Support Local Journalism

The Bear Lake Memorial Hospital Board held its monthly meeting on May 25. All board members were present either in person or by phone with the exception of Commissioner Vaughn Rasmussen.

Chairman Cordell Passey called the meeting to order. There was no new business to be heard.

In old business, board rounding was done, and Maxine Matthews reported she visited with Angel DeClark. Angel said a lot of nurses are interested in working and she is actually having a problem figuring out where to put them until the new emergency department's needs are known. They are still trying to get the new labor and delivery room finished as well. In acute care, they are still fluctuating from one to ten patients and it gets hectic at times.

The People's Choice Award Nominees for the month of May were Frances Cook and Dawn Wright. Those mentioned for their years of service were Betsy Beck (10 years), Abby Christensen (5 years), and Mindi Ward (5 years).

Leslie Crane reported on the financials indicating the overall income for the month was $16,000. She said business in the month of April dropped off as well as expenses. AR days were down to 66 and they have been working hard to get those down. The financial report was then approved.

Kami of DZA reported on the financial indicators. She said the audit went really well this year, especially considering COVID-19. Chairman Passey said the audit report looks good from a financial standpoint. The audit was then approved.

CEO Blauer then reported on the Strategic Plan. He said that they will look at another Townhall Meeting in a month or two. Tracy Park and others are learning about the expectations of the Value Care Organization they recently joined, per a state requirement. After some recent meetings Tracy has reported that he feels the hospital picked a good partner that knows what they are doing.

Mike Blauer also reported that the new emergency department space has been pretty well received and they are still tweaking it. The MRI is up and running and is going well. A big deal has been the paving outside; however, the weather has hindered it. They want to get it done before Memorial Day and hope to do so, but may need to wait in order to get it done right. They will then continue to demo for the imaging space and then move to labor and delivery in the next week or two. Once they move imaging out of its current location, they are kicking around some ideas with the architect as to what to do with that area. They have some options for the future.

Dr. Richens starts on June 14. Dr. Parkinson, the urologist, will be coming to the hospital once a week on Tuesdays starting in mid-June. Glen Welker starts next week working with Dr. Jeppson. The board wants to thank Joe Dayton for his many years of service. He has done a lot of good things and they want to wish him the best.

Lott Crockett gave the Foundation report. She said that they raised $731,000 for the MRI suite and the emergency department. The snowball Dance was changed this year to focus on spreading cheer throughout the community. They delivered over 700 treats throughout the community. They figured they have received donations for three years, so this year they would give back a small donation.

She reported the Ultimate Bear Laker is going strong and there is a lot of excitement around the prize drawing each week. Trivia Night just happened on May 14 and it was a lot of fun with huge support. CEO Blauer said he was impressed with all the events. There has been good interest from the beginning. There are a lot of great prizes, a lot of which have been donated. He said how grateful he is for Lott, who covered for Tracy Park this month.

Emily Transtrum reported on the Safety and Quality Committee. Rhonda Vonseggern has been filling in for Mindi Ward while she is out, and it has been going well. They are working with a consultant for the MDS position. In April, the falls and infections were up; there were five infections and eight falls. Three were the same resident, but they put in some interventions. So far there have not been any falls in the month of May, so they feel good about the interventions. There were only five medication errors in the month of April, which is 0.03 percent out of 16,000. They are focusing on the swing bed program. In March, they started meeting as an Inter-disciplinary Team (IDT) to improve communication and overall swing bed and patient care before they go home.

In the Committee Reports, Chairman Passey gave a recommendation to make a budget adjustment of about $70,000. This was approved by the board.

Bad debt was approved in the amount of $18,845.56.

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

CEO Blauer then gave the Management Update. He reported that the COVID-19 situation has settled down in the community the past month. In the past week or two the hospital averaged four to five COVID-19 tests per day. They did have someone with COVID admitted recently. However, he feels not everyone is getting tested who has COVID. Recent CDC guidelines say you can stop wearing masks if you have been vaccinated, with the exception of some settings, including healthcare facilities. He recommends that people still wear masks and keep screening and take precautions.

CEO Blauer reported that people can still make appointments for vaccinations. Dr. Campbell's staff is still doing clinics, although it has tapered off. He is hoping that next month people can start going to their regular doctor's appointments and get vaccinations.

He mentioned the fact that Montpelier received the Block Grant and he is excited for the City. He said that part of the hospital's mission is that they play a key role in the economic development of the area, and the hospital helped fund the application process.

He then mentioned that they have made an offer to an Arel Hunt from Cheyenne, Wyo., who is interested in coming back to this region. He is originally from Star Valley and wants to get out of the military and bring his family here. He will be starting the middle of next month.

Dr. Meissner said she is excited to have Dr. Richins, Dr. Parkinson, and Glen Welker join them. She said she appreciates everyone's hard work and her med staff.

Emily Transtrum thanked CEO Blauer for going out of his way to thank the EMTs. She said it was nice of him to notice and acknowledge them for their service.

Maxine Matthews mentioned she was a "guinea pig" for the new MRI machine. She said that during the testing period for the machine it was rather cold and that they will offer you a warm blanket if you want one.

The meeting then went into Executive Session on a personnel issue. There were no decisions made in that session.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.

Recommended for you