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NRMC taps Rentfro for top job

NATCHEZ — The man who once led two other area hospitals has now been hired at the third.

Donny Rentfro, who came to the area as the chief executive officer for Natchez Community Hospital in 2010 and most recently served as the administrator for Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday, has been hired as Natchez Regional Medical Center’s chief administrative officer.

Rentfro said the position is a new one at the hospital, and his focus will be two-fold. He will manage the day-to-day operations of the Natchez Medical Foundation — the medical specialty group located in the Doctor’s Pavilion next to the hospital — and will help the hospital prepare for the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.

“I will be focusing on the operations at the foundation, working on the operational needs and certainly physician recruitment as well as working with the existing positions to appropriately bring in new folks,” Rentfro said.

“On the hospital side, as we prepare for the changes in health care that come along with the Affordable Care Act, I will be working to make sure the hospital is poised to provide the best care it can in the new environment. The whole mechanism for the delivery of care, how we get compensated, how we as a health care organization will be expected to provide care based on the act is really changing, so we all will be learning as more and more of that legislation comes down the pipeline.”

Rentfro said one of the things he found attractive in coming to work for NRMC was the hospital’s vision for the future, which he said is looking to be the cornerstone, provider of choice of health care for the Miss-Lou.

NRMC CEO Bill Heburn said Rentfro’s work as CAO would be an important part of that vision.

“A large part of the hospital’s success will depend on the continued growth of NMF and vice versa, as continuing to recruit and retain physicians is a costly process,” Heburn said. “Donny’s role with both the hospital and NMF will be to provide strategic and operational leadership in the planning, development and implementation of goals that will ensure both the hospital and the NMF provide quality, compassionate health care to our region.”

Rentfro received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeast Louisiana University and spent the last 22 years working in business development and hospital operations for health care operations. He served as the CEO of Natchez Community Hospital from 2010 until he resigned in 2012. He worked as the Riverland Hospital administrator from May until December.

“I certainly am familiar with the medical staff just from having been in the community for the last few years, but as for the delivery of care, I will not rely on just my last few years, but on my experience based on 20-plus years in the field,” Rentfro said.

His time at Riverland was spent working with “great folks doing the best to provide care for their market area,” he said.

“I was very impressed with their drive to provide the best possible clinical care and the best service possible, and I hope they are able to continue down that path.”

Rentfro will officially start at NRMC Friday. His first order of business will be to get out and about and spend time getting to know those he will be working with, he said.

“The first thing will be to figure out the lay of the land, to learn more about who I will be working with on day-to-day basis, what are the issues the key constituents are facing and prioritize how to move forward,” he said.

 

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