RDH board appoints Rich to fill vacancy

RANGELY – Two community members submitted applications: Linda Berry and Jack Rich. Berry has been in nursing most of her life, filling positions from floor nurse to management and founding the patient’s advocacy organization in the Rangely area that aids low income or uninsured persons to get medical aid. Rich has a strong background in business management, having run an oil field contracting firm in this area for a number of years.
After a discussion period in executive session, the board selected Jack Rich to fill the seat but invited Berry to run for one of the positions that will be on the ballot later this spring, citing what her background and expertise would do for the board.
After the monthly financial report, hospital Chief Financial Officer Matt Heyn surprised the organization by submitting his resignation. He has accepted a position with Central Kansas Medical Inc., located in Great Bend. This company runs two hospitals in that area and he will be CFO for the operation. Heyn stated that this would be a large promotion and bring him closer to his extended family. His last day at the hospital will be April 11. He starts in Kansas two weeks later.
In other business, cost overruns in the remodeling project were explained by CEO Jason McCormick. The upgrades increased from the original projection of $30,000 to $176,000 because of the major change of functionality levels of the areas being renovated. These rooms will now have more services and be better suited as secondary treatment areas for the ER department.
Other renovations to the infrastructure are continuing as well, most notably the IT system upgrade and the arrival of a new chiller unit for the air conditioning system to replace the existing original unit that is now 50 years old and long outmoded.
A discussion concerning the definition of terms in the hospital’s incentive bonus plan led to some modifications. The plan will now be on a graduated scale with the base minimum of 3 percent still in place but will rise to 5 percent if set criteria are surpassed.
Approval was given to purchase and install new data control programs in the clinic to help streamline insurance reporting and billing for patients.
In a report from CEBT, the hospital employee’s medical plan, costs increased 26 percent in 2007 and negotiations are underway to find ways of reducing these costs before passing them along to the employees in the form of higher premiums.
In community news, a $1,500 grant was presented to the Rangely school district by the board for the purchase of a portable heart defibrillator for one of the schools. The district has already purchased one unit and Pioneer Energy is donating a second unit. This will allow a unit to be placed in each area school.
Donations to Rowdy Worm, the upcoming children’s health fair and a sponsorship banner at the baseball field were also approved.