TMH on board with VNA acquisition

Board approves the concept of ownership of TMH campus by the VNA

In other action

The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees:

• Approved, 7-0, a recommendation to allow new family doctor Troy Phillips the medical privileges of colonoscopies, Caesarean sections and emergency medicine.

• Approved, 7-0, a recommendation to expand the Cardinal Pyxis system, a computerized medicine dispensing control system, with the price of $2,285 per month.

• Approved, 7-0, a recommendation to award the bid for furnishing the new hospital to Synergy, the lowest bidder at $496,334.15.

The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees supported the concept of the VNA acquiring ownership in the TMH campus at a board meeting Tuesday night.

The TMH board approved, 7-0, the resolution, which included no details on the nature of the deal or the kind of ownership the VNA would have. Instead, only the concept of beginning negotiations was on the table.

VNA board member Mary Brown and VNA Executive Director Sue Birch were in attendance at the meeting to present the possibilities that could be explored with the TMH Board's support.

"Our grant is due Aug. 6 and we're looking for a non-binding commitment to pursue the concept," Brown said.

The VNA has received a tentative $1 million grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to be used for acquisition of the property.

The grant, however, is dependent on a larger grant from the federal government for $2.5 million. If the VNA's federal grant is refused, the VNA will not receive the CHF money, either.

The VNA will offer the $1 million for a yet undecided type of ownership, and the remaining $2.5 million would be used for a major renovation project such as adding a second story to the VNA building or subdividing the two buildings.

The federal grant will be finalized in early November.

Brown said to be competitive and in a good position to receive this federal grant, the VNA will have to present an appealing and "shovel ready" project, or one that can be enacted in a short period of time. She said the partial ownership concept put them in a better position to receive the grant than any other options.

She said the concept was not meant to devalue the hospital's property - which most recently was appraised at $1.55 million - by purchasing it under its value.

Brown said the concept, in its current form, would allow TMH to continue using its old campus as a medical office building while further plans are worked out for the VNA and the future of TMH's administrative center. It also will provide income for TMH while they explore options.

TMH Chief Executive Officer George said he supported the concept of standing behind the VNA in its grant submission and pursuing the concept of partial ownership.

"It's a very complex and sticky thing," he said. "We have to be careful. I support the concept and I believe we can find a solution where everyone is happy and it's win-win all around. The details haven't been worked out yet, but they will be."

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