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Bear Lake Memorial Hospital held its monthly board meeting Tuesday, April 27. All members of the board were present.

In the Education portion of the meeting, CEO Mike Blauer gave a video presentation on Governance: Fundamental Board/Trustee Responsibilities.

In Board Rounding, Emily Transtrum shared that she met with Jen Peterson in Central Supply who is in a new role and says she is adjusting very well. Lila Rigby met with the Home Health Department which is getting along well and is working on values at this time. Cheryl Beck met with Dr. Crane who said he is very pleased with how things are going and that he is very impressed with CEO Blauer. Gary Griffin met with the x-ray and respiratory therapy departments, specifically Jared Farmer who spoke of the Sleep Lab which needs a new assistant. He also spoke of the ventilators they had received and how happy he is not to have had to use them. Mr. Griffin also mentioned that the width of the ER treatment doors need to be wider. CEO Blauer said he will check into it.

The People’s Choice Award Nominees for April were Oliver Bunderson, Bryson Grose, Trudy Pugmire, and Larae Romrell. Those recognized for their years of service were Jeanette Christensen (10 years) and Ryki Kunz (10 years).

Leslie Crane gave the Financial Report indicating that the year to date loss was $440,000. She also indicated that the office staff has brought AR days down to 68.

CEO Blauer then reported on the Strategic plan. He said the Wellness Program is still moving forward. They would be having the Department Head Retreat the next day. The Volunteer Banquet is scheduled to take place in June. The hospital needs to make a decision on which Value Care Organizations (VCO) to go with, and they are leaning towards one out of Northern Idaho.

As far as the construction work on the hospital, they have been working on the MRI for weeks and it should be ready for use May 3. It will be open to the public May 10.

In the next phase, they will be starting work on the south of the building to do demolition and remodeling. The second phase should be finished in October. They are also contemplating what to do with the space that will be vacated by imaging across from the kitchen. There have been meeting with the architect regarding this.

Dr. Richens is planning on arriving in June. Dr. Parkinson, the urologist, will also start seeing patients in June. He will be working when Dr. Jeppson is not in the office. Physician Assistant Joe Dayton will be leaving the end of May and Glen Welker will be taking his place.

In giving the Foundation Report, Tracy Park mentioned the Ultimate Bear Laker raffle kick-off and the fact that the first drawing is this week. He also reported the Allinger Park Fund had a project come to them as a board. This is a separate fund left to the board by Jack and Ruth Allinger and they had a project for improvements for the playing fields to replace the dirt with “diamond dust.”

Emily Transtrum then gave the report from the Safety and Quality Committee reporting that the nursing home medication errors for the month of March were down to four and they only had one Level 1 fall. They were able to lower the person to the floor so there were no injuries. They are working on a couple of goals, one of which has to do with ensuring appropriate observation of patients with suicide ideation. They are also working on improving charts and records.

The board approved bad debt for the month of March, reported by Craig Culver, in the amount of $19,047.54.

Secretary Maxine Matthews reported there were nine applicants recommended this year for scholarships. They came to a final decision on five recipients who will receive $500 each: two from Bear Lake County, two from Rich County, and one from Cokeville. They will not disclose the names until they are presented in a few months.

Credentialing was then recommended and approved based on medical staff review.

CEO Blauer gave the Management Update reporting on the COVID-19 situation. He said the cases and number of tests have been lower over the past month. People are not getting tested as predicted. The hospital has not had anyone admitted with COVID in a while. They are continuing to screen, especially in the nursing home due to CMS regulations. They had a vaccination clinic with Broulim’s a couple of weeks ago at the Jericho Gym and didn’t have the demand they had hoped for. It was open to everyone ages 16 and over and they only did about 200 vaccines. He feels they were more successful when they scheduled people. He also feels the people who have wanted to get vaccinated have already done so. The hospital has plenty of vaccines, so they are offering them to employees and others. The staff that have worked with Dr. Campbell and with Anya Anthony are taking the lead in providing vaccines on the BLMH campus and they are doing a great job scheduling and providing those vaccinations.

In Board Rounding, Commissioner Vaughn Rasmussen reported that as of that day there were seven active COVID-19 cases in Bear Lake County. Those people may not be living in Bear Lake but may have residences here. The public dashboard indicates that there are currently three people with Bear Lake County addresses who are admitted to the hospital, although they are not in Bear Lake Memorial Hospital.

Gary Griffin mentioned how much he appreciates CEO Blauer and his feedback.

Craig Culver mentioned the diamond dust material will be put on three other fields and then the other two smaller fields as well. The City of Montpelier is matching as well and will do the two fields at the City park and then take the best of the white pumice and put it at the Adams Field.

Lila Rigby mentioned that May 9 through 15 is Healthcare Workers Week and she appreciates them and hopes they know that. She also appreciates the opportunity to work on the scholarship committee and the efforts of the students who work so hard for the scholarships.

Chairman Passey said he appreciates the staff and their efforts. He also appreciates the department heads and their willingness to get together and do the retreat coming up the next day.

CEO Blauer said he recognizes the Foundation and their willingness to get involved in events and funding for the parks.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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