Area hospital revives cardiac rehab program


Daily Press writer
The Memorial Hospital (TMH) Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved $30,000 for a remodeling project that will include a cardiac rehabilitation program.

This cardiac rehab program, according to cardiac specialists, will allow patients to get their lives back together after a heart attack, greatly benefiting the community. APH Construction of Craig will complete the remodeling.

Although not financially advantageous, the new program will, according to TMH Administrator Randy Phelps, allow the hospital to "do well by doing good."

Construction is slated to coincide with remodeling the area for the new nuclear medicine camera, which TMH officials hope is complete by next month. The remodeling project to complete an area for the new nuclear medicine camera started in early November and is well under way.

Also during the Board of Trustees meeting, approval was made to purchase new medical equipment to assist doctors.

A Series 50 Sonata, hand-held fetal Doppler unit to detect fetal heartbeats, produced by Agilent Technologies and designed for birthing centers, will be purchased for $681.12. Along with this unit will be a fetal monitor to sense fetal and maternal movements, for a cost of $14,320.72.

For the urological surgery program, purchase of a new ureteroscope was approved for $6,000. This figure is within budget constraints.

October 1999, saw 275 patients at the hospital and the year-to-date net income for TMH, as of Oct. 31, was $169,563, which is $19,009 under the budgeted amount.

According to Phelps, TMH was busy at the end of October and even busier during November. TMH averaged 15.25 patients per day in November. In mid-November, TMH had an overfill of patients and had to hold a patient in the emergency room until a bed was available. The high patient days helped TMH experience a $33,000 net income in October. Through Nov. 12, TMH was averaging $47,500 in gross revenue per day.

The hospital has been busy with a variety of projects. New lampposts and lights have been installed along the sidewalk in front of TMH and the heliport sidewalk.

TMH has executed a contract to purchase property at 717 Russell St. and put down earnest money with the abstract and closing company. The closing date on the property is Dec. 30.

TMH is still in search of an obstetrician/gynecologist and Phelps has contacted Summit Medical Consultants to help in the search. A resume has been sent to TMH for the position, but no formal visits have been planned.

Consulting oncologist Dr. Kenneth Matchett was killed during an equestrian competition accident in Arizona the weekend of Nov. 13. According to Phelps, TMH is working with other centers to see if an oncology outreach clinic is feasible in Craig.

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