Harrison man hired to lead Armstrong Health Center focuses on fiscal security
Tom Parsons' focus as the new administrator of the Armstrong County Health Center is to provide quality care while being fiscally responsible.
Indiana's Affinity Health Services hired Parsons, 55, a Natrona Heights resident, to lead the 115-bed nursing facility on South McKean Street, Kittanning, in early February. The center offers adult day care, independent-living suites, a beautician and therapeutic and rehabilitation services to its clients.
“I absolutely believe in people-centered care, but it is still a business,” Parsons said. “We have to pay the bills, but you pay them by treating people right and increasing the quality of care.” He hopes to keep the center from losing money, and move its finances from the red into the black.
The county has budgeted $9.6 million for the center this year, which is a decrease of $105,379 from 2013. Last year, the health center went over its budget by about $800,000.
Parsons said he plans to examine the center's expenses and ongoing contracts to eliminate excessive spending and duplicated services.
He hopes to boost revenue by implementing public awareness and marketing campaigns to help showcase the center's services, including its rehabilitation program, which could attract more patients.
“Expenses are important, but it's not always about what you can cut,” Parsons said. “There was never really any marketing to let people know we're here and what we do.”
Parsons replaced interim administrator Chris Dear, who held the position since November when Affinity began managing the center. He has been in the health care field for more than 20 years. He has degrees in finance and gerontology, which is the study of the effects of aging, from the University of South Florida in Tampa Bay.
Before coming to Armstrong, Parsons worked at the Forbes Center for Rehab in Pittsburgh's Larimer neighborhood for 12 years.
Parsons said he plans to work closely with officials at Affinity and Armstrong County so the center thrives.
“The future looks bright for the health center,” Parsons said. “I want to work to bring quality care to the residents of Armstrong County, and so do the employees of the health center, the county commissioners and Affinity Health. It's nice to be on the same page with the people above and below me.”
David Battaglia, chairman of the county commissioners, said the board contracted services with Affinity to help get the center's finances in line while maintaining high standards for both employees and residents.
The commissioners have no intention of selling or closing the center, like other counties have done, especially because it has become an integral part of downtown Kittanning, he said.
“The large number of employees working there, and families visiting the center who use downtown businesses, have an impact on Kittanning's economy,” Battaglia said. “We want to see these jobs stay, thrive and help revitalize the downtown area.”
Commissioner Rich Fink said the center's new management and focus are essential to keep it stable.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337.
, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman accused of hitting trooper in East Franklin cemetery
- Armstrong tax records moving online
- Trail ride benefits Pine-Templeton Volunteer Fire Department
- Ford City’s Light Up Night may get go-ahead from council Monday
- Kittanning man charged with selling heroin in Ford City
- Charitable softball tourney for fallen friend this weekend in Schenley
- Armstrong commissioners take stand against proposed power plant regulations
- Rural Valley man jailed on charges of breaking into house twice
- Armstrong 911 service restored after 90 minute power loss
- Police seek pair who broke into Manor home
- Pair charged with theft from East Franklin Wal-Mart