The Memorial Hospital board welcomes new officers, approves ambulance purchase | CraigDailyPress.com

The Memorial Hospital board welcomes new officers, approves ambulance purchase

New board officer Todd Jourgensen, vice chair, Forrest Luke, chair, and Cathrine Blevins, secretary and treasurer, stepped into their new roles at The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees monthly meeting Thursday night.

— At its regular monthly meeting Thursday, The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees did the following:

• Welcomed Forrest Luke as new board chair, Todd Jourgensen as new vice chair and Cathrine Blevins as new secretary and treasurer.

• Approved an upgrade to the hospital's IT network for a cost of approximately $105,000.

TMH Chief Information Officer Toby Schaef noted a recent failure that affected the hospital as a reason for the much-needed upgrade.

"There were several points of failure. There was quite a bit of the hospital that was down and out, and if that were to happen to clinical areas that could be disastrous and equate to loss of revenue," Schaef said. "To be honest, it is quite scary the way the network is set up now."

• Approved the purchase of a new custom-built ambulance to replace the hospital's oldest ambulance. It will be designed to match the hospital's primary ambulance so as to streamline the work of emergency medical providers. The most recent quote obtained was $154,000 to build the ambulance; 50 percent of the cost will be reimbursed through a grant.

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• Heard from TMH Facilities Director Dave Mucha that the hospital was able to save nearly $20,000 by cutting back the amount of biohazardous waste being shipped out for proper disposal. The savings was achieved by introducing new training to nursing staff on what constitutes biohazardous waste.

• Acknowledged CEO John Rossfeld for being named one of 50 top rural CEOs by Becker's Hospital Review last month.

"There was only one other Colorado CEO was on that list," Chief of Marketing & Business Development Jennifer Riley said.

• Heard the financial report from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Chilson. Highlights included an uptick in physical therapy treatments, growth in the obstetrics and family practice departments, and an increase in cash on hand for 2014 compared to 2013.

• Heard from Chief Human Resource Officer Jill Spencer, who is busy recruiting candidates to fill positions including an orthopedic physician's assistant, emergency department physicians, a family practice PA and positions in internal medicine.

Spencer announced that she closed the deal Thursday with an orthopedic PA — who will work alongside new orthopedic surgeon, Kevin Borchard, M.D., when he joins TMH in August — who verbally accepted the position during his visit to TMH Thursday.

"I'm really excited," Spencer said. "I think he's going to be a great addition to this hospital and he's really excited about it… He wants to live in Craig."

• Discussed plans for TMH to pursue accreditation from DNV GL Healthcare, which TMH administrators, department leaders and board members feel would bump their standards to the next level.

"We feel it holds us to a higher standard with regard to patient care," Riley said.

The change will require a period of preparation and will take place over the next year.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

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