The first phase of construction for the Texas County Memorial Hospital expansion and renovation project should begin in May, hospital board members heard at their monthly meeting last week.

“I am pleased to announce that the state has approved our hospital construction plans,” said Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH.

The blueprints were presented to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in early February and received the state’s seal of approval.

Following state approval, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was given the OK’d plans, which they will review before completing loan documents with TCMH. The USDA is providing an $18 million low-interest loan to expand and renovate the hospital.

“JE Dunn hopes to take the project to bid in mid-March,” Murray said regarding the firm handling the construction.

The USDA will review bids after they are received, too.

“We are hoping to have a formal ground breaking in mid to late April,” Murray said. “Construction should begin in May.”

Murray explained that TCMH was working on easements regarding drainage and parking and traffic routes at the hospital.

Before beginning any construction, the south parking lot at TCMH will be paved and marked for parking, creating specific parking spaces and traffic flow.

“There will be some parking inconvenience to everyone during the construction, but when it’s done we will have a full-fledged parking lot at the south end of the hospital and a few additional parking spaces created in front of the hospital with the reconfigured parking lot,” Murray explained.

Employees and construction staff will use the paved south lot during the expansion portion of the construction project, leaving the hospital’s front parking areas for TCMH patients and their family members.

In an effort to keep more people throughout the county apprised of the hospital’s expansion plans, Murray has asked the members of the Community Medical Needs Assessment Committee to bring on additional members from their respective communities.

Currently, representing Licking is Carol Fox; northwest Texas County, Mary Ellen Higashi; Summersville, Sharon Vaughan; Houston, Steve Hutcheson; and Cabool, Stacey Matherly.

“The Community Medical Needs Assessment Committee met earlier this month, and they are very interested in the plans for the hospital and want to include others in that information and dialogue,” Murray said.

Murray told board members that Susan Norris has been hired to work as a mid-level provider at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic.

“Although Norris is a new family nurse practitioner graduate indicators show that she’s already ahead of the curve in her clinical skills,” Murray said.

Norris, who is from Winona, worked for 14 years as a registered nurse in critical care, surgical, pediatric and medical surgical settings before becoming a nurse practitioner.

Norris will see patients of all ages at the Mountain Grove clinic and collaborates with Dr. Michael Moore at the clinic.

Murray complimented hospital staff for their dedication to patients and to their jobs during bad weather in January and February. He described the hospital as “very well staffed” considering the extreme weather conditions.

“At one point, we had 16 cots set up throughout the hospital for our employees that were concerned about not being able to make it back to work if they went home overnight,” Murray said. “It’s great to have a dedicated staff.”

Murray recently hosted Missouri state Rep. Don Wells for an informal hospital tour, and Murray also met with Sen. Roy Blunt when he visited Houston.

“Rep. Wells is very familiar with our hospital, but he had never actually had a tour of the entire hospital,” Murray said. “Our legislators have a big role ahead of them, especially regarding healthcare in our state and our nation. It’s important to keep them in tune with what’s happening here.”

Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer, presented the financial report for the January, which showed a positive bottom line of $67,131 for the month and year-to-date.

Inpatient and outpatient revenue exceeded budgeted expectations for January, according to Pamperien. There were 191 inpatient admissions, up 25 patients over January admissions in 2010.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; Joleen Senter Durham, director of public relations; Dr. Charles Mueller, chief of staff; Dr. Charlie Rasmussen, vice chief of staff; Dr. John Duff; and board members Jane Kirkwood, Mark Forbes and Mark Hampton. Board members Janet Wiseman and Omanez Fockler were absent.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is noon Tuesday, March 22, in downstairs meeting room of the hospital.

 

We are hoping to have a formal ground breaking in mid to lateApril,” Murray said.

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