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CEO Gene Meyer honored for leading Lawrence Memorial Hospital to success

May 23, 2013

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Gene Meyer has led Lawrence Memorial Hospital through one of its most successful periods, when it expanded significantly and was recognized for everything from financial performance to cancer research.

In helping to create a high-quality medical center for people in the area, Meyer was honored with the Lawrence Kiwanis Club's Substantial Citizen Award in a ceremony Thursday at the Lawrence Country Club. Since 1960, the recognition has been bestowed annually upon residents who have made a difference in the community.

Guy Dresser, chairman of the Substantial Citizen Committee, said Meyer has done just that, helping to save lives and improve the health of Lawrencians through his solid leadership. Dresser said the committee chose Meyer "based on his professional achievement and his significant contribution to the community."

Gene Meyer, president and chief executive officer of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, left, and his wife, Carol, right, visit with Julie Hack on Thursday at the Lawrence Country Club. Meyer was presented with the 2013 Kiwanis Substantial Citizen Award at the Lawrence Kiwanis Club luncheon.

Gene Meyer, president and chief executive officer of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, left, and his wife, Carol, right, visit with Julie Hack on Thursday at the Lawrence Country Club. Meyer was presented with the 2013 Kiwanis Substantial Citizen Award at the Lawrence Kiwanis Club luncheon.

Meyer became president and CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital in 1997. He has since gone on to serve in several professional and civic organizations, including the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence Noon Rotary Club, Commerce Bank and Kansas Hospital Association.

This isn't Meyer's first award from the community or beyond. In 2011, he was inducted into the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame and got the American Hospital Association's Grassroots Champion Award. Nine years before that, Baker University named him Lawrence Business Person of the Year.

"Giving back to our community is vitally important and we all share in that mission. At LMH, we try to share in that every day," Meyer said. "We need to be a community service, and we are."

Meyer, who is married with four children and two grandkids, has helped LMH receive awards from several state and national health care organizations, including its being named a top-100 hospital in America by Truven Health Analytics. During his reign, the facility has also received marks for safety, employee satisfaction, technological capability and cancer research, as well as heart attack, pneumonia and surgical care. Last year, LMH became one of the smallest hospitals in the country to earn an A1 long-term bond rating from Moody's Investors Service.

"It's not the awards we get on the wall," Meyer acknowledged. "It's how we do when you're there for care."

The hospital has also expanded during Meyer's tenure, adding interventional cardiology, acute rehabilitation, wound healing and oncology services, as well as an outpatient facility and several family-, primary- and specialty-care clinics to the area. He also oversaw a $55 million expansion to LMH's emergency, surgical and nursing departments in 2003.

"We feel we're a community asset — and we're your asset," he added.

Comments

LeBo 10 months, 3 weeks ago

LMH HAS GREAT PEOPLE WITH GREAT HEARTS. CAPABILITIES SAVE LIVES. BETTER OF TO GO DIRECTLY TO KU MED OR ST. LUKE AND SKIP THE EXTRA HOSPITAL BILL AND DOUBLE EMS SERVICE FEES. I WOULD RATHER DIE AT HOME THAN TO PAY ANY HOSPITAL THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR END OF LIFE 'CARE.'

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MacHeath 10 months, 3 weeks ago

This thread is about dead, but anyway...

Gene is a damn good CEO, No doubt about that. It took quite a few years to get public opinion of LMH raised to where it is now. Having said that, He does make a pile of money. He does ignore things not generally seen or thought about by the general public. He is really into appearances, as apposed to actual function.

The CEO before Gene, Robert Ohlen got the ball rolling though. He successfully fought off a proposed by out by Columbia. That would have been a disaster for Lawrence. Ohlen never got much credit for what he did.

One huge problem LMH had, back in the day, was that The J/W had nothing good to say about the hospital. The J/W, for good or bad, affects public opinion to large degree. Somehow, Gene got the J/W to accept him with open arms. Editorials and articles took on a completely different tone, public opinion of LMH started to rise. That was one of Gene's major accomplishments you are not going to read about in the J/W.

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cheeseburger 10 months, 3 weeks ago

As a rule, I think Meyer has been good for LMH. I do wish, however, that some time would be spent figuring out a way to keep patients in the ER from feeling like they've been stuffed in a room and forgotten about. There's never a shortage of personnel out in the 'pods' carrying on, but sometimes patients would appreciate being checked on regularly.

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cowboy 10 months, 3 weeks ago

LMH is an excellent hospital ! The Er doc's saved my life , made diagnosis and medication recommendations that made a scary heart condition an easily manageable issue. I can't thank them enough . I ended up with a huge bill thanks to the new Bob Billings cardio unit and they wrote it off , didn't sue me or threaten me at all. What more can you ask.

I had OP cancer surgery twice , awesome staff and treated me so well when I was scared as crap. Had our last child there too.

I have two daughters who have worked there and they got promotions and raises , and tuition reimbursement as they enhanced their education and careers.

What ever your problem it is your problem not LMH's.

Now there are Doctors here I won't use but that's not LMH's issue. I wish they would wield their power to consolidate the non-profit providers into a comprehensive community health system competent and easy to navigate for our less fortunate and locked out pre-existing folks.

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Alceste 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hades will freeze over before Alceste goes to LMH for a "planned" hospital stay such as joint replacement, cardiovascular bull butter, etc., etc., etc. LMH is "world class"? Give Alceste a break.

LMH is for emergency purposes, only. Period. (Is that "opinion" enough for you Thinking_Out_Loud ?). One has to be an utter fool or just out and out desperate to utilize LMH for a planned hospitalization (perhaps birthing exempted).

And, LiddleKiddles62, correct: Nursing staff typically do not change diapers, sheets, shift patients in an effort to attempt to avoid decubitus ulcers, etc. In fact, they typically resent doing same. It is what it is. Shoot the messenger. Makes no never mind to Alceste......

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lawrenceloser 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't blame Meyer. He is only doing what he is told to do and what pay to receive. Gripe to the board, not him. The revenue makes LMH competitive with other hospitals and keeps up with state-of-the-art equipment and specialists so people like you Alceste and other Lawrence citizens can live. Emergency purposes only? Why don't you read and do some research sometime. Low wages is a Lawrence problem. So don't just blame the hospital.

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Jennifer Klopp 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Excuse me-Nurses don't clean, change and turn patients?!?! Give me a break...

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Alceste 10 months, 3 weeks ago

lawrenceloser opines: "Those who don't like his salary don't know that he has created a lot of revenue for a so-called nonprofit."......

Incredible.

That "revenue" (if indeed it even exists): Where did it go? Did it go to provide superior wages to essential staff who do the REAL work of the hospital? And Alceste ain't referring to the nursing staff: Alceste is referring to the aides, assistants, and others who do the REAL work of that place.

How much C. Dif is in that joint?? Clostridium difficile http://www.mayoclinic.org/c-difficile/

More and more people DYING from C. Dif in hospitals these days and Alceste shall assert that a significant aspect of WHY C. Dif is almost epidemic in USA hospitals is due to the very low wages paid to the people who do the real front line work of the hospital.....and it ain't the nursing staff or the doctors: It's the people who change diapers; move people in the bed to prevent bedsores; the staff cleaning/disinfecting the floors; the laundry workers; etc., etc., etc.

Gene Myer may be a guy who does business.....but he ain't helping people inside a hospital....he's a HIGH paid bean counter............

LMH is for Emergency purposes only. Period.

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lawrenceloser 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe we should go back to the pathetic leadership of the hospital before Gene Meyer when it was on the brink of collapse and everyone was going to Topeka or Kansas City for their healthcare. Those who don't like his salary don't know that he has created a lot of revenue for a so-called nonprofit.

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johndeere 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Gene is a good hospital CEO. However his salary for a non profit hospital of this size is obscene. I understand wanting to keep him by paying a competitive salary, but there comes a point where enough is enough. The hospital continues to do very well financially year after year yet they require department heads to reduce their FTE's (full time employees). I know as my wife is a manager there. Gene and the new CFO should look at what they are accepting as insurance coverages.

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Tammy Copp-Barta 10 months, 4 weeks ago

And they will pay him a ton more money while the people in the trenches won't get squat!

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Alceste 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Hello. That "award winning" silliness is just that....silliness. Where does one think Truven Health Analytics get it's money to announce the "Top 100 Hospital" list? Try finding out how Truven Health Analytics pays it's bills: http://truvenhealth.com/

Alceste can't really say and isn't going to waste time wading through all the blarney. At first glance, however, it looks like it is insurance industry driven: http://truvenhealth.com/about_us/our_customers.aspx "We take great pride in helping our customers uncover opportunities so they can take action to help reduce the costs ......." shrug (cancer research?! Good one!)

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Cindy Yulich 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Gene Meyer has led LMH over the past many years from being a local hospital that many of us didn't utilize to being an award winning, constantly improving, health care provider. He's given much back to the community in both time and treasure. We're fortunate to have him here. Well deserved award, Gene. Congratulations!

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Number_1_Grandma 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I wish the LJW would do some investigative work and find out how many lawsuits have been filed or settled against LMH for negligent care and some actual leading to wrongful death. What a joke to say LMH is a success!

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Alceste 10 months, 4 weeks ago

"Giving back to our community is vitally important and we all share in that mission. At LMH, we try to share in that every day," Meyer said. "We need to be a community service, and we are." Alceste is struck by that "Giving back to our community is vitally important and we all share in that....." remark by Meyer: The same guy who pulls down how much salary and perks (?...$300k+++http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/may... ) and doesn't pay dime one to Douglas County given he doesn't reside inside the county.

Too, LMH refuses to take the Select Plan F for Medicare (the strongest and most comprehensive coverage in a Medigap policy) under Meyer's leadership compelling senior citizens on fixed incomes to either pay 3x the premium rate of the Select version of Plan F or go to the hospitals that participate.....primary one being St. Francis in Topeka. It would not "hurt" LMH's bottom line to re-visit the refusal to participate in the Select Plan for Plan F and make it easier on Lawrence's senior community. Alceste could swear that the powers that be in Lawrence want to make Lawrence a retirement mecca of some sort and not just for wealthy seniors who can afford the full blown version of Medicare Plan F (Plan F in Medigap covers the Medicare deductible as well as all co-payments and allows the plan holder to go the approved but not participating hospitals (that's fancy talk for places like the Mayo Clinic who, because they are an "...approved but not participating...." provider are permitted by Medicare to charge an extra 15% on top of the standard Medicare reimbursable rate). Plan F is the Gold Standard in MediGap Plans. The "Select" version, however, deviates in that participating hospitals do not require Medicare recipients to pay the usual initial $1200+ in Part A expenses: The provider "...writing it off....". Big deal. Chicken feed in Meyers' world.

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

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