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New CFO's take over financial reins at Blue Mountain Hospital & UNHS - Medically Speaking, Volume Two, Number Five, 11/13/2014

Blue Mountain Hospital and Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. have recently undergone a change in administrations, with Jimmy Johnson's decision to leave UNHS and take the Chief Financial Officer position at BMH.

The BMH CFO position has been open since former CFO, Jeremy Lyman, was named the hospital's Chief Executive Officer in January. Lyman has been doing double duty since his appointment, handling the CFO job along with his new duties.

Johnson's departure from UNHS left an opening there, as well, but that position has also been filled by long-time UNHS accountant William Harrison. Harrison has moved from Accounting Assistant when he joined UNHS in 2004, to Accounting Manager, and to Controller. "Jimmy decided to change and go to Blue Mountain Hospital for personal reasons. He'll be home more with his family. So it's a great move for him. We support him and he'll do awesome at BMH," said UNHS CEO Michael Jensen. "Will's been with us for a long time. He's a solid accountant. I think he's ready to step up and I think he's going to do a real good job too. There's going to be a transitional time, when Jimmy's still with us, and helping Will. But I think they'll both do just fine. They'll do great."

Johnson has been with UNHS for the past decade. He's been the CFO for the past eighteen months, and under his direction the financial status of UNHS has grown consistently stronger. Johnson said he's proud that the Accounts Receivable days for UNHS have decreased from 120 days to 33-35 days. He also helped increase the organization's Days Cash On Hand from less than a month to 200 days. But Johnson says the credit for these improvements should go to the UNHS staff.

"We had the right people on the bus. We have great department leaders in every area and great staff members,"

Johnson stressed. "I'd say it's the entire staff, as a whole, coming together to understand the importance of revenue cycle management and quality patient care."

Harrison said his new position will be a challenge. He said stepping into the CFO role from his Controller position will mean more responsibility and decision making. But, he said, Johnson's leadership makes it a little easier to handle.

"He (Johnson) put me in a great situation," Harrison said. "Our financials do look strong. There will be growth at our clinics and it's a good situation for me to step into. There won't be as many pressures because Jimmy's put in several great processes as CFO."

Johnson said he's sad to leave UNHS because the finance department is so strong. Everything is so streamlined and running so smoothly.

"Why would I want to leave something that is running like a well-oiled machine? And go to an organization that's newer and has different financial challenges with the finance department and revenue cycle management? It's a new challenge we've overcome at UNHS, that we're now going to hit hard at Blue Mountain Hospital," Johnson said. "And hopefully it works, but each entity is a little bit different.

"This move will allow me to spend more time with my family, without having to travel an hour and a half each day. That's a big factor in my decision," he added. BMH CEO, Jeremy Lyman, said the decision to hire Johnson was an easy one.

"We've worked closely with Jimmy for years, during his time at UNHS. We are excited to have him working here at BMH. He has a track record of excellence and when he expressed interest in the position, it was a no-brainer," said Lyman. "We had other good candidates, but his qualifications and experience put him at the top of the stack. He was a known quantity, which made the hire really easy. We knew he would be able to hit the ground running, and we are confident that our revenue cycle and financial operations will improve under his direction."

Johnson and his wife Rachel live in Blanding with their two sons Stetson - 3, and 3-month-old Archer. He and Rachel were both raised in Blanding and both graduated from San Juan High School. Johnson received his Bachelors of Science in Economics and Finance from Utah State University and later earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

William Harrison was raised in Dennehotso, Arizona, and attended high school at Navajo Preparatory School, in Farmington, New Mexico. He received his Associates Degree from the College of Eastern Utah, in Blanding, and then got his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Ft. Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado.

He makes his home in Blanding.

Congratulations to Jimmy and William on their new positions. We know they will both do a great job.

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