New PMC Board, Hospital Donates to LCC, Expansion Project Reviewed


PMC Board Members Connie Brase, Julie Branes, Matt Snyder, Ron Farmer & Kevin McGrath

PMC Board Members Connie Brase, Julie Branes, Matt Snyder, Ron Farmer & Kevin McGrath

Julie Branes was elected Chairman of the Prowers Medical Center Board of Directors Wednesday, May 28.  She is replacing former chairperson Candy Ruedeman who did not seek re-election as she and her husband are moving from the area.  Ron Farmer was voted Vice-Chair and new member, Connie Brase as Secretary-Treasurer & Recording Secretary.  Brase and Matt Snyder were administered the oath of office as incoming board members, while Branes and Kevin McGrath renewed their oaths which were administered by Prowers County Clerk & Recorder, Jana Coen.

Matt Snyder & Connie Brase

Matt Snyder & Connie Brase

Prowers Medical Center made a $5,000 donation to Lamar Community College.  Anne Marie Crampton, LCC Foundation Director, said the funds will help contribute to a teaching position for the college’s nursing faculty.  She added that the college and PMC have had a long relationship regarding the hospital’s nursing staff and the nursing faculty at LCC and the donation is an indication of the hospital’s continuing support in local education.

LCC Representatives, Anne Marie Crampton, John Marrin LCC President, Kathy Henderson-Dir. of LCC Nursing Program, PMC-Candy Ruedeman & Julie Branes

LCC Representatives, Anne Marie Crampton, John Marrin LCC President, Kathy Henderson-Dir. of LCC Nursing Program, PMC-Candy Ruedeman & Julie Branes

Several contracts leases were approved for chemical analysis equipment.  One contract extension, to 2017, will result in a shortfall savings to the hospital of $36,000.  Another machine will be new to PMC services which will dramatically reduce the time spent on patient test results.  Chief of Staff, Dr. George Kunhardt, told the board the testing unit will reduce waiting times from 48 hours down to two or three hours, resulting in quicker treatment for patients.  Chief Executive Officer, Craig Loveless stated that this will be another feature from which the hospital can achieve more locally based treatment for patients.

The discussion of finances turned to the pending upgrades at the hospital, based on a $10M bond resolution being proposed to improve facilities at Prowers Medical Center.  Loveless said additional work on finances is continuing before the resolution vote comes before the board.  Board members reiterated that the financing will not require any kind of tax increase to hospital district residents or a general vote to approve the revenue bonds.

Chief Financial Officer, Audrey Kane, said the four areas to be upgraded are the rehabilitation center, expanded with an additional 2,500 feet, added to the current 2,600; the emergency room will be expanded by 4,700 square feet, added to 2,600 sq.ft.  Other improvements include more security and privacy, plus additional treatment rooms.  At present, admissions to the ER are conducted in the open foyer, just outside the treatment rooms.  Another added improvement will be a private patient hallway with direct access from the ER to the operating room.  Surgery will gain an additional 4,900 square feet, plus extra operating facilities, new equipment purchases will be around $1M and the forty year old HVAC system, the most important feature of the project, will be replaced.  Loveless said the boiler required several additional parts for a repair project earlier this month.  The HVAC improvements will cover 68,000 square feet and the upgrades are mandated by hospital regulation.  The projected cost is $9,335,661 and an analysis shows the payback on the four areas to range between five to thirteen years for the four areas.  Construction will take approximately 18 months and the hospital will continue to function in all departments while the work is underway.

Two June events were discussed by the board.  The hospital is calling on various community members to help facilitate a weeklong visit, June 16-20, by medical students from the University of Colorado-Denver.  The students, who are in the early to mid 20’s, have expressed interest in future medical practices in rural areas.  Several events have been planned through the week in Lamar which will focus more on a rural lifestyle than medically oriented discussions at PMC.  Details for a visit from author Joe Tye the week of June 23rd are still underway.  Tye will facilitate several motivational talks as well as a hospital management retreat.  Some of the activities are being planned for the community as well.  In other action, board chairman, Julie Branes, said she will attend monthly meetings conducted by the PMC Foundation, charged with implementing fund raising efforts for the hospital.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEmploymentEnergyFeaturedHealthLamarProwers CountyUtilities


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