Warmer weather is almost here!! I think this year Punxsutawney Phil was correct and we only have a few more weeks of winter and we will be enjoying the warmer weather of spring!
HCHC has continued to make progress working with Henry County in the possibility of transitioning Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from HCHC to the county. In February, both the Henry County Board of Supervisors as well as the HCHC Board of Trustees approved a letter of intent to work together to develop mutually agreed upon terms related to the proposed transaction of HCHC assets and employees for Emergency Medical Services to move from HCHC to Henry County. I appreciate the approval from both governing boards on taking this step. Work has continued this last week of February. The County Supervisors had a work session and developed a list of questions for the health center to respond to. We have begun the work on responding to their questions.
In addition, we continue our advocacy efforts at the State Capitol on having EMS designated an essential service. House File 2434, introduced by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton) did survive the first funnel of this legislative season. I would like to thank Rep. Joe Mitchell for his approval of this bill in the State Government Committee and helping to move the bill to the full House for debate on the floor. This bill would greatly enhance our situation in Henry County and provide further financial support to the county for essential emergency medical services in Henry County. We need to continue to be active in our advocacy throughout this legislative session to help get this bill passed and signed into law.
February has also brought about a new world wide concern over Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). HCHC is taking active steps to ensure we are prepared to help serve the people we care for and/or may encounter. HCHC continues to receive frequent updates from the Iowa Department of Public Health and Henry County Public Health on practices that need to be implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and associates. Effective immediately, HCHC is implementing new screening questions at all patient check-in locations to determine if someone may be at risk. Those questions are:
- Do you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (i.e. cough or difficulty breathing)?
- Did you travel from an affected geographic area (China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) within 14 days of getting sick?
- Did you have close contact with a person lab confirmed to be infected with COVID -19 within 14 days of getting sick?
I appreciate your understanding and support as our staff ask these questions of you when you come to the health center for services. We are also keeping a close eye on our supply chain of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies which may become impacted by the significant reduction in production of these products in the affected countries. HCHC does not have a problem today and is working to hopefully keep those challenges from occurring locally.
I would like to take a moment to recognize our incredible leadership team, associates and medical community at the health center. Recently, the hospital had its hospital recertification survey completed by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and the state Fire Marshal. Both surveys went very well. The results of these surveys, along with a very successful survey we had for Park Place Elder Living this past fall, is a testament to the continued diligence and commitment to providing excellent care at HCHC.
Thanks again for taking the time to read our e-newsletter. Please make sure to look at the current newsletter to review the different news and events 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.