News Room

Junction, Texas (December 12, 2019)

The employees of Muleshoe Area Medical Center (MAMC) gathered December 12 to celebrate the holidays and recognize staff members who achieved employment milestones in 2019.

The festivities started at 6:00 p.m. in the Bailey County Electric meeting room and featured a feast of brisket, sausage and all the fixings prepared by J & D Barbeque.

Honored during the event were Senaida Buenrostro, phlebotomist and laboratory assistant, who has worked for the hospital for 30 years.  She received a pin, gift card and trophy.  Also recognized were long-time employees Maria Barron, housekeeper, with 25 years of service and Ana Ramirez, housekeeper, with 20 years of service.  Both also received a pin, gift card and trophy.

“The employee awards ceremony is one of the highlights of my holiday season,” said Dennis Fleenor, hospital administrator.  “I enjoy the opportunity to thank our employees for all that they do day-in, day-out, to provide and support the quqlity patient care we provide to the community.”

Staff members who received pins and gift cards recognizing 10 years of employment included:  Michael Estes, maintenance, Bertha Gonzalez, accounts receivable specialist, and Melissa Shultz, physical therapist.  Recipients of 5-year pins were:  William Durben, RN, and Ricky Richerson, radiology technician.

A special feature of the party was a slide show sharing photos of last year’s events, and highlighting 2019 accomplishments compiled by Jodi Vidana, administrative assistant.

“We receive two awards for quality this past year,” reported Fleenor, “and I am proud of every single member of our medical, hospital and clinic staff who make quality our number one priority.”

The providers and staff of Muleshoe Family Medicine Clinic and Medical Clinic of Muleshoe recently received a Letter of Commendation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for their combined efforts to enhance the quality of care and improve the health status of Medicare patients.

Last February MAMC was recognized with a TMF Award for Hospital Quality Improvement given to only 152 of 745 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that demonstrated improved performance on specific national quality measures. 

Christmas Celebration

Andy Freeman, president and CEO of Preferred, congratulates Maria Barron, MAMC housekeeper, for 25 years of service.

Junction, Texas (April 8, 2019)

Almost 12,000 clinic visits, and hospital and emergency department admissions are recorded by Muleshoe Area Medical Center (MAMC), Muleshoe Family Medicine (MFM) and Medical Clinic of Muleshoe (MCM) every year according to Dennis Fleenor, hospital administrator.

“Although we treat some patients more than once a year, it is easy to see that the hospital and clinics provide care to a large number of the 7,000 residents of Bailey County,” said Fleenor. “And these numbers do not include the 25,000 physical therapy treatments, lab tests and x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRI scans ordered for patients,” he added.

Easy access to primary care for community members is due to the clinics operated by the hospital. The physicians and advanced care practitioners who practice at MFM and MCM see as many as 8,500 patients annually. Based on national data, this represents more than 70 percent of community need for primary care.

“I’ve always wanted to be a physician in a smaller community where I could care for patients of all ages, and in all settings,” explained Kenneth Burk, DO, who joined MCM last August. “However availability of clinic services is even more important for older and other vulnerable residents who may have mobility problems or limited access to transportation,” he continued.

Persons age 65 and older represent only 16 percent of the county population, but about 40 percent of MFM and MCM clinic volumes.

Emergency services are critical to patients whose illnesses or injuries require immediate attention. In the case of MAMC, this includes over 3,000 persons who are admitted to the emergency department on an annual basis.

Since 2017, MAMC medical providers have been able to call upon the board certified emergency medicine specialists at UMC Health System, Lubbock, to provide real-time consultation through the UMC telemedicine network. In emergency situations such as stroke, heart attack, trauma or serious injury – where every second counts – these specialists work “virtually” side by side with hospital physicians and advanced practice providers via a network of cameras and monitors installed in the trauma room.

“Telemedicine is invaluable to our community,” said Kristen Neely-Gilbert, APRN. “In life-threatening situations, our collaboration with UMC emergency allows us to rapidly evaluate patients, initiate critical measures to stabilize their conditions, and, if necessary, arrange for timely transfers to a specialized hospital.”

“Some of our community members may be surprised to learn that we also care for a lot of inpatients in acute, observation and swing bed settings,” said Fleenor.

“Our census – the average number of patients lying in our beds – can fluctuate pretty dramatically from day-to-day, month-to-month and even year-to-year,” Fleenor went on to say. “ For example, our average daily census was about 5 in the last three months, but ran as high as 12 patients for several days in January.”

Many inpatients at MAMC are admitted to the Swing Bed Program, established to meet the needs of Medicare patients discharged from Muleshoe or any other hospital following an acute illness, injury or surgery, but who still need time and physical therapy to heal and strengthen before going home.

“We are happy to be able to offer this service to the Medicare patients in our community,” said Tina Greenway, chief nursing officer. “With access to our highly trained nurses and physical therapy staff, this program helps our patients to more safely transition from acute care to home.”

MAMC also has a direct impact on the economy of Bailey County through the employment of more than 90 full-time and part-time staff committed to providing the personalized care that often can only be found in small communities like Muleshoe.

“At a time when many rural hospitals are struggling to stay open, the operations of MAMC continue to improve allowing us to continue to provide area residents with the personalized, hometown healthcare they expect from our hospital and clinics,” said Fleenor.

Junction, Texas (April 8, 2019)

A generous gift by the Volunteer Auxiliary of Muleshoe Area Medical Center (MAMC) resulted in the recent purchase of a new steam table for the hospital’s dietary department.

MAMC cooks meals for the acute care and swing bed patients who stay in the hospital for one or more nights.  The hospital’s dietary team also prepares over 400 meals a week that are delivered by volunteers to homebound seniors in the community as part of the “Muleshoe Meals on Wheels” program.

“This gift could not have come at a better time,” said Roy Anzaldua, dietary manager.  “Our old steam table simply ran out of gas.  

“The new steam table will allow us to keep our prepared food at the proper temperature, so that everything we make tastes good, and is safe,” Anzaldua explained.  

“Julie Gage, long time Muleshoe resident and one of the leaders of the volunteer auxiliary, contacted me a few weeks ago to find out what the hospital needed,” said Dennis Fleenor, administrator.   “The steam table purchase made possible by this gift will benefit a lot of people in the hospital and in the community, and we could not be more grateful.”

Volunteer funds were also used to purchase three new recliners with a powered lifting mechanism that allows patients with limited mobility to more easily stand.  

“This type of chair is a real benefit to our swing bed patients who may spend several days in the hospital recovering from an acute illness, injury or surgery,” said Tina Greenway, RN, chief nursing officer.  “The chairs also help our staff and family caregivers assist patients who find it difficult to lift themselves out of chair due to their illness, injury or condition.”  

The dietary team at Muleshoe Area Medical Center – Blanca Logan, Teresa Orozco, Norma Alvarado and Roy Anzaldua, dietary manger – show off the hospital’s new steam table made possible by a gift from the MAMC Volunteer Auxiliary. 

Junction, Texas (February 19, 2019)

Muleshoe Area Medical Center (MAMC) was recognized last week with the 2018 TMF Bronze Award for Hospital Quality Improvement. Out of the 745 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that demonstrated improved performance on specific national quality measures, only 51 earned the Gold Award, 50 the Silver Award and 51 the Bronze Award.

“We are honored to be recognized by the TMF Quality Institute for both reporting quality measures and improving patient outcomes as reflected by these data,” said Dennis Fleenor, hospital administrator, “but the benefit to our patients is the true reward.”

“Our nursing work hard to identify and act upon opportunities for quality improvement,” Fleenor reported. “I am proud of our staff members for their continued commitment to quality initiatives.”

Ginger Yaeger, RN, chief nursing officer, is quick to commend all of the nursing staff for quality improvement at the hospital. “We work together as a team to identify and address opportunities for improvement,” said Yaeger.

“I also want to thank the support team we have at Preferred Management Corporation,” noted Yaeger. “Kathy Mechler provides clinical leadership to all Preferred- affiliated hospitals and helped us to establish the framework for our quality program, Laura Crowell makes sure that we can extract needed data from our electronic medical records, and Megan Cody drives us to report our quality measures to various agencies,” Yaeger explained.

“TMF is proud to recognize hospitals for promoting quality improvement activities and their senior management for promoting a quality culture,” said Tom Manley, CEO of TMF Health Quality Institute. “Quality improvement is a complex and demanding process, and we thank Muleshoe Area Medical Center for their commitment to improving the health of patients and the efficiency of health care.”

The TMF Hospital Quality Improvement Award program is sponsored by TMF, the Arkansas Hospital Association, Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma State Office of Rural Health, Texas Hospital Association and Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals. There are three award categories: Gold is the highest tier, and has the most stringent requirements, followed by Silver and then Bronze.

Seven of the nine hospitals affiliated with Preferred were recognized by TMF in 2018, with five Gold Awards, one Silver Award and one Bronze Award. “Maintaining and improving access to quality patient care in our small communities is the primary goal of Preferred,” stated Andy Freeman, president and chief executive officer of Preferred. “We have invested in the resources necessary to support the efforts of our hospitals to achieve this goal, and I could not be prouder of the staff at the home office and in our hospitals for their hard work.”