As a way to save his company and clients money, Jan Jennings, interim chief executive officer of Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp., lives in a motorhome at the trailer park in Bridgeport, Ohio.
Jennings, a Pittsburgh resident and president of American Healthcare Solutions, in April took over as CEO of the corporation, which is the parent company of Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling, W. Va., and East Ohio Regional Hospital, Martins Ferry, the Wheeling News-Register reported.
He was hired by the corporation’s board of directors to shore up the hospitals’ finances. And part of his plan to help hospitals in fiscal trouble is not to charge them for keeping a roof over his head.
This isn’t your average RV. The large vehicle, nicknamed Shamu, is worth about $200,000, Jennings said. It contains solid wood cabinetry, tiled floors, a kitchen with stove, sink, microwave and small table, a full shower and separate bathroom, a living area with two leather couches that fold out into beds, and a bedroom in the rear with a full-sized bed and entertainment system.
“She’s a big momma, I feel she should be called ‘Shamu,'” Jennings said of the RV.
An exterior compartment contains a full-size TV to entertain a crowd, something Jennings may do for his new neighbors if he ever gets the time. Currently he works 14- to 16-hour days and is often on the road. The RV’s driver, Brian Krugle, also is Jennings’ vice president of business intelligence. On the weekends he drives home to Pittsburgh where his wife of 41 years, Patricia, also lives.
Jennings said he bought the RV two years ago because he was tired of staying in hotels that were too expensive.
“Everything is self-contained. In a hotel I have to walk downstairs to get breakfast, and here I can walk around in my skivvies,” Jennings quipped.
Staying in hotels also didn’t allow Jennings to interact with people in the community. His neighbor, Mike Kidney, said people had been wondering who owned the new RV in the park. And he’s been spreading the word.
“It was a big mystery,” Kidney said.
Jennings noted the hospitals’ financial health is getting better. He expects them to become profitable this year and continue to improve each year.
Jennings expects to remain at interim CEO until at least the end of 2010, but a search for a permanent CEO is under way, he said.