Residents in hospital district will receive newsletter next week

by Richard Uhlhorn

Last month it was reported that a newsletter would be going out to residents in the Hospital District in early February. This didn’t happen but Agustin Benegas assured the Commission that the newsletter and board’s letter will go out, hopefully on Thursday, February 25 or by early next week.

FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT:

CFO Cheryl Cornwell remarked that January was not very profitable which was to be expected since January is traditionally one of the facilities slowest months. She stated that there was very little change in the balance sheet but that there are a lot of changes to the business model due to COVID. “COVID has blown away the way we do business,” she said.

Cornwell also said that the hospital has several million dollars sitting in the bank waiting for the government auditors to determine if it has to be repaid. “If we can keep that money, it will have a huge impact on our budget sheet.” Cornwell added that Chelan was not alone in this issue.

Being shut down 10 days because of a COVID outbreak at the hospital didn’t help January’s bottom line either. The Hospital was $244,000 under its budget for the month.

FACILITY COMMITTEE:

Rohrich told the commission that the construction documents have been submitted to all agencies for approval of permits including Naumes. “We are estimating a couple of months for those approvals to come back,” said Rohrich.

Jordana LaPorte asked why Naumes was included in the submittals. Rohrich replied that while they do not have approval authority, but more to keep them in the loop.

LaPorte asked when they could see the documents and Rohrich asked what she would like to see. She replied that she would like to see the floor plan to see if thte cost of that portion is within line. Gleasman reiterated that the hospital has to stay within 44.4 million and that when the bids come in the board will have them presented for the board’s perusal.

Rohrich stated that he expected the bids to come back around March 30. Mary Murphy remarked that permits will take up to two months. Rohrich said, “We can’t proceed without permits whereas Mary Signorelli stated, “We can’t proceed if the bids come in too high.” At that point, the hospital would have to go back and see where it can make adjustments.

Rohrich remarked that the board will have to convene a special meeting to discuss the bids. Gleasman added that would happen sometime in March or April.

COMMUNITY COMMITTEE:

Agustin Benegas told the board that the Newsletter is at the printers and that it, along with the Board’s letter would hopefully be mailed this Thurday, February 25, but if not, early next week.

Rohrich told the board that the Hospital has received vaccine for the community to be administered on Thursday, February 25, at the Fire Station and recommended that people register on the Hospital’s website (lakechelanhealth.org) for a time. Benegas said that registration opened up at 2 p.m. on Tuesday for 500 doses. Those individuals who received their first shot last month will receive their second shot on Saturday, February 27, at the Fire Station. If a person doesn’t have a computer, they can call 682-6115 and talk to Karen who will help them get registered.

The commission unanimously approved a contract with Dr. Manos who according to CEO George Rohrich has 30 years experience in pain management. The contract is for one day per week for one year. “It is a pretty good opportunity to start out. We will decide in six months whether to continue the contract or not.”

Gleasman asked what pain management included? Rohrich replied that in includes infusions and injections for people with chronic pain issues but that it also depends on insurance. When in town Dr. Manos will spend a half day at the Clinic and then a half day performing procedures at the hospital.

Fred Miller asked if his services would be advertised to the community. Rohrich said it would be and he recognizes that it is a small service for the hospital. He expects Dr. Manos to maybe see five patients in the clinic per year.

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