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July ’19 Message from the CEO

Shelley Doak | July 31st, 2019

Greetings everyone.  I hope you have had an enjoyable summer thus far.


I am happy to report we have now completed our work on the parking lot renovation for the summer.  I would like to thank Jones Contracting, Kinney & Sons and French Reneker engineering for their great work on this project.  Thank you to everyone for your patience while we completed the work during the months of May and June.


The health center has also continued with further planning to update its inpatient/outpatient pharmacy, central sterile services and renovation to the 2000 medical office suite.  The design development phase of the design process has been complete and was taken to the Board of Trustees for review and approval to move onto the construction design phase.  The cost of the renovation project at the end of design development is nearly $4 million.  This would be a significant project.  Why is the health center investing time/resources into this project?  The renovation of pharmacy and central sterile are essential in order to comply with upcoming new regulations in these areas in the very near future.  Many hospitals in the state of Iowa are modifying the layout and infrastructure of their pharmacies to be able to provide these services.  Without upgrading with these new renovations to these two key areas, the health center would no longer be able to provide such services as chemotherapy treatment or surgical services in the coming years.  These investments are necessary for the continuation of our high quality and compassionate services we provide today.  Our hope will be to take the overall project to the Board of Trustees for consideration to go out for potential bids on the project in the month of August.


Each year, the Iowa Hospital Association does an economic impact study for each Iowa hospital as well as the economic impact of all Iowa hospitals.  This past year the study revealed Henry County Health Center generates 428 jobs that add $22,454,962 to Henry County’s economy.  In addition, Henry County Health Center associates by themselves spend $5,462,368 on retail sales and contribute $327,742 in state sales tax revenue.  The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector. The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.  The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 76,203 people and create another 64,453 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.7 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.  The study confirms how valuable and essential Henry County Health Center is for our local economy.  Having a high quality health center in our community is also important when recruiting business, industry and new families to our area. All of these things help move our local economy forward in a positive direction.


At the July 30th, 2019, HCHC Board of Trustee meeting, the board approved the establishment of a planning committee, in collaboration with Jefferson County Ambulance Agency, to further explore the possibility of moving the current Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to a new regional service.  Earlier this calendar year, HCHC and Jefferson County Ambulance Agency collaboratively retained the services of a consultant to determine feasibility of a regional Emergency Medical Service. The next step is to form a planning committee to start working through the details and requirements of a potential new service to serve the two counties.


Currently in Henry County, EMS is a department of HCHC. In Jefferson County, the ambulance service is managed by the Jefferson County Ambulance Agency, a board made up of three governing bodies including the Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) Board, Fairfield City Council, and the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors. Due to the current EMS climate in Iowa, EMS must seek ways to be more efficient and effective in the services they provide. Increased government regulations, declining reimbursement for services, staffing issues, and rising costs associated with EMS are just a few challenges that EMS faces. This committee will consider the possibility of forming a regional service with a goal of strengthening EMS for area residents of both counties, EMS staff and the two health centers.


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.