Spring is almost here! I bet you are like me where you are all excited to have warmer temperatures and less snow and ice. It is time for winter to end.
At the February Board of Trustees meeting, the Trustees did approve to increase the tax levy for the health center from 1.17050 to 1.61865 for fiscal year 2019. This levy increase will generate an additional $380,115 for the health center. For homeowners, the increase in the tax levy will result in approximately $25 of increased tax per year on a home that has an assessed value of $100,000. The tax levy dollars the health center will receive places the organization at an average amount of tax support that the other 41 county hospitals in the state of Iowa receive.
We have been continuing work on our strategic initiatives to enhance access to HCHC services by planning for the implementation of HCHC Rural Health Clinics as well as outpatient pharmacy initiatives. We are currently assessing, and may be bringing to the trustees soon, a recommendation to remodel the former Family Vision space for a new clinic location for our orthopedic and general surgery clinic visits. The location where our specialists are currently seeing patients will become HCHC’s Rural Health Clinic on campus. I will be providing a further update over the coming months.
Since early 2017 we have been recruiting for an OB/GYN as Dr. Robert Smith retired this past October. The recruitment of an OB/GYN to a rural community has proven challenging. We have had three interviews during that time, and at the end of January we extended an offer to a physician to join the health center. This candidate is an outstanding physician and person. He would have been a great addition to our medical community. Unfortunately, the location and opportunities for his wife in this region were not as fruitful as the area where he is currently finishing up his residency. We were very disappointed to learn of the physician’s decision as we had the entire Mt. Pleasant community assist us with his recruitment. He felt this was a great practice opportunity; however, it just didn’t fit right for his wife’s career. I respect his decision and would like to wish him and his wife the very best. They both will make a difference wherever they are at.
We discussed at the February Board of Trustees meeting that we will be using the month of March to review our OB program, the provider search and come back with the Trustees at their March meeting with further follow-up about the program. What I would like to make sure everyone knows is that we are, and will continue to provide, outstanding women’s health and obstetrical care here at the health center. Certified Nurse-Midwives Kari Payne, CNM, and Kendra Bonnesen CNM, FNP, HCHC’s OB and surgical nurses, HCHC’s CRNA’s and our locum OB/GYN physicians continue to work tremendously together to provide an outstanding experience and the highest quality of care for the families we care for. Thank you all for your commitment and service in caring for our patients.
Thanks again for taking the time to read our e-newsletter. Please make sure to look at the current newsletter to review the different events that will be occurring here at the health center that you may find benefit from. As always, I hope you find it informative and helpful for your health care. If you should happen to have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelley Doak or myself and we will be happy to follow up with you.