Posted 1 year ago

By Post Staff

One of the most successful education programs for Box Butte General Hospital (BBGH) and the community continues to be supported by the BBGH Board of Trustees after they unanimously voted to approve $5,000 for BBGH college and high school scholarships and $5,000 for Box Butte Health Foundation (BBHF) college scholarships. The latter has to be ratified by the BBHF Board of Directors at their next meeting.

Prior to voting on the request, BBGH Chief Nursing Officer Jane McConkey said the program has been successful in retaining and recruiting area high school and college students seeking careers in health care. “Scholarship recipients are required to shadow at BBGH a minimum of 16 hours per year to retain their scholarship status for the second semester,” she said. “By doing so many of them stay within the community after graduation. This education program has been a great success over the years we’ve offered it.”

BBGH $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to college students, with winning high school students receiving $500 scholarships. BBHF scholarships for winning college applicants are $1,000 each.

Applications are now open and the application/recommendation form can be found by clicking on a link located on home page. The linked to page has detailed information about the program and eligibility requirements. The application/recommendation form is in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Applicants and those people completing recommendations for the applicants must fill out the required fields (highlighted in blue), print, sign and mail to the address provided below. Applicants are required to have three recommendations from different individuals. Hardcopy applications and recommendation forms can also be obtained by requesting them from the BBGH Educational Support Council, Tammy Griffee Administrative Assistant, Box Butte General Hospital, 2101 Box Butte Ave., Alliance, NE 69301.

Applications and recommendations must be postmarked no later than March 28, 2014.

The board also conducted the following business.

Recognized Amy Neilson as the February Employee of the Month and Joni Sautter as the 2013 Employee of the Year. Also recognized were Breyona Hooton, Diagnostic Imaging, for her successful completion of Radiographer boards and license; Gail Burke, Laboratory Manager for winning the National Custom Learning Systems DOIT Super Coach Summit Award presented at a recent CLS Service Excellence conference held in Las Vegas. The hospital also garnered first place for its “Team Bragging Video” entry at the same conference. New employees were also recognized: Robert Long, Maintenance Tech; Jeanna Schultz, Environmental Services; Chelsea McDonald, Greeter, Admissions; and Sherri Alvardo-Stackenwalt, Patient Finance Assistant.

After unanimously approving the consent calendar, the board heard from Box Butte Public Transportation Director Joni Kusek. She was present to request continued financial support of the program from BBGH. Ms. Kusek presented statistics illustrating the activity of the county’s public transportation agency, including miles driven; total boardings and a breakdown of how many of those boardings were medical transports. She also mentioned an increase in the number of transports between Hemingford and Alliance. Asked to provide a breakdown of where financial support comes from for public transportation, Ms. Kusek said approximately $54,000 comes from Box Butte County, $15,000 from BBGH, another $5,000 from local matches, which vary year to year, plus revenue from transports. She requested BBGH help fund Box Butte Public Transportation at the same level as last year: $15,000. The trustees unanimously approved the request.

BBGH Safety Officer James Koeteman was present to bring the trustees up-to-date on the hospital’s Hazardous Vulnerability Assessment (HVA), as determined by a 12 member Safety Council comprised of BBGH leadership and front line staff members. The HVA is an annual report required by the Joint Commission and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NHHS). The Joint Commission requires Critical Access Hospitals such as BBGH to conduct a HVA to identify potential emergencies that could affect demand for services, or its ability to provide services. NHHS emergency planning funds in the amount of $4,000 a year are also dependent on annual HVA reports. A HVA is conducted by senior leadership and front line staff members to review annual Emergency Management (EM) plans; evaluation of response exercises; determine which EM improvements will be priority; and that the CAH effectively manages its programs, services, sites and departments. Mr. Koeteman then gave a review of HVA evaluation categories: Probability; Response; Human Impact; Property; Business Impact; Preparedness; Internal Resources; and External Resources. HVA Human Scoring is determined on a scale from 0-3, with 0 no impact; 1 limited impact; 2 substantial impact; and 3 major impact. HVA Property-Business scoring uses the same scale. HVA Preparedness-Response reverses the scale, with 1 indicating the facility is prepared with adequate resources; 2 indicating there is preplanning, but resources would be taxed and minimal community resources available, and 3 indicating no preplanning, training is weak and no internal or external resources are available. He then reviewed the findings of the Safety Committee for external events ranging from severe thunderstorm and tornado events to blizzard/ice storm and wildfire events. Also evaluated were internal events (flooding, electrical failure, IT failure, chemical exposures, hasmat exposures etc.).

Special Services Director Mary Mockerman’s monthly Quality Management and Safety report focused on 2013 employee work injuries; current regional influenza activity, campus falls from January 2014 to date; and the facilities new Online Occurrence Reporting system. She said a total of 30 injuries were reported in 2013, with 11 of the 30 incidents requiring OSHA notification. The number of reported incidents has been consistent in recent years, but the number of lost time incidents were fewer this year with just four reported. Influenza reports are slowly declining, going from wide-spread to regional two weeks ago. She said if trends continue she will recommend to the Infection Control Committee to drop the current visitation restrictions, and stop requiring masks to be worn by staff who were not immunized. As far as campus falls recorded so far in 2014, she reported incidents have increased this year, mostly due to weather factors (e.g. snow, ice). She stressed that only one fall was by a patient in the Patient Care Unit, indicating the newly instituted Capture Falls program is having a positive effect in that category. Ms. Mockerman concluded by updating the trustees on the Online Occurrence Reporting, moving from a paper reporting system to electronic. A number of advantages and benefits were mentioned, ranging from saving time in looking for forms to keeping track of hardcopy reports filed.

Lori Mazanec, COO, presented the January financial report. The report was unanimously accepted by the trustees.

Dan Griess, CEO, went over the latest construction “three week look ahead” report provided by Beckenhauer Construction. Mr. Griess pointed out that cement work is lagging due to the cold temperatures, but that weather forecasts are indicating more favorable weather is coming which will allow construction cement crews to catch up. Tracy Jatczak, CFO, updated the board on progress with the County Commissioners to complete the required paperwork for the issuing of $8 million General Obligation Bonds. She reported the last revision of the document has been received and that a final request for approval by the County Commissioners will be presented this week. After approval, the bond issue will be presented to investors. Mr. Griess said the firm hired by the hospital to help with the new addition/renovation finances has indicated they believe there will be a strong demand for the bonds, which should drive down interest costs if realized. He added that the final touches for the design of the addition should be finished Tuesday, and go out for printing that day orWednesday. Construction engineers spent an extra week going over the 300 page plan “with a fine tooth comb” to reduce the chance of change orders being needed during construction. Change orders can be costly and cause delays.

After unanimously approving all credentialing requests, the board adjourned the meeting at 8:26pm. The next board meeting will be held Monday, March 24 at 7:00pm in the Alliance Room. As always, the public is invited to attend.