From the HCHC Board Meeting

The HCHC Board of Trustees met in regular session Tuesday.  The board approved leasing a new vehicle for EMS.  There are four ambulances in the fleet. Every two to three years one is replaced and the lease can be bought out at any time. This time instead of leasing a vehicle to be used as a critical care ambulance, they plan to acquire a transport vehicle.  About one third of EMS calls are for transport.  A transport vehicle can be a cost savings costing about $140,000 instead of $235,000 to $250,000 for a critical care ambulance.

The Trustees received a construction update.  Current work in the hospital is still on track for November completion. The south parking lot paving will be done after this week and the crew will move to the north lot finishing in mid September.  The next phase, next year, will include finishing the south parking lot.  A fifth year will be added to the original four year project in order to better plan finances.  The associates’ lot will be finished in the final year.

September 10 the hospital will open bids for the next infrastructure project.  Work will involve replacing chillers, cooling towers and the 1968 addition’s  air handler.  Estimated cost is $2.55 million.

Financial officer Dave Muhs reported that HCHC finances, even with COVID-19 expenses, will be close to last year’s. He said there has been alot of volume from the clinics and OB outpatient services. He didn’t have results from the recent audit due to the added work to include CARES Act money. The laundry dryers need replaced at a cost of about $20,000. COVID financial assistance can be used to help pay for the unbudgeted amount.  Due to the virus the dryers have been used so much more causing the break-down.

CEO Robb Gardner asked the Trustees to help encourage the wearing of masks in public due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases in Southeast Iowa.  He also commented that this pandemic will create societal and cultural change world-wide. The question for HCHC will be how does the hospital need to change and adapt going forward.