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Former Outpatient Medical Center CEO responds to recent newspaper article | Around The Town

Carl Walters Updated Pic

(ATT Editors Note: The following letter from former Natchitoches Outpatient Medical Center CEO Carl I. Walters II. was sent to Natchitoches Times General Manager Steve Colwell in response to an article published on the front page of the May 14, 2020 issue of The Times.

May 15, 2020

Mr. Colwell,
As discussed with you this morning, the following information is being submitted in reference to the article your newspaper ran about my recent transition from Outpatient Medical Center Inc. The facts surrounding my transition are succinctly:
I fully satisfied my three year contractual agreement
Because of my sustained commitment to the company and community, I worked for several months absent a new contract
I did not leave the company on bad terms and I did not leave due to any fiscal mis-management of the company; which your article erroneously implied/inferred was the case by some “unknown source who desired to remain anonymous.” Such allegations made are materially and factually inaccurate and if I knew the person rendering such false accusations, I would personally sue them for liable and an attempt to disparage my public community service record.
I was specifically recruited by the Board of Directors; because of my respected service record of stabilizing, turning around and growing over 9 multi-million dollar integrated health systems to date; to:
Get the health system back into HRSA regulatory compliance (accomplished)
Reposition the health system for growth (accomplished)
Grow the health system (accomplished)
Identify/obtain new health system funding sources (accomplished)
Strengthen/grow our health system community stakeholder relationships (accomplished)
Design/implement a health system rebranding strategy designed to improve community confidence/utilization of the health system (plan implemented/remains a work in progress)
Diversify our health system services offered (accomplished)
Strengthen/stabilize and grow our health system clinician staffing (accomplished)
Strengthen/stabilize our health system mid-grade leadership infrastructure (accomplished)
Strengthen/stabilize our health system MIS/IT staffing infrastructure (accomplished)
Strengthen our health system Nurse Group staffing infrastructure (accomplished)
Strengthen/grow our Dental Service-Line staffing infrastructure (accomplished)
Strengthen/grow our Behavioral Health Services staffing infrastructure (accomplished)
Some of the heath system notable accomplishments that transpired under my Administration include:
Earning the confidence, love and support of numerous community stakeholders and leaders
Strengthening/growing our health system clinician staffing across all of our company service-lines
Successfully leading the health system through two annual independent Federal fiscal audits with no major audit findings
Successfully leading the health system through one focused The Joint Commission audit and our recertification The Joint Commission audit
Successfully leading the health system through a focused Federal compliance audit
Successfully leading the health system through numerous Health Plan medical record audits
Increasing our health system patient census by over 50% where it historically tracked prior to my arrival
Successfully leading the health system through an unplanned electronic health record conversion last year
Grew the health system general operating budget by over $1 million dollars year over year; each year I was there (when I took over the health system operated 3 health centers, in three parishes and had a general operating budget of $5.5 million. The health system now operates 8 health centers, in four parishes with a general operating budget of $8.5 million)
Successfully brought up a multi-million dollar school based health center service line which has grown from OMC Inc. operating one school based health center to now operating four
Successfully brought up:
Internal Medicine Services
Dermatology Services
Podiatry Services
Physical Therapy Services
Telephone Preventative Care Services and;
Positioned the health system to start growing their Pediatric patient market, most of which was lost prior to my arrival
And positioned the health system to bring up:
CDL Services
ECG Services
Spirometry Services
Outpatient Psychiatric Services (via telehealth)
Onsite Preventative Care Services to be offered at some local prisons and;
Expanded school-based health services with two local but different school systems
Additionally; our Administration
Was awarded over $1M in new Federal funding during the last part of 2019
Was recently awarded close to $3M in new Federal and PPP Program funding
Successfully acquired a multi-million dollar rural health clinic in Mansfield last year which expanded our health system footprint into DeSoto parish
Brought up in-house Behavioral Health Services in our Tallulah Health Center
Brought up in-house Behavioral Health Services in our Mansfield Health Center
Brought up the offering of Black Women’s Health Change Your Lifestyle Services in all of our health centers
More than tripled the number of colorectal screenings we perform
Was the only FQHC in Louisiana awarded 5 year $500,000 CDC-sponsored Black Women’s Health Initiative grant funding
Is the only FQHC in the state of Louisiana that has brought up a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention quality program
Successfully negotiated a new 3 year Federal contract; which was in jeopardy of not being renewed prior to my arrival; which played a pivotal role in continued Federal health system funding over the past three years
Has received numerous company awards for our elevated community outreach efforts that transpired under my Administration (including picking up the Natchitoches parish Non-Profit Company of the Year award last year)
Aligned the health system to support elevated staff diversity; which is in keeping with a FQHCs social equity community duty. The company is more diverse today than it has ever been and I am very proud of this as the face of the community health system should mirror the face of the diverse patient populations it serves
Has received increased Federal Quality Program funding year over year I served as their CEO for sustained continually-elevated Quality Program performance attained
Has supported increased community enhancement sponsorships throughout my tenure as CEO of the health system
I received the prestigious Eric B. Taylor award last year for being recognized as one of the top FQHC CEOs in the state of Louisiana
I am in line to receive an award from former Superintendent Skinner for leadership exhibited in helping to bring up integrated school-based health services in Natchitoches parish and;
I left the system profitable and poised for elevated profitability.
These are just some of the numerous highlights of my Administrations accomplishments attained over the past 3 years. FQHC Boards have the right to hire a new CEO if they desire and when/where they do, I/we must respect their decision. This said, my family and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to help ensure the continued viability of a 43 year old institution that represents so much more than access to high-quality, cost-effective, culturally-sensitive integrated primary care services. And while the complex/difficult work of a “change agent” is rarely recognized and appreciated in the moment, it is transformational work that I love; as I have dedicated my life to improving the lives of others; even when they cannot sometimes see the good of what is being done for them. So on behalf of my wife and family, I close:
Thanking the OMC Inc. Board for the opportunity to serve them
Thanking the OMC Inc. staff for the opportunity to lead them and serve with them
Thanking the community for welcoming our family and supporting our family while I did the difficult change agent work I was sent here to do and;
Letting you all know that we love, appreciate each of you, thoroughly enjoyed serving you and wishing your families the very best as we all move forward with our lives.
Warmly,

Carl I. Walters II.
Healthcare Executive
Former U.S. Naval Officer
Medical Service Corp officer (Hospital Administration trained)

(It is the opinion of Around The Town that former OMC CEO Carl I. Walters II should be commended for being extremely instrumental in rebranding the organization and strengthening numerous functional areas.)

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