The Governing Board of the Kane County Hospital held its first meeting of 2010 on January 28. Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff conducted the swearing in ceremony for Gene Drake, the newly-elected member of the Kane County Human Resources Special Service District Board. Re-elected member Debbie Fox was sworn in at the end of the meeting.

Hospital Foundation Chairperson Kathleen Salter introduced Tonny P. Van Der Leeden, of Van Der Leeden Associates, as a member of the foundation.

A hospital foundation raises money and community awareness for the hospital. The same way a concrete foundation physically holds up a house, the hospital foundations financially hold up thousands of not-for-profit hospitals.

Van Der Leeden gave an impressive presentation drawing on his vast experience in helping organizations, such as the City of Hope and Cancer Centers in California, to help build secure financial futures through planned giving programs. Van Der Leeden explained ways to accomplish the funding goals set forth by this foundation. Fundraising is a challenge. Foundation member Vern Ratzlaff, as a financial planner, is also a valuable addition to the team.

Van Der Leeden stated the program for the Kane County Hospital doesn’t have to be big. It has to be good, requiring a lot of detail and professionalism; taking things one step at a time and concentrating on three major areas: annual giving, major and planned giving, and endowments.

Public awareness is of prime importance building an association with the hospital, not just as a place to go when someone is sick, but also as a foundation of the community. Keeping a level of interest with a website as a method of public relations is part of the plan.

Chad Szymanski was voted as vice-chairperson. Members were assigned to the various committees: financial, planning, and obtaining grants.

Commissioner Daniel Hulet announced a decision on the Cedar Mountain Town Site Act. The hospital’s participation has been put on hold until after the legislative session has ended. More information will be available at that time.

Auxiliary President Emma Norton gave an update on the proceeds of the Thrift Shop. In 2009, the shop made $86,000 and had 16,550 customers. There is $67,000 in the hospital’s PTIF saving account in preparation for the purchase/payment of the new heart monitor and miscellaneous needed equipment.

Dr. Darin Ott, representing the medical staff, stated there were very few severe flu cases reported in the county. This was mainly due to the cooperation with the public health department supplying the vaccinations.

The transition at the Orderville Clinic seems to be working well with the return of Nurse Practitioner Joanne Palmer. Ott stated he still visits the clinic in the mornings on the first and third Tuesday of the month.

Director of Nursing Rosalie Esplin reported the Acute Care Nursing is currently adequately staffed to provide patient care services in a safe, professional and efficient manner. In-Services Education is provided to the nursing staff on a regular basis to assure staff competency and keep them informed. The department received many positive comments, letters and thank you cards from patients and families.

Laurali Noteman, of Human Resources and Public Relations, reported that the hospital in 2009 had an average of 185 employees (90 full-time). Payroll for the year was $3,000,700.

Noteman announced there would be a radiation exposure screening at the Kane County Hospital Clinic on Tuesday, February 9, for those exposed to nuclear testing or uranium workers.

Noteman commented on the impressive photographs celebrating Zion’s Centennial currently on display in the main hallway of the hospital. Employee Pat Chavez spotted her picture in one photo. At one time her father was the Zion Park Manager and they lived in a cabin by the lodge. Photos will be on display through February.

Corporate Financial Officer Stephen Howells referred to an approximate loss of $200,000 in 2009. Howells said a lot of that loss is due to depreciation and the recession. In the third quarter, there was a drop of 32% in the sales tax monies received. In 2008, sales tax monies received were $1,279,000, versus $1,153,000 in 2009.

Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya stated a decision needed to be made on the 2010 meeting schedule, suggesting the fourth week would be better for reviewing the financial reports.

She said one of the ER gurneys has to be replaced. Three bids have been received, ranging from $5,679.96 to $5,193.50, and recommended the lower bid from Johnson Medical. Howells said this could be a project for the Hospital Auxiliary monies.

Pandya stated she should be receiving the completed report from the EideBailly Analysis (a team of CPAs and business advisors) in five or six weeks. The team recently visited with Kane County Hospital staff. Their report will suggest ways to improve operations and revenue.

2010 Hospital Board Members are Dottie Ratzlaff, Chad Szymanski, Karen Alvey, Debbie Fox, Doyle Swallow, Gene Drake and Carol Sullivan.