Wes Murray, CEO of Texas County Memorial Hospital, addresses 42 subcontractors at a May 10 pre-bid meeting for hospital expansion and renovation project for the hospital. The general contractor for the project, JE Dunn, will give preference to local companies that meet bid requirements.

Behind-the-scenes work continues on the hospital’s $18.1 million expansion and renovation project, Texas County Memorial Hospital board members heard last week at their monthly meeting.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, explained that JE Dunn, the general contractor for the project, held pre-bid meetings in Houston and in Springfield. Murray said more than 40 subcontractors attended each.

Many copies of the building plans have gone out to contractors, which Murray called a great response.

Bids for the project must be turned in to JE Dunn on or before June 8. A public bid opening will begin at 9 a.m. at the community building at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

The orginal date was pushed back one week, the hospital announced Tuesday. Officials at TCMH do not believe that opening bids June 8 – instead of June 1 – will affect the time frame for the project.

According to Murray, JE Dunn will open specific sections of the bids every 20 minutes.

“Qualified bids will be submitted to the USDA for verification,” Murray said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing a low-interest loan for the hospital construction project, and they must approve all bids before they are accepted by JE Dunn.

“We anticipate that there may be a shortfall of 1 to 2 percent for the project,” Murray said. Increases in fuel and materials prices may cause the cost of the project to go up, but that factor is unknown until all the bids are tabulated.

Murray has also been working with property owners, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Steve Hutcheson, for easements related to water and sewer lines and storm drains.

“It’s a big process with a lot of parties involved, but we’re working through it,” Murray said.

After the bids have been received and verified, TCMH will finalize the loan documents with the USDA. Murray has been in contact with the Texas County Commission, and they have expressed their willingness to complete the paperwork to begin the construction project.

“When the loan documents are complete, we anticipate a mobilization of equipment on site by July 1,” Murray said.

The Texas County monument in the drive-in area in front of TCMH, alongside U.S. 63, will be moved. The area, which belongs to the hospital, will be used by JE Dunn for parking equipment at the beginning of the project.

Murray thanked the board members for their involvement in the groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which was April 28.

“We received very positive feedback from members of the community about the ceremony,” Murray explained.

Blueprints and architectural renderings for the expansion and renovation have been on display in the hospital’s main hallway. Murray noted that many hospital patients, visitors and staff have taken the time to study the information.

The TCMH education department has also developed a special display of information that is being used at health fairs across the county. TCMH recently hosted health fairs in Roby and in Houston. The Intercounty Electric annual cooperative picnic is in late June, and TCMH will provide health screenings at that event, too.

Board member Jane Kirkwood acknowledged, “I haven’t heard anything negative from anyone in the public.”

Murray explained to board members that TCMH deployed one ambulance to the Joplin tornado disaster.

“We sent the ambulance when it was requested after the disaster,” Murray said. “Our crew transported some patients and was released at 6 a.m. the next morning.”

Internal medicine physicians Dr. Schaun Flaim and Dr. Gretchen Price, a husband/wife team that work at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, went to Joplin the evening of the storm to provide medical help in the first day after the tornado.

Murray noted that TCMH employees are collecting funds to assist hospital workers that have lost their homes and belongings in disasters that have affected the state this spring.

“Our employees can donate some of their paid time off or make a cash donation to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation that will be directed to a special fund for hospital employees,” Murray said.

The special fund called “Hospital Employee Relief Operation” (HERO) was created and will be administered by the Missouri Hospital Association.

Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, presented the financial report for April 2011. Inpatient revenues fell well below budgeted expectations at the hospital. Emergency room numbers were also down for the month, which typically affects inpatient admissions.

Expenses for April were also down, but TCMH ended the month with a negative bottom line of $54,811 — increasing the year-to-date bottom line to a negative balance of $92,312.

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

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is noon Tuesday, June 28, in the downstairs meeting room of the hospital.



The bid opening for the Texas County Memorial Hospital expansionand renovation project has been pushed back one week, the hospitalannounced Tuesday.

The hospital’s general contractor, JE Dunn, and architect, HMNArchitects, recommended allowing an additional week to the greatamount of interest in the project by subcontractors and theunusually high number of questions for the contractor andarchitects from the subcontractors. The new date is 9 a.m.Wednesday, June 8, inside the community building at the HoustonArea Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

Officials at TCMH do not believe that opening bids on June 8will affect the time frame for the project.

The bid opening was originally scheduled for June 1.

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