TMH rehab relocation postponed
February 27, 2012
At a glance …
• Plans to move The Memorial Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center to TMH Medical Clinic this spring have been postponed.
• The hospital board authorized spending up to $125,000 to renovate the clinic.
• Low bids were around $180,000, or about $55,000 more than the board authorized.
• TMH physical therapy manager: Change in plans will have no major impact on rehab center operations.
“Our recommendation was to wait.”
— Jennifer Riley, The Memorial Hospital in Craig’s chief of organizational excellence, about delaying plans to move TMH Rehabilitation Center to TMH Medical Clinic.
Plans to relocate The Memorial Hospital's Rehabilitation Center to TMH Medical Clinic are on hold for now.
"We'll put together a plan and go back to the board," said Jennifer Riley, TMH chief of organizational excellence.
The hospital's initial plan was to move the rehabilitation center from its current location in Suite 116 in Centennial Mall to the east end of the clinic in April.
The move would have placed rehabilitation closer to physicians in the clinic, thereby making it a more convenient location for patients, Chief Financial Officer Bryan Chalmers said during an interview in early February.
The hospital's capital budget, which the hospital board approved in November 2011, set aside up to $125,000 for clinic renovations.
However, when Chief Executive Officer George Rohrich opened bids Feb. 3, the lowest bids came in at around $180,000, Riley said, or about $55,000 higher than budgeted.
At the hospital board's regular meeting Thursday, hospital officials recommended postponing the project.
TMH board members could have amended the budget to allot more money to the project.
However, "Our recommendation was to wait," Riley said.
The hospital's rehabilitation services will probably move to another location in the future, she said, and clinic renovation will likely appear in next year's capital budget.
How much will be earmarked for the renovation hinges on another potential project.
"We're still figuring out if we can afford to build a medical office building in the future and the future might mean three years from now, five years from now (or) seven years from now," Riley said.
If a new office building is financially feasible, the next question would be whether rehabilitation services would move there or stay at TMH Clinic for the long-term. In the latter case, it would make more sense to devote more money to clinic renovations, Riley said.
"The more clear we become on what our long-term use looks like in the clinic, the easier it is to plan the use of these spaces," she said.
For now, TMH will renegotiate a new lease with Centennial Mall.
Riley stressed the proposed move was not related to the hospital's relationship with mall management.
"The Centennial Mall has been great to work with," she said.
The change in plans won't have much of an impact on the rehab center's patients, said Dale Little, TMH physical therapy manager.
"It's not going to change our operations," he said.
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