Hospital's CFO Will Leave for New Position
January 2, 2009
BENNINGTON - Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Chief Financial Officer Thomas Lenkowski will leave the hospital in mid-February and head to Martha's Vineyard. 22 years at the hospital Lenkowski, who has
been with the hospital for 22 years, will begin working at a hospital on the island in March. "It's a critical access hospital, which means, in the federal government's eyes, there are a few more limitations on it," Lenkowski said. "It's
owned by Mass General, so there's a lot of connections to Boston."
Lenkowski said the change will not be jarring, though. "The island has 18,000 people on it, which is about the same permanent population as Bennington," Lenkowski said. "Of course, that number swells in the summer."
According to Lenkowski, the hospital is about a third the size of SVMC, and is housed in a new, $52 million building.
"We will be living on the island itself," Lenkowski said. "My wife and I feel that we want to be part of any
community that we work in."
Lenkowski said he was making the change with an eye toward the future. "I think it's a good opportunity," he said. "I look forward to spending my remaining years of employed life there and, when I'm retired, it's a
good place to hang my hat."
Lenkowski said he has seen many changes over his tenure, both in terms of the community and the hospital itself. "One thing that has changed a lot is how health care is delivered,"
Lenkowski said. "Right now, 68 to 70 percent of care is delivered on an outpatient basis, as opposed to
inpatient care. When I started, it was just the opposite." Lenkowski said the costs of running a hospital have increased dramatically as well. "Labor is the biggest component - the cost of maintaining a skilled staff has gone up significantly," he said. "Technology is also a big force. When I first came here, there was not a PC anywhere in the hospital. Now, you can't walk into an office or room without seeing one."
"They've added cost, but they've also added efficiency," he added.
Lenkowski said what he will miss most is the people. "When you come into the hospital, the people are open and caring," he said. "They really have genuine concern about the people who come in."
"SVMC has always been on the cutting edge of concepts, especially for a rural hospital," Lenkowski said. "We've received a lot of national notoriety for our high satisfaction rankings."
"I think the community ought to be very proud of their hospital,"
he added. "The people who work here make it the true gem it is."
Author: Mike Gleason
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
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