Due to national media describing the prevalence of financial hardships among rural hospitals across the country, I want to give you a retrospective and update on the CCMC health system. It’s been reported that 646 rural hospitals across the country are in danger of closing with 293 of them in immediate jeopardy; nearly half of rural hospitals in the Midwest are in financial danger. Thankfully, this is not the case with our health system, and in fact, we are flourishing!
As reported to our Boards in May, our health system is operating at levels heretofore never achieved. We are setting records for growth, profitability, and fundraising. Despite the impacts of the three-year global pandemic, we have seen a 250% growth in business! Last year was our best year ever, 2023 is projected to surpass it. Looking to 2024, we anticipate a minimum growth rate of 10%, and will add more patients each year. We have enjoyed public and private support, and have raised new grants and gifts in excess of $2M. Because we are operating from a position of strength, we can do more for our communities, including expand needed services, extend healthcare access, and improve health outcomes.
Our strategic goals include the completion of major construction projects, and retirement of long-term debt by the end of 2026. I have committed to our Governing Board and CFO that I will keep going long enough to get the job done.
The CCMC Pharmacy expansion project on the main campus will feature much needed additional space and a convenient drive-through. Cash reserves are sufficient to complete construction of the expansion scheduled to begin this August. In Dublin, we intend later this year to expand Patrick Street Pharmacy to include a drive-through as well. Just last week we delivered a new pharmacy car to Jill Moore, RPh, to be used for free prescription deliveries to her customers. The new long-term care nursing home is scheduled to open in early 2024, and subject to Board approval, construction of a new Fitness-Wellness Center can commence later in that year. Funding for new construction will come from revenue operations with no new debt incurred.
We are adding locations in our service region to provide more convenient and greater access to healthcare. Once developed, these facilities will complement the clinics and pharmacies now operating in Comanche County, Rising Star, and Dublin, and help sustain our growth. We very recently expanded our primary care service with the addition of Pediatrician, Dr. Helen Ong, and extended telehealth to schools.
We are helping people heal. We recently documented improvement in three cases involving the chronic condition of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The results form the basis of a scientific paper which, once published, will provide hope to some of the 170 million people suffering from this condition!
While I prepared this update on Memorial Day, I thought about all that has transpired over the past five years. The hardships, trials, and sacrifices that all of us have endured. Our organization has grown in ways that could never have been achieved except by fighting those fires which have tempered, honed, and galvanized us into what we are today. Our health system is exceptional and one of a kind. It is the honor of my lifetime to be a part of it!
Dr. L. G. Troxell, CEO