Hospital trustees approve purchases

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The Memorial Hospital (TMH) Board of Trustees elected new officers at its January meeting, and approved the purchase of a new ambulance.

With all nominees voted in via acclamation, trustees elected Sue Lyster as secretary and treasurer, Judy Downing as vice-chairman and Rod Peck as chairman. Their terms end in January 2001.

In the largest approved purchase at the meeting, trustees approved a new ambulance purchase. TMH received a grant for $37,000 to help purchase a new vehicle, leaving an outstanding balance of $53,000. Emergency Response Team representative Richard Nichols explained to the board how the ambulance will help the community and said the older ambulance will be sold or given away. The City of Dinosaur is a possible buyer for the vehicle. The new ambulance is expected to be profitable, according to TMH Chief Financial Officer Roger White.

Cardiopulmonary Department Manager Jeff Greer obtained permission from the trustees to purchase a new treadmill and accessories. Cost for the new equipment was within budget at $24,500.

TMH Administrator Randy Phelps requested the board look into the need for additional space for surgical procedures. Phelps explained the cost of expansion would be minimal as the surgery room could be expanded into the Monahan-Witham Memorial Medical Library. While it seems like an easy move, Phelps stressed things may not be as easy as they appear. He said making the library into a surgery-ready facility up to building code could be time consuming. Stressing "haste could make waste on a construction project such as this one," Phelps will look into where the library could be moved and report back to the board.

Trustees also accepted the recommendation from the TMH Finance Committee to purchase computers, printers and Windows NT Network upgrades. This equipment will be used by TMH departments including the Physical Therapy Department and Care Clinic, and one computer will be used by the new community relations spokesperson, who will start next week.

A last-minute, non-budgeted request was approved to purchase a new scale that could accommodate all patients, including those in wheelchairs. Cost of the scale is about $1,600.

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