|Hospital board still hashing out master facilities plan|
|Written by Chris Lee|
East Phillips County Hospital Board members held an in-depth discussion for a second time concerning a master facilities plan proposal.
During their Tuesday, Oct. 25 meeting, board members decided to bring a member of The Neenan Company to town to hold a work session concerning the proposal.
The Neenan Company is the same group that built the new hospital building.
Board members haven’t quite agreed on the depth they want to look into this project. The proposal is looking into a long-term plan to possibly relocate the ambulance shed to the hospital campus and also construct living facilities on the campus so staff homes in town could be sold.
Board members want to be careful of the message they are conveying to the public. Harlan Stern said he wants to make sure they aren’t putting the message out that they are looking into building public housing. “I think if we move forward, let’s do it carefully so you don’t portray the wrong message out there to the public,” Stern noted.
Administrator John Ayoub said the way he is thinking about the housing aspect is the hospital is looking into building this for themselves. Then, are there any other entities out there that want to sit down and talk about why they may or may not have an interest.
Steve Deaver wants to find out who uses the current staff housing—housing that needs some work and upgrades. Ayoub said doctors, lab technicians, nurses and EMTs, among others, use the houses. He estimated housing is used three or four nights a week.
Ayoub also noted they need to look into the long-term goal. Do they want to put money into the homes now or hold off and build something newer in the future?
Stern asked how the current staff housing has appealed to those coming to work at the hospital. Ayoub said new hires have utilized the house because it has been tough to find anything to rent in Holyoke.
“What specifically are our needs, and how do we address our needs?” Gary Rahe asked. “I’m not against the sale of the other two properties at all. In fact, I think that might be advantageous. I don’t think we want to get caught up in trying to spend time, money and energy trying to determine some of these other factors.”
“We are asking Neenan to answer a lot of these questions,” Steve Young said.
Rahe said he would like to see it done but on a smaller scope.
Board members will meet with a representative to hash out ideas and look to agree on a proposal so the facilities plan can be set in motion.
Administrator reports activity
Ayoub reported MMH is offering free community AED and CPR classes at SunSet View. Classes are free to the public and teach CPR techniques as well as how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
Ayoub said renovations within the new mammography room are going well. “We are still on track to have our first exams in December,” he noted.
The administrator said a contract has been signed to move forward with physician recruitment. He noted this was kind of the last piece. “It’s hard to recruit a doc when you don’t know exactly what type of doc you’re looking for,” Ayoub said.
A team from NextGen, who works with the clinic and hospital with the electronic medical records, visited recently to conduct an electronic practice management review to evaluate how the clinic is using it. Ayoub said the group relayed the message they are doing a fantastic job.
In other business Oct. 25, board members:
—held a 26-minute executive session for negotiations.
—noted Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation Board recently donated $10,000 for the digital mammography renovation and also set aside $20,000 for the Grow Our Own initiative.
—noted the next EPCHD board meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Holyoke Enterprise November 3, 2011