Preferred appoints Mechler for patient quality

A new leader for quality initiatives at Culberson Hospital was recently appointed by Preferred Management Corporation.  Kathleen “Kathy” Mechler, RN, is the latest addition to the Preferred management team who support Culberson and other hospitals affiliated with Preferred. 

“Kathy has focused on the design and implementation of healthcare quality projects since 2000, working as the director/chief operating officer of the Texas Health Quality Alliance until 2002, and then as co-director/chief operating officer of the Rural & Community Health Institute at the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center through the end of 2014,” said Mike Easley, chief operating officer of Preferred. 

Mechler will be based in the Preferred Austin office, and will work closely with Jared Chanski, hospital administrator, and Lou Conley, chief nursing officer, of Culberson Hospital.  Other responsibilities assumed by Mechler under the quality umbrella include development and enhancement of nursing standards, corporate compliance, regulatory surveys and risk management.  

“Helping colleagues improve quality of care provided to patients has always been my primary focus,” said Mechler. “The advent of electronic medical records has added to the complexity of healthcare. However, it has created opportunities for improvements in quality,” she continued, “which makes the integration of information technology and quality paramount in the future.”     

Mechler also brings significant management and clinical experience to her position, serving as the administrator of a psychiatric hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, and as nursing supervisor for Santa Rosa Medical Center in San Antonio. 

Throughout her career, Mechler has been active in various professional organizations, serving as a gubernatorial appointment to the Texas Health Services Authority; a member of the technical advisory panel for the Joint Commission Critical Access Hospital Project; a member of the editorial board of the National Association for Healthcare Quality; a Code Red task force member on a statewide commission to evaluate the status of the underinsured and uninsured in Texas. 

Mechler received her Masters of Science in Health Professions and her Bachelors of Science in Health Professions from Texas State University, San Marcos, and her Registered Nursing Degree from San Antonio College, San Antonio. 

Preferred Management Corporation, a Shawnee, Oklahoma based operator of Critical Access Hospitals operates Culberson Hospital and the Van Horn Rural Health Clinic. 

The company was hired by the Culberson County Hospital District in 2005 to help strengthen operations and enhance financial performance.   Including Culberson, Preferred operates one small community hospital in Oklahoma and nine in Texas.