Hospital moving forward with new Clinic

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By Richard Uhlhorn

The Hospital Board discussed the upcoming change from the Primary Care Clinic to an Express (Walk-in) Clinic that, according to Interim Chief Financial Officer Viola Babcock, will be open seven days a week with a only a staff of seven.

It is slated to open on November 1. Medical personnel will include two Certified Family Nurse Practitioners who don’t require a physician’s oversight.

Start up costs are estimated at $110,000, with $80,000 for buildout of the new location and $20,000 for advertising. Rohrich said, “Nobody will be turned away and we will be able to bill Medicare.”

The funding for the clinic will come out of the COVID fund.

CEO George Rohrich congratualted the hospital’s Chief Quality Officer Maria Sirois on her becoming nationally certified in infection control (CIC). “She may be our first CIC in our history,” Rohrich told the Board. “It will help us in moving forward.”

Rohrich give an update on the forthcoming strategy plan, telling the board that he needed to wait until the design team comes back with cost estimates or changes in costs and space of building the new hospital. “We should have a Strategy Plan after that,” he said. “It may drive some of our goals.” Any changes to the design efforts will mostly be COVID learned changes Rohrich added.

The Design Team will be giving their updates on October 9 in what Rohrich things will be no more than a two hour meeting. After that Rohrich said it would take a half day for a facilities review they have been discussing.

Under New Business, Rohrich discussed Resolution #626 CEO Authority. “This resolution was created and drafted by our counsel,” said Rohrich. The document outlines the authority the hospital’s CEO has in situations that do not require Board approval. “This resolution makes (my) authority very clear.” Rohrich shaved zeros off a number of issues he has control over bringing one down to $25,000 and another down to $10,000. The board approved his changes to the CEO authority resolution.

Emergency situations like a hot water heater going out would be within the CEO’s authority to approve expenditures to fix without Board Approval.

The Hospital’s finances saw a $1.2 million in increased volume over June and July. Mary Signorelli said, “It is great to see a positive bottom line.”

Rohrich stated that July was a good month for the hospital. “We almost hit the orange bar. We had no beds available and we haven’t seen that in awhile.”

“The community is still hampered by COVID,” explained Rohrich, Agustin Venegas said the hospital has to cancel its annual Fun Run but did have two successful events; one was handing out backpacks to students who needed them and the second was teaching new parents how to install car seats so the child would be safe in case of a collision. “COVID is ruining our Fun Run,” said Benegas.

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