WSH’s new COO reports on budget

The Warren State Hospital Board of Trustees were introduced to a new face Wednesday morning as they welcomed new Chief Operating Officer Ron Cropper.

Cropper brings more than 35 years of finance, administration and operations experience to the hospital. He has worked with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and the Pennsylvania veterans Home system.

“All of it seems to have led up to being at this facility,” Cropper said of his experience.

He later reported on budget issues to the board.

Cropper announced the hospital had an allocation and staffing budget of approximately $32 million, but warned current projections foresee an end-of-year deficit. He noted the figures are subject to change, as the hospital’s budget is subject to state level decisions on finance and operations.

“This is just looking at it now,” Cropper warned. “I could be sitting here at the end of the year and saying we have a surplus.”

Cropper reported approximately $9 million has been allocated to hospital projects. He noted that, as work orders are tentative, he foresees a surplus in this part of the budget.

He announced the administrative services will be facing 12 vacancies by the end of June and is actively working on recruiting personnel to fill the positions.

Cropper gave an overview of some of the issues he is hoping to look into coming into his tenure. He cited re-evaluation of patient shower curtains with consideration given to both patient privacy and potential usage in attempted suicides, upgrading aging electrical panels, formalizing time periods for project completions and road resurfacing as priorities.

Cropper also announced mold abatement efforts in the dietary department had been completed successfully. The department had taken a number of freezer units out of use due to mold issues.