By Debbie Gregory
Mr. Thomas Kidd, 57, talked to the Macon County Chronicle last week about his new role as Administrator of Macon County General Hospital, the preparations he has taken to assume his new position and continuing to promote quality care at the hospital.
“Dennis Wolford had known for a couple of years that he was going to retire from Macon County General Hospital,” said Thomas Kidd, whose first official day as the new administrator was May 1st, “and he left everything in really good shape. He worked hard to make sure this was a smooth transition and I certainly appreciated it.”
Mr. Kidd was born and raised in Fayetteville, Tn., and lived there all of his life, until he took the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position at Macon County General Hospital in 2004. “I graduated from Central High School in Lincoln County in 1976 and the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1979 with a degree in accounting,” said Thomas. “I went into public accounting, then into private industry, and got into the medical business in 1994.”
“I had done a turn around for a company TVA owned,” said Thomas, “and I received a job offer from a medical equipment/home health company that was headquartered in Fayetteville and I went to work for them. The company was later bought out by one of the big national medical companies and I didn’t want to move to Tampa, Florida, so I started talking to QHR and they had an opening in Lafayette and I came here in 2004.”
Thomas says it was a very welcoming environment at Macon County General Hospital and the other employees were friendly and very helpful. “Dennis Wolford was easy to work with and I learned a lot from him,” said Thomas. “He got me involved in the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce, and I become friends with a lot of great people.”
“I have some big shoes to fill,” Thomas said with a smile, “and following Dennis Wolford, is like following Bear Bryant. He left a really good team in place here at the hospital and everyone seems like family. Everybody helps each other and it shows - we have some of the highest quality ratings in the state and we are in the top 3 in rural hospitals in most of our outcome measures.”
“Our goal is be number one,” continued Thomas, “and that is always going to be our goal and we will continue to push toward getting there. We have a tremendous Board of Directors that works with us and we can discuss things and have open conversations with them.”
“The hospital has good supporting physicians, nurse practitioners and community support as well,” he said. “We have a lot of people whose careers are here at MCGH, but at other health care organizations I have worked with, there was a constant turn over. People just enjoy working here at MCGH.”
“We try to treat people good, and although we expect a lot, it is a family environment, where everybody pulls together,” Thomas said. “We may have our family squabbles every now and then, but we promote team work and we do what it takes to take care of a patient and our community as well.”
When Thomas was asked if there was anything he would change, he said, “Naturally with health care you have to change to adapt to the operating environment, but as far as changing our mission and values - no. Our mission is take care of our patients with care and compassion, and to treat our employees like they are - our biggest asset.”
Thomas says a lot of rural hospitals are in trouble, but Macon County General is a financially sound hospital, thanks to the support of the community, the physicians, and the management team.
“Dennis always told me to never lose sight of our mission vision,” recalled Thomas, “and any hospital that doesn’t have the patients and employees in the main part of their vision statement, aren’t going to be providing the quality of care they need. That is what we are all about at Macon County General Hospital, we want to provide the highest quality of care we can.”
“A hospital is vital to the economic development of any community,” added Thomas, “and Macon County General is here to stay.”
On a final note Thomas Kidd said, “I want to thank the board for the opportunity to serve in this position, and I will continue to move Macon County General Hospital forward. I am available to the public, so just call or come by if you need anything.”
Thomas’ wife, Teresa, is a retired school teacher. They are a blended family with seven children.