Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - October 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
HCHD Board Discusses Project Updates
Houston County Courier - October 2008
By Sharron Randall
ETMC-Crockett, C.O. Murray Community Clinic and the Resident-Student Housing updates were discussed at Tuesday, Oct. 14 Houston County Hospital District's regular board meeting. In the absence of Dr. Patrick Walker, the Surgery Center update was postponed until next month's meeting.
ETMC Administrator Terry Cutler reported on the national nursing crisis that affects Crockett. He said that recruiting in Canada had not brought much success so the hospital is now looking in the Philippines.
Cutler also expressed concern about the increase in emergency room visits and attributed the rising usage to the "economy" or the "season," saying it's "not unusual for this time of year." Most ER patients seem to be the "uninsured or underinsured."
This discussion turned to the subject of the generator failure at the hospital caused by Hurricane Ike. Cutler said that we may never be in such "dire straits" again, but he alerted the board to be thinking about what could be done about controlling the environment for chronic ventilator, oxygen, and nebulizer users who lose electric power and come to the hospital.
Dr. Richard Kelly suggested that the board considers contacting FEMA, ORCA the Red Cross or a local agency about purchasing community generators for emergencies such as Ike through grant writing.
However, Dr. John Stovall asked if it would be beneficial to ask County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Director David Lamb to speak at the next board meeting. Dr. Ray Morrison volunteered to ask Lamb to speak on the subject at the November meeting.
Dr. Kelly gave the board members an update on the C.O. Murray Community Clinic. He said he had written many prescriptions for generators.
The clinic is also seeing more people suffering from colds or the flu or had dental problems Dr. Kelly said. He stated that doctors really want to see those patients with hypertension or diabetes before they have a stroke or heart attack.
Dr. Kelly said that the clinic's purpose is to save the hospital and the area a "lot of money." He hopes to get many of the medical supplies free.
Dr. Morrison reported on the residential housing that is proposed for visiting nurses and medical students. He showed an architect's drawing of a 2,288 square foot facility, four bedrooms, two baths and a kitchen that he said was "well conceived" and would be "well constructed."
His question to Cutler was "Where will it be placed?" Cutler replied that he would have an answer within the next two weeks. Dr. Morrison got the board's permission to put out bids on the project.
The board unanimously approved the September meeting minutes and financial report. Jessie Stephens' 2007 annual audit presentation was postponed until next month.