the account. The designated signees will be Marjorie, David, and the Board Secretary.
  • HR Study by Associated Employers: Marissa Skogen, FMC Personnel Director, presented the findings from the recently completed Associated Employers HR Assessment, and the plan of how she will implement their recommendations. Discussion was held about the assessment. (Enclosure)
  • Nominating Committee Selections: Out of the ten applicants who expressed an interest to be on the Board of Trustees, the following candidates were chosen to be included on the ballot: Evelyn Neary, David Kirschten, Dru Burke, Bryant Steen, and Elaine Stanhope.


  1. Annual Meeting Notice & Agenda: Discussion was held about the way the annual meeting should be conducted and the proposed agenda. Conversation occurred about what information should be presented at the meeting and who should present it.  The board discussed options for conducting the election, and decided to ask Fallon County if they would be willing to do it similar to a public mail-in election.  Marjorie agreed to contact the county and find out how much it would cost, and if they would have the time. Curt made a motion to have strictly mail-in ballots delivered to Fallon County if they agree. Elaine seconded. The motion carried.
  • Taylor Schell Education Assistance Request: Taylor is currently studying to take her radiology technician licensing exam, which she expects to take next month.  She requested financial assistance from the board to go towards her ultrasound technician education, with an assurance that she will remain an FMC employee. She also wanted to be sure that she would see an increase in pay after obtaining the additional training. The board requested more information before making any decisions.


The Board adjourned their regular session having completed the agenda.

s/  Betty Mueller, Board Chair

s/ Marissa Skogen, Recorder