Southern Utah News Articles
Hospital volunteer organizations report progress and plans
The Kane County Hospital Governing Board meeting was held February 1, 2011. Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff welcomed the board members, staff and guests, Kane County Commissioner Jim Matson, Kane County Auxiliary Treasurer Floyd Norskog and Kane County Hospital Foundation President Kathleen Salter.
President Salter informed the board of the Foundation’s plans for fundraising events in March and June. Salter stated the attendance at last year’s Health Fair was very low. This year the Foundation intends to do a more thorough advertising campaign to promote the Health Fair and other special events.
The Hospital Foundation is an all-volunteer organization. Their mission is to secure financial resources in the promotion of general health and welfare programs in the community that are not covered by county tax monies or patient services.
Fundraising projects are done at the recommendation of the medical staff, nursing department, the hospital administrator and/or the hospital board.
Salter reported the Foundation has received donations of approximately $18,500 towards the goal of $25,000 for the purchase of Acute Care hospital chairs for the patient rooms. She commented the physicians have each donated $1000 in obtaining that goal. Donations towards this project in any amount are greatly appreciated. The Foundation will be placing thermometer type signs in several locations in the city indicating the progress of the community’s fundraising campaigns.
Hospital Auxiliary Treasurer Floyd Norskog’s reported disbursements to the hospital for 2009/2010 totaled $117,321.06. His report included computer-generated grafts of the Thrift Shop’s sales, expenses, disbursements and customer count.
Norskog explained the Auxiliary Thrift Shop maintains an operational only checking account; deposits from the thrift shop sales are made to that account. Any money that is over the auxiliary’s budgeted expenses is deposited into the Utah Public Treasurers Investment Fund (PTIF). Requests for withdrawals from that account for hospital purchases, require the approval of the Auxiliary. Norskog stated a monthly treasurer’s report is given to hospital CFO Stephen Howells.
The hospital board thanked all the volunteers who devote their time and efforts to the success of the hospital and as a benefit to the community.
County Commission business was next on the agenda. Kane County Commissioner Jim Matson asked if the board had any questions. Howells asked for a quick update on the construction of the jail and how it was progressing, as it will have a direct effect on some of the departments (meal preparation) of the hospital.
Matson responded that the completion date is still set for November 2011. In June of this year, they (the county) will start hiring approximately 16 additional employees to staff the new facility.
The board discussed the 1% sales tax that is used towards the hospital’s general operating expenses. Howells said the hospital receives the funds on a monthly basis. The 1% sales tax was approved by voters of the county, and will last until 2012.
Director of Nursing Rosalie Esplin reported plans to start educating the staff about the formation of the different committees and their responsibilities. There are quality assurance state and federal regulations that must be followed. Esplin explained every department in the hospital is directly or indirectly involved in a patients quality care.
Director of Human Resources Laurali Noteman reported there were 160 employees and family members at the recognition dinner, and felt everyone had a good time. The crowd celebrated the retirement of Carolyn Banks’ 25 years of service to the hospital and also the retirement of LPN Elberta Long, who has been with the hospital since August of 2000.
Noteman made several announcements: She is now on the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), a multidisciplinary interagency team of individuals working together to provide services for the community by offering specialized assault, domestic violence, intervention services.
Noteman and Howells are looking into a new hospital employee payroll system to replace the one they have had for about 10 years.
There are several hospital board members up for reelection this year. Hospital elections are conducted in the odd numbered years, and go through the county voting process.
Noteman explained the background checks on new hires and volunteers. The hospital hires personnel from all over the country. More research is being done on the costs, proper procedures, and guidelines on obtaining the necessary background checks.
Howells reported December was a slow month as far as revenue is concerned. The hospital is down about 4% compared to last year. Howells explained DSH monies are available as often as quarterly.
Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) are adjustment payments made by the federal government to help those hospitals that provide care to a significantly disproportionate number of low-income patients that are not covered by other payers such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or other health insurances. The hospital must qualify in order to be compensated.
Administrator Sherrie Pandya said more information is needed concerning the business end of taking over the Fredonia Clinic. Pandya and Howells plan to meet with Site Director Mark Overas, PA-C and Fredonia Town Manager Dan Watson for further discussion.
The board approved the yearly review of departmental policies.