Completion of new surgery wing is one month ahead of schedule
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
Henry County Health Center’s new surgery addition is expected to start operating in early September — a month ahead of the initial target date.
“We’re maintaining a little bit ahead of pace with the expectation that we’re going to use that for timing at the end in order to get the personnel and the hospital guys all brought up to speed before we move into that area,” Project Manager Cragon Caboth told the board of trustees on Tuesday. “We originally put in about a week. We’re hoping to give them about two weeks, so that personnel have the opportunity to experience the area and we don’t go into it being cold and not knowing where everything’s at and how everything works.”
Caboth noted that things are moving towards the final stages. This month interior walls have started to go up, and painting will begin next week.
“You can definitely see what it’s going to look like,” commented Robb Gardner, HCHC CEO.
Enclosure of the ceilings is underway, but crews are waiting to lay the floor because there is special fiberglass ductwork in the floor that needs to be completed. However, Caboth noted that the concrete work will be completed by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, some of the equipment is starting to arrive. The first piece of mechanical equipment for the basement has arrived, and the technology equipment has been purchased and should arrive in July.
“Ninety-five percent of the major equipment has been purchased, which is all of the big ticket items — the lights, the sterilizers, all of the major items that we need to run the new area,” said Caboth.
The furniture should be finalized within a week, signage is ready for purchase order and graphics should be taken care of in June.
In July, the contractors for the equipment in the new energy center will return to make sure everything is working properly.
“When we make it active, they’ll come back and make sure that everything is running good,” said Gardner. “That’s part of their contract.”
Gardner noted that the punch list items for the surgery addition should be completed in by the third week in August and the new addition may open the week of Sept. 2. There are plans to old an open house to tour the new facility when it opens.
In other business, the trustees approved going forward with a University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Innovation Grant.
Gardner explained that this transition in care grant was awarded to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics to look at how services can be delivered differently and more efficiently to keep people healthy and out of the hospital and limit re-admissions.
“It’s about really doing the right work for patients as they get discharged,” said Gardner, who noted that the 30-day transition period after patients are discharged can impact their future health.
This grant will help the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics work with its network of critical access hospitals, which includes HCHC. HCHC will receive some funding from the grant to offset some of the work that HCHC is doing. There are two years remaining in the three-year grant.
The trustees also:
• Approved a revision to the Charity Care policy allowing financial assistance to Henry County patients who are at 200 percent of the poverty line. Previously, patients needed to be at 150 percent of the poverty line.
• Approved the fiscal year 2014 budget.
• Set the date of the July board of trustees meeting for July 23 to accommodate the end of the fiscal year.