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by Brenda Grose
In a brief meeting held Monday, August 19, the Ringgold County Hospital board of trustees heard a list of positives from department heads as the hospital and clinic completed their first month into the new fiscal year.
Topping discussion were community concerns about the temporary Hy-Vee pharmacy location and its affect on RCH patients and the possibility of increasing the Senior Life Solution program’s units of service.
RCH currently is partnered with Hy-Vee in the 340B pharmacy program and looks to continue that partnership; however, patients have brought concerns to light regarding prescription fill times, availability of prescribed medication, parking and winter weather issues with the metal ramp structure at the current Hy-Vee pharmacy location. Gordon Winkler, administrator noted the concerns and indicated conversation was planned with Hy-Vee to determine future plans for returning to a permanent location.
Winkler also shared information on the Senior Life Solutions program stating that Senior life solutions has been a very well received service program focused on responding to senior citizens with loss and other needs. The program currently is designed to provide services to 7-8 patients for 300 units of service and unit usage has grown to 400 units of service as of July 2019. August is projected to see 350 units of usage. Given the importance of the program and the steady and rising use, options are being considered to increase the program capacity. One option under consideration is adding a second track of usage, utilizing the same space currently used, but running the second track during different hours. The second option would be to find additional space and run the two tracks simultaneously. Discussion to determine the best option is underway as the program continues to find success.
Winkler concluded his report with an update on the progress of the pharmacy project currently underway with the project estimated to span fiscal years 2019-20. Discussions were held determining how costs will be spread throughout the project and the board was able to see schematics of the project plans. Winkler stated architectural agreements have been received and are being review by legal counsel before being finalized.
Rounding out the meeting, CFO Missy Walters reported a positive $331,668.00 for month end. Ringgold County Hospital recorded nearly double the budgeted days of skilled care at 79 days for the month, Emergency Department salaries and wages and employee benefits were all under budget for the month and expenses were down in the area of supplies with the absence of Dr. Homedan gone for the month. All numbers factored in to record what Walters called, “a very good month” to begin fiscal 2019-20 year.
In miscellaneous news for the board, EMTs Adam Kaster and Amy Shields are completing a medical examiner investigator course supported through the Ringgold County Board of Supervisors to provide additional medical examiner services along with Dr. Bruce Ricker, D.O., Ron Schaefer, P.A. and paramedic Al Rusk and EMT Jan Rusk, who now share duties in that capacity.
In other new personnel business, a “meet and greet” is being planned for new pediatrician, Dr. Tabitha Wilson, MD to be held in conjunction with Ayr Days on Saturday, September 7. Dr. Wilson began seeing patients August 15 at Mount Ayr Medical Clinic and also sees patients at CHI Health Clinics in Corning, Bedford and Lenox. Winkler added Dr. Wilson has been very well received in her first week at Mount Ayr Medical Clinic.