Hospital Board gets updates on hospital operations

Corrections to the following article:

The hospital performed 391 surgeries January through June 2018, with 44 additional surgeries July 1 through 22.

There have been 45 babies born through June this year.  Twelve additional babies were born July 1 through 22.

Accounts receivables are down $455,000, and they are working hard to increase cash.


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Hospital Board gets updates on hospital operations

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by Richard Uhlhorn


The Lake Chelan Hospital Board of Directors met in regular session on Tuesday, July 24 to discuss a variety of issues.

The Lake Chelan Hospital held its monthly board meeting on Tuesday, July 24, and had several items of interest to the general public.

First, the board has narrowed its search for a new CEO to two finalists. Mary Signorelli said that each of the two candidates will be interviewed on campus on two different days with the first interview taking place next week on Thursday and Friday, August 2 & 3. The second person of interest will be interviewed the following week on Monday and Tuesday, August 6 & 7. after which the board will make a decision on who to hire. “We are pretty much happy about the two candidates we have,” said Signorelli, the board chairman. “They are very strong candidates. Obviously, we are interviewing the two because we couldn’t decide on one or the other at this point.”

Board member Phyllis Gleasman commented that all the candidate applicants were very quality individuals. “It was a very difficult decision,” she stated.

Interim CEO, Steve Patonai, reported that this year’s Board Retreat will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, August 8 & 9 in Pateros. “The first day will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the second day from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” he said.

DSC02710-Steve Patonai

Interim CEO Steve Patonai gave the board an update on the upcoming Hospital Retreat to be held in Pateros on August 8 & 9.

The title of this year’s Board Retreat is “Envisioning the Future – Setting the Path.”

“We will be focusing on the vision for the Lake Chelan Hospital,” said Patonai. He told the board that the final details were still being worked out, but that the first day will be focusing on the background. He said that a speaker from the state level will talk about reimbursements and what is happening state wide in the market place.

The second day Patonai said, “We will focus on developing the vision for the future.”

The board approved the agenda unanimously (Mary Murphy was not present at this meeting).

Patonai gave his CEO report and said that they have had discussions with the USDA over the past couple of weeks. “We are feeling good about it,” said Patonai.”I think we are close.” The USDA loan is going forward and Patonai said that it could be decided on later this week.

The hospital has officially moved its EMS crew out of its space at Fire District 7 and back to the hospital stated Patonai. “Our EMS based crew was sharing space at the Fire District and using some of their space for providing training.”

The decision to move the EMS crew back to the Hospital will save the hospital $41,000. Neither the hospital nor fire district and give space or services for free, so the deal between the hospital and fire district was a lease for $41,000 which would be paid for in-kind by the hospital providing EMT training and performing firefighter physicals.

Signorelli stated that she and Kevin Abel had met with Chief Tim Lemon six to eight months ago, but has not and have not ever had another request for a meeting with Lemon or the District’s Board.

DSC08431 - Mary Signorelli

Board Chairman Mary Signorelli stated that no one at the Fire District has requested a meeting with the Hospital Board or Administration regarding EMS.

“No one has requested a meeting with us as a board or as administration to meet with them,” said Signorelli. “I just want that to be cleared up because there has been some miscommunication.”

Assistant Chief Donnell has said at last month’s fire district meeting that he would like to see the emergency services annexed into the Fire District or to at least have a conversation about that.

DSC02715-Donna Strand

Donna Strand – Chief Nursing Officer

In other business, Donna Strand, Chief Nursing Officer, gave a report on Quality & Patient Care Services. She discussed the difficulties of moving patients around the ward. “It is a very choreographed dance,” said Strand. She also talked about employee turnover and the Emergency Room Improvement Plan. “We meet with staff every morning for 15 minutes.” she said.

Strand said the Gold Standard for patients coming into and leaving the Emergency Room is 87 minutes. “We’ve already met the 90 percentile of that time,” she said. The time through the door of the ER to seeing a doctor is 12 minutes. “It is hard to get there,” said Strand.

Another problem facing the ER is patients that are not really emergencies. “We get a lot of patients in the ER that are not emergencies,” she said.


Vickie Bodle – Chief Financial Officer

Vickie Bodle gave the board an up to date financial and said the hospital has performed 44 surgeries through June 22nd.  The Emergency Department has seen 489 people in the month of June. There have been 12 babies born since the first of the year.

She reported that accounts receivables are down $455,000 and they are working hard to bring that up.

After reporting on the current financial status, Bodle turned the podium over to Erik Volk, an accountant with Wipfli –LLP, and assurance accounting and tax consulting firm who conducted and prepared last year’s audit of the hospital.

DSC02732-Erik Volk

Eric Volk gave a report on the outstanding 2017 audit.

After his report to the board, Volk told this reporter that the hospital and an outstanding audit. “The staff is very knowledgeable.”

The meeting ended with Signorelli telling the staff that their hard work does not go unnoticed. “We appreciate your hard work,” she said before adjourning the meeting.

Author: allthingslakechelan

I have been a journalist, photojournalist and reporter in the Lake Chelan Valley since 1988; first with the Wenatchee World, then 15 years at the Lake Chelan Mirror and another 12 years at GoLakeChelan. Currently, I am semi-retired but can't give up the media gig which is why I started All Things Lake Chelan blog. I also have two social media platforms; allthingslakechelan/facebook and lakechelansportsandrecration/facebook. I am also a professional photographer with many credits with major outlets around the world.

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