PMC Set for VA Care Provider on July 1

James Fairchild, Prowers Medical Center Executive Officer, informed the hospital board of directors, the transition to becoming the area Veteran’s Administration primary care provider should be complete by July 1.  The move will consolidate the Convenient Care Clinic, the VA outpatient clinic and the Lamar Medical Clinic, all operating as a Rural Health Clinic.  Fairchild said there are 600 veterans in the county  who can receive care, and as many as 2,000 veterans within a seven county area, in Baca, Bent, Prowers and Kiowa counties in Colorado and Greeley, Hamilton and Johnson counties in Kansas.  The clinic is being physically upgraded to accommodate the influx of new patients.  Prowers Medical Center will be required to apply for the VA contract after six months, in November and Fairchild said the application would be for three, one-year contracts thereafter. 

Along with the clinic upgrade, the ceo said the hospital will also see various physical improvements through the summer, from new flooring in the kitchen, to repainting the cafeteria, and an assortment of rooms and clinics.  “We have the funds on hand to make these improvements, which will improve the overall health and comfort for the patients and staff,” he said.  Fairchild said the hospital’s x-ray suite is being remodeled to accommodate the upgrade to digital computer readings and work is continuing on the new MRI suite which will operate seven days a week at PMC, not just on Saturdays, when a unit was transported on site to the hospital.  When asked by board member Candy Ruedeman if there was sufficient staff to operate the equipment so patients need not be sent to the Front Range for treatment, Fairchild responded that an in-house training program will have local staff up to speed on a rotating basis. 

Board members approved the requests for financial aid for training from two hospital employees, Miranda Foster and Megan Ausbun.  In return, both employees will sign contracts for a several year commitment to remain with Prowers Medical Center. 

The credential applications for four medical providers were approved including the new PMC mid-wife, Sharon Hendricks, CNM and Family Nurse Practitioner.  The timing of the voting was objected to by board member Marge Campbell, who at the conclusion of the meeting, stated that she was not provided sufficient time to study the applications so as to allow her to make an informed vote. 

Karen Bryant, chief operating officer said the PMC Auxilliary membership is declining and the current president is withdrawing from office due to a conflicting schedule.  Auxilliary members contribute to the hospital in several areas, essentially running the hospital gift shop.  Lack of sufficient volunteers has caused the shop to be closed during some normal business hours through the week.  The hospital and auxiliary will begin a membership drive in the near future. 

May was a good financial month for Prowers Medical Center.  Chief financial officer, Randy Nightengale presented his final monthly report to the board, as he has accepted another position with a QHR affiliated hospital in Montana.  Audrey Kane, employed in the hospital accounting department, will serve as the interim CFO while a search for a permanent replacement is underway.  May had a net income of $368,377 against a projected budget of $225,440.  Net patient revenues are $1,977,102 which is $38,285 more than budget.  May expenses were $1,860,059 against budgeted expenses of $2,077,866.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: HealthLamar


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