David Mantz

With a new leader at the helm, Chicot Memorial Medical Center is working to expand its services — including a new interventional pain clinic set to open in June — and provide the best health care possible while taking on the challenges that health care reform is bringing to rural hospitals.

“Business as usual for a hospital our size is not going to keep you open,” said Mantz, the new chief executive officer of the 25-bed critical access hospital. “You’re going to have to come up with some things that other people are not doing. I think it will work out if our regional hospitals develop a thing our two that nobody else is doing. An interventional pain clinic can come here, something else can go to Warren, and so on. But it’s going to be an extreme challenge because reimbursement is going down.”

The hospital’s primary service area is Chicot County but it sees patients from other areas, including Mississippi. “That’s actually growing,” Mantz said. “We want to be the hospital that is so good and treats people so well that they go past other hospitals to get to us. That’s what we’re working toward.”

Mantz says the services provided at Chicot County Memorial Medical Center are really advanced for a hospital its size.

“We have two general surgeons, four primary care doctors, a physician in our emergency department 24/7, and we are the only Level 3 Trauma Center in Southeast Arkansas, which is quite an accomplishment,” he said.

The hospital also has satellite clinics with two visiting cardiologists, a urologist and a nephrologist as well as a wound care clinic, and in June will open an interventional pain clinic.

In addition to the satellite specialty clinics, Chicot Memorial Medical Center owns and operates an all-paramedic ambulance service and a free wellness clinic. The wellness clinic is open six days a week, offering a variety of free classes such as aerobics, spin and zumba, with certified instructors.

“We have incredible equipment in a huge weight room with free weights, machines, treadmills and bikes,” Mantz said.

The wellness clinic is located in a city-owned building on Confederate Street in Lake Village and is funded through grants, hospital revenue and a partnership with UAMS East, which provides some of the funding.

“It’s free and open to anyone, primarily Chicot County residents, but we’ve never turned anyone away,” Mantz said.

The county’s second largest employer, Chicot County Memorial Medical Center is one of the biggest economic engines in the Chicot County. It employs 243 people and provides crucial heath care services.

While it converted several years ago to a 501 (c)(3), Chicot County retained ownership of the property. The hospital is supported by a one-cent sales tax used to help maintain and equip the facility. That tax sunsets in December and the hospital is hoping voters will extend it. “It is essential that we continue that tax,” Mantz said.

Mantz, who took the reins at Chicot Memorial Medical Clinic in August, has been in the health care field for 30 years, the last six as the executive director of operations at a 250-bed acute care hospital in Kansas where he was responsible for multiple departments including the Neuro Sciences Program Development Team, the Tammy Walker Cancer Center, the Quality and Performance Improvement Team, the Sleep Disorders Center, respiratory care and the development of the telehealth program as well as special responsibilities in patient satisfaction and performance improvement.

But Mantz, who grew up in Blytheville and worked most of his adult life in the Memphis area, wanted to come home.

While it was his wife, a native of Memphis, that was the driving force behind the move to Lake Village, Mantz said the entire family wanted to move back to the area.

“Lake Village is like home with different faces,” Mantz said. “We just love it here; people were so welcoming to us.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”http://vimeo.com/66102399”][/vc_column][/vc_row]