Abbott New Chief of Staff at PMC, Board Approves 2013 Budget

 

Dr. Jeff Wagner Appears in Video Screen of Remote Robotic Equipment

Dr. John Abbott was named Chief of Staff at Prowers Medical Center during Wednesday evening’s monthly board meeting, November 27.  Abbott, who is employed at High Plains Community Health Center, replaces Dr. Barry Portner in the position.  The Prowers Medical Center Board noted that information regarding Dr. Portner’s status at Prowers Medical Center may be available at a later date. 

Abbott, remarking about the willingness of the two medical facilities to work in concert, rather than in competition over the past several months, told the board his first allegiance will be to provide quality medical care to the patients of the area and he is most interested in those issues that bring the medical community together.   

The newest component for medical care at Prowers Medical Center was showcased in a brief demonstration for the board members and audience by RN Leslie Day, the Emergency Services Manager and Dr. Jeff Wagner.  Remote Presence Robotics is the latest tool in treating stroke victims.  A two way camera/speaker system connects a video screen at a stroke victim’s bedside or emergency room location to a neurologist specializing in stroke diagnosis and treatment.  The patient views the doctor’s face and the doctor can view the patient simultaneously from his computer screen directly from his hospital, allowing for a diagnosis and consultation with medical providers at the patient’s hospital.  An almost instant transfer of up to date medical information can be transmitted between health care providers.  The new equipment connects the patient with physicians faster than before, reducing or eliminating long-term stroke impacts on patients. 

 “We’ve been running a series of ‘mock strokes’ for various medical departments at the hospital to test run the apparatus,” Day told the board.  She said, “This will be a really big help for all our patients,” adding that its use is not limited only to stroke victims.  Craig Loveless, hospital CEO, noted an additional benefit to using the equipment, “One of the bigger issues will be that we’re able to provide this kind of care locally so families won’t need to travel distances for their treatment.”   

Board member, Ron Farmer, in response to a comment made by Leslie Day about giving the equipment a name, suggested a community-wide contest for the best name for the apparatus.  Board members gave approval for the hospital to award $100 in Luv or Lamar Bucks to the best submission for the equipment’s name to the hospital.  Additional details on the contest are being worked out. 

The board approved the 2013 budget and mill levy for the Prowers County Hospital District and in Prowers and Baca Counties following a public hearing.  The estimated expenditures are: General Operating Fund is at $23,635,000 and Bond and Interest Fund is at $157,000 for Total Expenditures of $23,792,000.  The estimated revenues for 2013 are in total, $23,894,000.  The mill levy for 2013 is 2.723 mills for a revenue sum of $334,122.66. 

In other action the board approved a series of eight policies for Prowers Medical Center departments as well as physician reappointments and initial appointments.  The board then voted to go into executive session to discuss legal matters with hospital attorney, John Lefferdink.  The next PMC board meeting will be held December 12 at 6pm.

By Russ Baldwin

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