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Peter Marinoff stands in front of Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital on Wednesday morning.

FRANKFORT — Peter Marinoff knows his job is an important one for Benzie County residents.

Marinoff, 38, is the new chief executive at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort. The hospital is one of the county’s largest employers, but perhaps just as important, the hospital’s existence offers a quality-of-life component to Benzie County that many other rural communities across America would love to have.

“(The hospital) is very important to this community,” Marinoff said. “We offer piece of mind because if you are having a medical issue, we are close by.”

Marinoff replaces recently retired administrator Jim Austin. Marinoff has worked for Munson Healthcare for 14 years and at Paul Oliver for six years as director of operations.

“We’ve gone from just being a hospital that serves the western portion of Benzie to partnering with physician groups to expand our reach to serve more of what we call the Benzie region,” he said. “We have a clinic in Interlochen … a Benzonia clinic that also services the Thompsonville area, and we have one in Empire, so we also serve southern Leelanau County.”

Marinoff said the hospital seeks to specialize in what it does best – emergency care, radiology, physical therapy, dialysis, and services that are useful to seniors, including eye care. He said the hospital is fiscally stable with approximately $25 million in gross revenues.

“Financially we are doing well despite cuts we’ve had over the last few years — cuts in reimbursements,” Marinoff said. “We’ve seen a gradual reduction in what we are getting paid from insurance companies, from the federal government and sequestration has cut us somewhat.”

Marinoff said it’s difficult to say exactly how implementation of the Affordable Care Act will impact business because there’s still a lot of discussion about funding the program. Marinoff firmly believes the hospital has a bright future in front of it. The challenges, he said, are continuing to manage costs and attracting the best talent while in competition for staff with hospitals downstate.

“From a fiscal health perspective, you want to have an operating margin of around 5 percent,” Marinoff said. “That allows us to reinvest back in your facility and upgrade aging equipment and invest in staff. We are there. We continue to run right around 5 percent.

“We continue to build around the patient experience and also around the quality and at the same time manage costs,” he said. “When I say manage costs, if I go to fiscal year 2012 and it compare it to the fiscal year 2013, which we just ended — we actually reduced our costs by 1.7 percent year over year. That’s pretty good.”

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