Saline Memorial Names New CEO

Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton recently named Bob Trautman as its new CEO.

Trautman has more than 35 years of executive health care experience and recently was the head of a 239-bed acute care hospital in Palmdale, Calif.

His first day at Saline Memorial will be April 2.

Trautman told Arkansas Business last week that the CEO position at Saline Memorial was “exactly what I was looking for.”

Trautman, 62, said the hospital board, the physicians, the hospital staff and community all seemed “to be on the same page as to wanting the hospital to be successful. And the opportunity is there, certainly.”

He said his management philosophy was to let people do their jobs, stay out of their way and provide guidance and resources when needed.

Trautman said his vision for the 167-bed hospital with about 1,000 employees was to keep health care local.

In January, Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock announced it would partner with Saline Memorial. Under the arrangement, Arkansas Heart Hospital will open a cardiology clinic on Saline Memorial’s campus and provide around-the-clock coverage to patients who need emergency heart care services.

Under the partnership, the Heart Hospital receives “referrals that they may not have had in the past from Saline County, and we’re keeping business local,” Trautman said. “It plays right into the game plan that we would hope to accomplish.”

Trautman said his first 90 days on the job would be spent talking with people at the hospital and in the community to see what the needs are and then develop a strategy.

For hospitals to survive in the changing health care environment, Trautman said, they will have to control expenses and have “stronger relationships with the medical staff. It has to be a true partnership in order to survive and prosper.”

For its fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010, the latest figures available to Arkansas Business, Saline Memorial Hospital reported total patient revenue of $208.3 million and a net income of $128,000. During the fiscal year that ended in June 2009, Saline Memorial reported total patient revenue of $216.5 million and a loss of $5.8 million.

 It’s too early to say what he would do to increase revenue at the hospital, Trautman said.