Hospital reduces VNA’s rent discount

Visiting Nurse Association to pay $7,500 more in rent this year

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The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will pay The Memorial Hospital $7,500 more to occupy its building in 2010.

Last year, the first year of the 3-year contract, the VNA received a $15,000 discount of its rent at 745 Russell St.

That discount changes on a year-by-year basis, and the hospital board voted Wednesday to decrease the discount to $7,500 in 2010.

The recommendation by the board originally included a proposal to offer no discount in 2011. However, the board decided it would reassess its financial situation at the end of 2010 to determine what kind of discount, if any, it was prepared to offer in the final year of the lease.

TMH board member Corrie Ponikvar said TMH has long supported the mission and direction of the VNA’s community health center.

“In the discussions we’ve had with George (Rohrich, TMH CEO) he feels that a $7,500 discount for 2010 and not offering a discount in 2011 will give them ample opportunity to look for other resources,” Ponikvar said. “We feel like we’re doing our due diligence from the hospital side in trying to support their causes.”

The discount was not written into the original lease, however the board decided in 2009 to offer the VNA extra breathing room when it was financially feasible.

Ponikvar said the change in the discount was due to the hospital’s different financial situation after 2009.

“We’re just in a different place,” she said. “This more has to do with the partnership with the VNA. We want to support them and be mindful with regard to their mission, but also be mindful of the hospital’s financial situation.”

TMH board member Melton Sullivan said the VNA’s lease gives them an excellent market value.

“It’s a tremendous value, what we’re offering to them,” Sullivan said. “And it’s already a tremendous discount we’re offering over market value. We’ve been doing an awful lot to support their mission and organization by offering this because it’s way below the market price.”

Beka Warren, TMH chief quality officer and interim chief clinical officer, agreed with the recommendation, citing the changing financial climate as TMH works to transition into its new building with a tight budget year looming.

“We feel like we need to recognize them as a partner in community,” she said. “But, we also have to recognize the business needs of the health care community.”

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