An opening item on the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority’s agenda for their first meeting of 2019 was electing a new chair as longtime head of the board Harold Wyatt has moved onto Emeritus status.

The board elected Frank Shelley to take over Wyatt’s duties during their February session. Shelley, a board member also for Floyd Healthcare Management and Polk Medical Center, Inc., is a retired businessman who has served for several years on the local governing board.

Congratulations were in order from the board for Shelley, who will begin duties officially in March. Wyatt, who has served as chair for the past several years, will move into a board emeritus role for the Hospital Authority and PMC, Inc.

Shelley, a graduate of West Georgia College (now the University of West Georgia) was previously the first vice president of Investment with Wells Fargo Advisors. According to the profile on Floyd’s website, his professional career also included serving as financial advisor and branch manager with A.G. Edwards and Sons, serving with Interstate Johnson Lane and Wachovia Securities.

Shelley also served on many other boards in the past.

He now takes over the chair of the Hospital Authority with a facility running just about in line with how officials expected for the 2019 fiscal year. More than midway through their budget cycle, Polk Medical Center just over 1 percent above what was expected as of the end of January, having brought in more than $18 million in revenue after deductions, and spent just 1 percent above the target with $14.3 million in expenses.

That leaves a profit for the year thus far of around $4.6 million, or about a 24 percent profit margin through the first half of FY 2019.

Patient numbers remain around what officials expected as well, according to Vice President of Corporate and Network Services Matt Gorman. Inpatient admissions already totaled above the FY 2018 figures by nearly 100 patients for the year at 933 (845 for the year total in FY 2018.) Emergency room patients at the start of the year totaled 2,333, slightly down from the previous year with a decrease in the number of flu cases showing up for treatment at the hospital.

Where work continues to increase figures back to previous targets is in surgical cases. Gorman said the hospital continues to search for surgeons and physicians who want to come and utilize surgical suites at the hospital in totals that were upward of several dozen procedures a month when the facility first opened.

He said the hopes are to find surgeons who want to work out of the hospital setting in the months to come and get those totals back up. For now, they stood at just nine cases and 13 procedures at the start of the calendar year.

Officials did have some good news to share. Hospital Administrator and Chief Nursing Officer Tifani Kinard praised hospital staff for their work to bring about a Level IV Trauma Center designation from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The Level IV designation means that Floyd Polk Medical Center, a critical access hospital, can stabilize injured patients, and if needed, to ensure they can safely be transferred to a higher level of care, Kinard said previously. As a critical access hospital, Floyd Polk Medical Center offers essential medical services to its surrounding community such as 24/7 emergency services, family medicine, sub-acute rehabilitation, outpatient surgery and cardiac imaging.

A team of surveyors visited the hospital and reviews its processes to determine if it complies with guidelines established by the American College of Surgeons.