Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for October 28, 2009
Kane County Critical Access Hospital striving to meet community healthcare needs
The Kane County Human Resource Special Service District, better known as the Kane County Hospital (KCH) has submitted an application to the Permanent Community Impact Fund Board (CIB) for hospital site improvements.
A public hearing was held at the hospital on October 15, 2009. Vice Chairman Ray Clark brought the meeting to order. Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya and Chief Finance Officer Stephen Howells presented information on the three projected improvements.
Howells explained the need for a helo-pad. To speedily transport a critical patient out of the area, the helicopter currently has to land in the street between the library and the hospital, blocking access to the hospital and the library. It is necessary for the police to block off the area.
The proposed 40 x 40 foot concrete landing pad will be located southwest of the hospital’s emergency entrance, and surrounded by 100 x 100 foot grassed area rather than gravel or road base. The grass would prevent damage caused by flying rocks or dirt. There will be a lighted pole, a windsock, permanent lighting and paved sidewalks leading to the pad. Total cost $25,600.
Howells pointed out the hospital’s need for a 1500-gallon capacity Bulk Oxygen Tank. The tanks currently used are not adequate to sustain patient’s high oxygen use. The plan is to build an appropriate concrete pad, install the 1500-gallon tank, pipelines and other safety structures as required by regulations. Total cost $23,400.
Howells also said there is presently only one access road into the hospital. The plan is to utilize the existing road that passes the front entrances to the main hospital and the emergency room, extend and pave a new road connecting it to 100 West, an unpaved road. The hospital, through the CIB grant, will pave 100 West connecting it to 300 North thereby creating another access road into the hospital. Total cost $81,000.
The total projected cost of the improvements is $130,000. Cost sharing: Hospital $12,000, CIB grant $118,000. The expected funding will be sometime next year. There were no objections from the audience.
Clark went out of Public Meeting and into the Regular Hospital Governing Board Meeting. Commissioner Daniel Hulet could not attend the meeting and asked Pandya to announce the Southwest Public Health Department will start building the new facility in about two weeks. Hulet suggested Pandya and the SWH Department meet to discuss appropriate landscaping between the hospital and the new facility.
Human Resource Representative Laurali Noteman updated the recovery of Auxiliary President Emma Norton’s from surgery. She is doing well and will present a Thrift Shop financial statement after the first of the year.
Kane County Hospital Foundation Chairperson Kathleen Salter presented the final version of the amendments to the by-laws of the foundation for the board’s information. Attorney Ed Robbins advised the board of some legal issues. Pandya noted the foundation is a subsidy of the Special Service District Hospital with its own board of directors.
The foundation’s responsibility is to develop fundraisers for the hospital. It was the consensus of the Hospital’s Governing Board and Robbins that the foundation’s Board of Directors would hold the responsibility of approving their own by-laws. Noteman said the foundation would need to update the 501-3-C, non-profit status by informing the state of the new officers.
There is a new physicians assistant, Wayne Nelson. He did a rotation at the clinic a few months ago. The doctors offered him a contract to work in the clinic and the emergency room. His primary supervisor will be Dr. John Bowman, secondary Dr. David Salter and then Dr. Darin Ott. The board approved Nelson’s privileges.
Clark recognized Director of Nursing (DON) Rosalie Esplin’s fifty years of service with the George R. Aiken Hospital and Kane County Hospital. She was presented a flower centerpiece.
As DON, Esplin reported the nursing department has posted signs taking precautions in spreading the flu virus. The signs discourage children under 12 from visiting hospital patients due to the risk of Respiratory Syscytial Virus (RSV). Additional signs are posted asking visitors with a cough or sneezing to please wear a mask.
The nurses encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently. They asked the housekeeping department to regularly wipe off all the doorknobs and handles within the hospital. As a precaution, the toys have been removed from the clinic waiting room. Housekeeping will be wiping down the playhouse.
Pandya announced the hospital has no more flu vaccine. It is best to contact the Public Health Department for more information about the availability of both the Flu and H1N1 vaccine. The regular flu season is January to February; hopefully there will be more vaccine available at that time. Noteman gave an update on the employees Hi-Lites and recognized employees and staff members that completed the Domestic Violence Training Program.
Howells reported the hospital is getting slightly more from Medicaid than the actual costs. The measurable financial gains from becoming a Critical Access Hospital will take some time but should be indicated when the next cost report is filed. Over all revenue has decreased over the previous years. The August legal/professional fees were approximately $16,000; the year to date approximately $65,000.
Pandya gave the Administration Recommendations and Report suggesting the use of an outside audit company to look at ways to increase services and improve operations by an operational analysis and charge master /cost report review.
The Kane County Critical Access Hospital is one of the more remote, rural hospitals in Utah. The nearest primary-care hospitals are over 70 miles away in Panguitch, Cedar City and Page, AZ. The nearest secondary-care hospital is 85 miles away in St. George. Most of the hospital supplies come from Salt Lake City, 300 miles away.