Construction at Henry County Health Center nearing the final nail
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Construction at Henry County Health Center (HCHC) is nearing its end.
Project manager for HCHC Cragon Caboth told the HCHC Board of Trustees during Tuesday’s meeting that the final stages were coming.
“There are still a few things we are working on. We have delayed the start of the cardiopulmonary section due to weather,” said Caboth. “We are planning on opening up the new waiting area soon, which opens the hospital up very nicely. If you go to radiology the waiting room is completed and the women’s center is roughly 50 percent done.”
According to Caboth the canopy outside will be started soon, as weather has affected the start date.
“We could have probably jumped in and started on the canopy, but because of Sunday’s weather it was good that we didn’t,” said Caboth. “We just need to make sure that we keep access to the south entrance right now. We want to make sure patients aren’t affected.
“I just want to thank the staff for all they have done. They have been really helpful and understanding,” said Caboth. “I love coming to these meetings, but will be happy when it’s done. We are almost there.”
Trustee Ron Clouse discussed the hospital inspection.
“I don’t know how they do it,” began Clouse. “They do such a great job keeping everything clean. The crews have worked well with everyone. I walked all over the place and everything is looking good. I was pleased with everything I found and everyone was just so happy.”
Gardner updated the board on the human resources position that will be vacant after March 28, due to Jim Carson retiring.
“We have three candidates — one Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Great River is doing well at screening candidates and we have three high qualified people,” said Gardner. “Hopefully next week we will have a great candidate after the interview process, and we will be able to get someone in here to take over Jim’s spot.”
John Vallandingham, pharmacy director at HCHC, discussed how there is a drug shortage.
“Functionally some of the things we are dealing with are things like discontinuation of certain drugs. Nitroglycerin IV in the United States is hard to get as well. They can’t get quality glass vials,” said Vallandingham. “Some places are having to get them from China. Even normal saline has fallen into short supply.
“With the shortages we are going to obtain the medication from alternate suppliers and local physicians are calling us and asking us to supply them. It’s kind of a nuance that puts the organization and me into an uncomfortable position. But it’s something we need to do to help each other. The Affordable Care Act has affected us as well, because it said that for a year, pharmacies couldn’t raise prices. The manufacturers are taking this as a chance to raise prices while they can.”
“I want to give a huge thanks to John, he has been a great addition to our program,” said Gardner. “He works tirelessly and everything he does is great. He works well with our medical staff. If there is an opportunity to change something or do something he jumps at it.”
Up next in board news was the annual Park Place inspection, Bill Grimm, director of Park Place, discussed with the board what he learned during the inspection.
“First off, I want to clarify, it was an annual inspection, not a complaint,” said Grimm. “Every nine to 15 months we expect someone to walk in the door and tell us they are from the state. We’ve been fortunate with our inspectors, they have been great and they ask great questions so we can get better. I wish I could say that we had a perfect survey with no concerns, but I can’t.”
According to Grimm, their environmental survey went over well and there were no concerns.
“I’m proud to say that we did well in the environmental area. There were also no concerns on the demand bill, quality assurance, adult abuse, criminal checks or medical passes. Our main areas of concern were communication,” said Grimm. “In dietary there were a couple of instances that showed a lack of communication, but nothing major.”
Overall, according to Grimm, if you look at the regulations it was a successful survey.
“We have a great staff and elders and I encourage you to walk through. When you do walk through, they will have you rolling. The stories they can tell are just worth it,” said Grimm. “When you do walk through and you see something that doesn’t seem right, let us know. It’s good to have an extra set of eyes.”
Gardner stated that occupancy at Park Place is almost full. It can house 49 residents and there are 49 residents there.
“Next up, I want to inform that board that Ron Clouse and Jan Towne are now certified trustees,” shared Gardner. “Thank you Ron and Jan for doing this.”
Towne and Clouse recently received certification from the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) Hospital Trustee Education Certification (TEC) Program during the 2014 IHA Hospital Governance Forum in West Des Moines.
CNO Jodi Geerts informed the board that registered nurse Shelly Van Dorin was chosen from over 500 nominations as one of Iowa’s top 100 nurses.
“I’ve made her face turn red a lot these past few weeks,” said Geerts. “She has contributed for many years and she does this very quietly. She doesn’t want recognition and she does what she can for our patients. We just couldn’t be prouder. It is such a great honor.”
Van Dorin said, “It is easy to excel in a place like this. It’s so warm and has such a supportive staff and I just want to say thank you.”
The Henry County Health Center Board of Trustees meet again in regular session on April 15, at 12 p.m. in the HCHC board room.