CEO recruitment efforts continue
by Samantha White
Harney District Hospital (HDH) Development Coordinator Denise Rose began the regularly-scheduled meeting of the Harney County Health District Board of Directors (held Jan. 28) by presenting a video.
She explained that the video, which was produced by Evan Franulovich of eFrog Productions LLC, will primarily be used for physician recruitment.
“We were thrilled by the results,” Rose said concerning the video.
“It’s very professional, and it hits all the right notes,” HDH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Bishop added.
The video can be viewed on the hospital’s website at: http://www.harneydh.com/Image-Asset/assets/Harney%20District%20Hospital%20-%20ipad.mp4
Board chair Dan Brown provided an update concerning the CEO recruitment committee. The purpose of the committee is find a replacement for Bishop, who will retire in August.
Brown said 35 resumes had been received, and initial candidate screening began via videoconferencing.
“The process appears to be going well,” Brown said regarding CEO recruitment efforts. “Qualified candidates find this an attractive opportunity. I think it’s a compliment to the hospital, and particularly, employees and administration.”
Eric Buckland is assisting with the recruitment efforts. However, Bishop said he and HDH Chief Financial Officer Catherine White recommend eliminating a few items from his proposed contract, as these duties could be completed by the board and/or committee.
The board agreed to have Bishop present a modification of the contract proposal to Buckland.
“I don’t anticipate this being a difficult discussion,” Bishop said.
Board member Shana Withee complimented the committee on its ability to recruit qualified candidates while saving money.
During the public comment period, Cecil Dick stated that Harney County’s rural communities should have been included in the recruitment video.
Dick also expressed concern about wait times in the emergency room.
He reported that, although they were told someone would be right with them, he and his wife waited several hours after checking in at the emergency room on Jan. 4. Dick acknowledged that the emergency room was busy that day, but said he felt someone should have checked on them. He added that his comment was not a complaint, but a suggestion for improving service.
Bishop apologized for the bad experience, and Rose ensured that their medical need was met. HDH Chief Operating Officer/ Chief Nursing Officer Barb Chambers said she would follow up, and Brown thanked Dick for his comments.
Clinic Manager Stacie Rothwell provided an update regarding HDH Family Care.
Rothwell reported that the clinic served 1,603 patients in December 2014, an increase of 409 patients from the previous month.
“We have been very busy with a lot of sick patients, but not the usual flu season traffic in the clinic to date,” Rothwell reported. “We are ready for flu season to start at any given time.”
She also reported that Dr. Heidi Vanyo was interviewed for a primary care physician position during the first week of January, and an offer was extended for her employment. If she accepts the offer, she will begin in May or June.
Rothwell said the clinic is in the process of obtaining credentialing for Dr. Henry Elder, a Canby-based psychiatrist, to provide services through videoconferencing.
Board member Tim Smith expressed concern regarding remote evaluation.
Rothwell replied that patients would be carefully selected for the service, adding that some may need to be referred to providers outside of Harney County for in-person assistance.
Bishop said the video conferencing services will be implemented on a trial basis.
Chambers reported that Dr. Jeffrey Mathisen, a general surgeon at HDH, is “making a huge impact” in the hospital’s surgical services.
She added that physical therapist Kris Sanders recently became certified in the “McKenzie Method” and can now offer this service to patients.
Chambers also reported that two, full-time nurses and an ultrasound technician have been added to the staff, and the first meeting of the patient advisory council went well.
In other business:
• Board secretary Susan Doverspike provided the finance committee report via email.
• The board discussed the quality and patient safety committee report.
Chambers said an “exceedingly low” number of medication errors were made, and she’s “very proud of that.” She explained that only about four errors were made in a one-year period.
• The board held its retreat Jan. 23 to work on strategic planning.
Board member Ann Vloedman said the board still needs to complete its self assessment. This will be discussed during the next board meeting.
• HDH Health Information Services Coordinator Toni Siegner said Amy Dobson is teaching a program to help pre-diabetic patients make lifestyle changes. She also reported that Kristen Gregg set up a children’s reading corner.
• White provided an overview of the profitability of the cataract surgery program.
• Rose updated the board regarding recruitment efforts and application statistics.
• HDH Human Resources Manager Sammie Masterson provided 2014 statistics concerning the average staff age (44.3 years) and longevity (6.5 years). The hospital’s doctors makeup the youngest age demographic (38.3 years).
• The board reviewed policies 100.040 “Duties of the Treasurer,” 100.045 “Duties of the Secretary,” and 100.050 “Duties of the Clerk” and approved them without changes.
• The board granted medical staff privileges to Drs. Susana Samaniego, Meredith Baker and Brigit Hatch and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Chris Siegner.
The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the hospital board conference room.