In the news: Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems President and CEO Mungee looks towards positive future
Courtesy of Jeff Dorris, Delta Dunklin Democrat: Web Version
Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems recently announced the appointment of Sunil Mungee, MBA, to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mungee brings decades of experience in senior leadership with an extensive background in hospital management and operations, physician relations and recruitment, new business development and physician practice acquisitions.
Mungee recently discussed his thoughts on rural medicine, his passion for community, and his vision for the Pemiscot Memorial Hospital.
Mungee comes from an entire family of physicians, brother, sisters, aunts and uncles.
“Healthcare is second nature to me,” said Mungee. “I love it.”
“What I admire about this profession is that you are helping the community,” shared Mungee. “You’re helping families. It’s a big responsibility on my shoulders as the CEO of the hospital.”
Prior to joining Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems leadership, Mungee served as an Executive Director at SoutheastHealth in Cape Girardeau, supporting the system with advanced application of managed care directives by implementing a cost effective narrow network health plan for local employers.
“My focus there was the expansion of service lines, physician recruitment, staffing of physicians, working with all the medical directors, and also, one of the key parts, was introducing the narrow network health plan,” informed Mungee.
Mungee continued, “Narrow network was one my visions for many years. Rural areas are struggling with health care. You can bring all the service lines, but if people can’t come, then they are at a disadvantage and you are at a disadvantage.”
“That was the beauty when I joined SoutheastHealth,” stated Mungee. “I wanted to to keep the quality of care and bring the cost down.”
“One of my biggest concerns was the cost was very high in this region, for the community member to avail the facility,” provided Mungee.
“During my years there the main focus was the narrow network health plan,” said Mungee.
Implementing the narrow network plan at SoutheastHealth resulted in 78 groups with 36,000 covered individuals, saving employers millions of dollars.
“It brought their healthcare costs down 20 percent,” said Mungee. “20 percent is huge.”
Mungee had high praise for the team at Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems.
“I’m blessed to have a great board here,” he said. “They’re very focused on keeping this hospital alive.”
Mungee continued, “When I came here I identified the problems immediately. Rural America is suffering on many levels. One of the biggest challenges is healthcare. I took this as a challenge. There’s a lot of potential here.”
“It is not a critical care hospital,” said Mungee. “It is an acute care hospital, allocated for 50 acute care beds, 50 for nursing home, and 50 for behavioral health. That is huge.”
Mungee shared their nursing home is very economical to anyone looking for a nursing home for their loved one.
“Services are good and I’m expanding them,” he said. Mungee discussed his first months on the job.
“I’ve always believed in building the morale of the team,” stated Mungee. “That’s the most powerful thing a leader should do.”
Mungee shared, “In the first few months, I met with each and every provider, one on one. They were in a state of shock. For the first time they were meeting with the president one on one. Rather telling them, I ask them. I engage my people. I ask everybody what I can do for them? I, as a leader, need to work for them.”
Mungee continued, “The other thing I did, is quality is very important to me. When you are treating patients, the place has to be absolutely quality-wise, no exceptions, and that starts with cleanliness.”
“What it was in December and what it is now is totally different,” Mungee said. “Every area is spic-and-span. I give kudos to my team. I gave them ten days to clean their area.”
“The third thing I did was to bring in service lines,” informed Mungee. “I’m opening up a lot of service lines. I’m getting a cardiologist. I’m also opening up an infusion center.”
Mungee stated he is in the process of enticing healthcare industries to locate to the area.
“If I bring industry to the Hayti area, suddenly the environment will improve. Housing, food, industry, it’s all connected,” he said. “You have to bring employment to the community. People are looking for a job and there are no jobs. That’s what I’ve been working on these past three months.”
Mungee stated he has a passion for healthcare.
“Everyday I start with passion for this job,” informed Mungee. “That’s my style. I need to see that same passion from the entire team.”
Mungee stated he realizes that you can’t change a community overnight, so he starts with his team.
“I’m extremely proud of my team,” he said. “They are listening and I’m seeing a big change. I don’t pressure them. I engage them.”
Mungee explained, “This is an extremely lonely position because you don’t have friends, but it’s like a father, the head of the family, who is making decisions for the well-being of the family.”
When asked about the past difficulties and challenges at Pemiscot Memorial Hospital, Mungee replied, “I don’t want to sell it. I want to prove it. Selling makes me a marketing person. I want to prove it.”
Mungee continued, “I want to prove that this is the hospital for my community and area.We are working. We are improving.”
“I want to prove that we are changing, changing for the better, changing to provide quality care with empathy,” said Mungee.
“This is not my hospital, this is our hospital,” Mungee stated. “Let’s work as a team and make it happen.”
Mungee concluded, “This community is wonderful. They are a very affectionate people. This will be the hospital that cares for them.”