WRMC Not Immune To Economic Slowdown

by Daddy Warbucks

Daddy W. was not surprised that the economic downturn has affected the region’s best hospital, Washington Regional Medical Center. It is an unqualified statement that hospitals, even in the best of times, struggle to treat the uninsured and poor. And in these uncertain economic times that burden is even greater. Much greater.
The leadership at WRMC, which at times has made some unpopular decisions, has with the direction and leadership of its board of directors (all really good, sound folks who love this area and WRMC) made some hard, but good decisions this past week or so. They have cut the 401(k) contributions the institution made to employee retirement plans from 6 percent to 5 percent; they have stalled the layoffs of 60 to 70 people, they have trimmed their own salaries and most of all, no bonuses are being awarded. Everyone is glad to have their jobs.
In the medical profession, just like in private business, there is a big gap between those who make the big bucks and those who have an hourly job and earn a meager paycheck. WRMC made the correct decision to make cuts all the way around, from the top to the bottom.
Not the easiest decision to make. But the WRMC management and board are not complaining, just making plans that make sense in these uncertain economic times.

Big Question
From 1982 to 2007 some two-thirds of all serious athletic injuries to female students in public schools were related to what sport? (Answer at the end).

Few Knew
But all of your favorite liquor outlets in Fayetteville CAN open at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday, but few do. The only one Daddy W. knows that opens that early is Sam’s Club wholesale that is available to big-time customers each day before the store opens to the other peons with Sam’s Club Memberships. Why don’t more liquor stores open at 7 a.m.? Staffing, says one owner who added “I mean we already work from 10 a.m. to midnight.”

Take Home Gourmet
A new take-out gourmet shop on the south side of the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse on Dickson Street has opened. Hammontree’s Take Home Gourmet offers freshly prepared appetizers and entrees that are vacuum-sealed to take home and warm up. Chad Hammontree is the chef. The address is 245 N. Church Ave. Check out www.hammontreesgourmet.com for a menu.

IHOP Benefits
On Feb. 24 — aka National Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras Day — IHOP restaurants will be offering guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network. The feed will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

The local Denny’s in Fayetteville, out on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, buoyed by the Super Bowl commercial, gave away a lot of free breakfasts on Feb.3. So many that when the lines got long, valuable coupons were given to customers who couldn’t or would not wait. Free is free. Not a bad promotion. Denny’s, of course, hopes folks will keep coming back.

Ticket Slump
The maiden season of the NWA Naturals is, of course over. Daddy W. hears that ticket sales are down for the coming season. More fallout from the recession, Daddy W. suspects.

Sour Grapes
Sounds like some underlings at Tyson Foods are squawking about Dick Bond and mumbling about his retirement perks like the shiny new car.

Courthouse Sales
Own a piece of Bella Vista, foreclosure style. Head to the courthouse steps in Bentonville at 10 a.m. Feb. 27. A list of more than 50 lots with some estimated starting bids as low as $800 will be sold. The final list of what goes on the block will be presented to bidders the morning of the sale. But your credit, debit or check card won’t work. Cash, check or money order only. For information call 855-5016.

Big Answer
Some might say it is not a sport, but cheerleading led to all these injuries. Ask any cheerleader. It is a sport.

Categories: Features