The Memorial Hospital Board moves forward with Moffat County School District partnership

Dialysis center project still in progress

At its Thursday meeting, the board of trustees for The Memorial Hospital finalized, by unanimous vote of 5-0, a contract with Moffat County School District that will allow the hospital to provide medical support for the athletics programs at Moffat County High School and Craig Middle School.

The proposal was first brought up by TMH Chief of Organizational Excellence Jennifer Riley at the board’s October meeting. Since then, the hospital and the school district have been working out the details of the contract in a process that took a little longer than had been anticipated.

Part of the deal is for school athletic events to feature TMH promotional sponsorship banners, the fine points of which needed to be sorted out. The cost to the district is $3,000 — $1,000 per athletic season — with TMH taking on the cost of supplies and other needs, estimated at about $75,000.

“I think everybody feels good about it,” Riley said. “We’re getting the premier recognition for all we do.”

While the minutiae of the partnership was adjusted, TMH has had a staff member fulfilling the role of on-site medical personnel at MCHS practices and games for the past month. Physical therapist Maria Nash already has familiarized herself with student athletic needs.

Riley said she and the rest of the TMH administration are excited to get the program going.

“It’s one of the bigger community-based outreach programs that we’ve implemented as a hospital,” she said. “For me, it’s been invigorating to work with another entity as big and as important as the school, and we have the opportunity to work with a lot of students and coaches. It’s been challenging, but fun.”

A project of another kind has been slower to get off the ground at TMH, which was another discussion topic for board members.

At the board’s September meeting, CEO Chris Smolik approached trustees about the possibility of building an outpatient dialysis center on hospital property, an idea which received full support.

Since then, the momentum has been somewhat hindered.

Smolik has been meeting with representatives of Nashville company Sanderling Healthcare, which first brought the idea to him. The CEO said Sanderling also brought up a suggestion to build an additional site for physical therapy, which has complicated the issue.

“The project is probably going to slow down,” he said.

The bright side of the situation is that TMH has not had to spend any money yet. The original plan was for Sanderling to lease the land then build and operate the dialysis center at their cost, with TMH footing the bill for the utility infrastructure.

“We have it budgeted for 2014, so we’re anticipating it moving forward,” Riley said.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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