Happy 2017 everyone! I hope the start to the new calendar year has treated you well. If you are like me, I look forward to having a string of days together where the sun is shining. January has been extremely mild weather-wise, just very overcast. I think we are all excited for the sunny days of spring in the near future.
For my memo this month, I thought I would give you an update on our parking lots. As I have discussed before in prior newsletters, the new Rehab-Administration parking lot is working out very well. The new surface and canopy have been very well received by our patients and families we care for. Throughout this process, we have also been assessing if we should remodel the main parking lot near the main entrance as well as the associate parking on the north side of the parking lot. We have worked on this project for a period of six months. The project included having design document drawings. The engineering firm we have been working with, French-Reneker, has done a very good job in the design work. Upon significant discussion and deliberation, it was decided not to proceed with the remodel of the main parking lot. Much of this is due to the potential cost of the project being $3.8 million. The reason for the cost is that this is a significant project covering a large portion of our campus. Even though we have held from the project at this time, we are committed to having a safe and solid parking lot surface for all of our patients, families and associates.
The month of January has also had plenty of news from both the federal and state legislative front. President Trump and his new administration, as well as Congress, have already started the ball rolling on significant change. The Affordable Care Act (ACA or otherwise known as Obamacare) will be repealed. To what level is the question that remains. We are all hopeful that when Congress does repeal the ACA that they also pass provisions for the new health care bill at the same time. Otherwise, this will create significant challenges throughout our country as well as here locally in Henry County. At the same time this is occurring, our state is faced with a revenue shortfall. Our state legislators are faced with the difficult task of balancing the state’s finances while still providing services throughout the state. The health center is hopeful that health care will see a minimal impact. The transition to managed care Medicaid this past spring has had a negative impact on HCHC as well as those who were enrolled in the program. We are continuing to speak regularly with our state legislators about the need to continue to finance mental health care for Iowans. It appears at this time, this funding will not be impacted, but I do know that this places restrictions on how our legislators work on appropriating enough dollars for the other programs and services in Iowa.
I would like to conclude by welcoming Patti Sallee to our leadership team. Patti is our new Public Health Director for Henry County. We are very excited to have Patti join our leadership team. Previously, Patti was the Public Health Director for Louisa County. She has been with HCHC since early December and has done an outstanding job so far. Patti has vast experience working with Public Health and enhancing the health of everyone in the community. She brings wonderful innovative ideas with a passion for excellence. As you get the opportunity to meet Patti, please join me in welcoming her to Henry County.
Thanks again for reading our newsletter. If you would happen to have any questions at all, please contact me or Shelley Doak here at the health center.