The Kane County Hospital Board met on June 7, 2011. The main topic of discussion was the overall problem of suicide, drug abuse and what the hospital and community can do to participate in a prevention program.

Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff said a meeting was held with the leaders of the community in reference to pooling the community’s resources in providing help and guidance in minimizing the problem. The key issues: Identifying the problem and providing different avenues on how to reach people and make it known where people can go for help and the difficulty accomplishing this project in a small community. 

Director of Public Relations Laurali Noteman talked about the new privately owned 12-step/spiritual recovery program at the Summit Lodge Recovery Center in Rockville, Utah, a subsidiary of Addiction Recovery Group. The information was presented at the Local Interagency Council (LIC) meeting on May 25, 2011.

Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya explained people might not want to reach out and go there because it is an added burden to the already existing problem, and people in a low-income bracket cannot afford to pay for those services. The board discussed the need to start addressing the stigma of mental health and create programs starting within the schools and the community for coping skills and self worth.

Pandya said statistics show all age groups, both men and women, are affected. For every one person who commits suicide, 11 people try. St. George is now #1 for heroin use and distribution in the Western Region.

Pandya announced new guidelines recommend getting flu shots later in the year. Flu shots are scheduled to be available by the health department on November 5, 2011.

Director of Nursing Rosalie Esplin said this flu season has not been declared pandemic, and the emergency room has been busy with six to seven patients seen daily the first part of June.

Chief Financial Officer Stephen Howells reported year to date operating income is close to budget.

Pandya highly recommended proceeding with the installation of the underground propane storage tanks. The tanks would be filled by bulk load once a year in the summer months when fuel prices are usually lower creating an overall savings to the hospital. A feasibility study has been completed. Commissioner Jim Matson added extending a natural gas line to Kane County is not in the foreseeable future. The board approved opening the project up for bids.

The board accepted and approved contractor Norris Brown’s submission as the lowest bid to remove the berm (ground and grass) area under the front windows of the hospital.

Hospital Auxiliary Treasurer Floyd Norskog reported the Thrift Shop proceeds for the month of April 2011 were $8,706, with 769 customers compared to April 2010 sales of $7,819 and 478 customers.  

Noteman announced the hospital would be displaying Gilcee Photography and Art by Julie Rogers and her daughter Rachel through July 3. A reception in their honor will be held on June 21. 

Pandya commented on the success of the Hospital Foundation Community of Caring event on June 4. The event raised over $9,000 towards the much-needed 16-slice CT Scanner. Michael Evangelista has posted pictures of the event on Facebook and on the Foundation’s website. Pandya and the board hopes the Foundation will make it an annual event.

“Lunch with the Board” is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14.