CEO Cole updated the board on the various expansion-remodel projects at HGH:
- Pharmacy - Painting is now complete in the new Pharmacy Department. All interior and exterior glass has been installed, along with non-casework cabinetry and lighting. County inspectors will be on site December 9-11; Pharmacy will move into the new space December 13.
- Physical Therapy and Cardiac Rehab - Construction will begin once the Pharmacy is complete, around mid-December.
- Cafeteria - The board will consider a proposal to remodel the HGH Corner Cafe later in the meeting.
Board trustees approved the minutes for the October 22, 2019, meeting. Additionally, board members approved medical staff applications for appointments, reappointments and privileges for 11 medical providers.
Financial reports for both October and November will be presented at the December meeting of the HGH Board of Trustees.
Business Items-Other Reports
1. Hospital Administration-Emergency Services / proposal for amending the agreement with MedX AirOne regarding medical staff services and communications center services / Board - Trustee Bill Hammargren relayed information to board members regarding a recently received letter from MedXAirOne President Joel Hochhalter. The letter proposes to amend MedX's agreement with the hospital to (1) move MedXAirOne's communications center to Elko; and, (2) employ all flight paramedics and nurses through MedXAirOne. Currently, HGH employs HGH AirOne's paramedics and nurses. The proposed agreement would mimic MedX's agreements with all other hospitals in its service area. Trustee Hammargren noted the proposed agreement would allow the HGH AirOne helicopter to remain at Humboldt General Hospital. CEO Cole stated that 14 HGH employees would be displaced through the comm center and flight staffing changes. Mr. Hochhalter said he will try to relocate any employees to Elko's operation who are interested; CEO Cole said Humboldt General will relocate interested employees to positions within HGH. Secretary Michelle Miller said she would prefer to table a decision on the matter until the next board meeting to allow board members more time to consider the proposed amendments and HGH's potential response. Chairman JoAnn Casalez reminded board members that MedXAirOne is a private company choosing to do business with HGH. After some discussion, board members unanimously agreed to direct CEO Cole to work with Legal Counsel Kent Maher and Mr. Hochhalter to negotiate a revised contract.
2. Hospital Administration-Personnel / proposals and recommendation for employee healthcare benefits insurance coverage / HR Director-Administration - Staff presented eight bids for employee health insurance to the board, four from the current broker, Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, and four from broker, A and H Insurance. Hospital staff recommended proceeding with the lowest bidder, Aetna. Following discussion the board determined to select A and H Insurance as a new broker and proceed with the Anthem bid. As Trustee Gene Hunt said, the decision came down to service and "not necessarily price." Hospital officials said they are hopeful that reduced premiums may allow the hospital to reduce the cost of its dependent coverage; currently, the hospital only pays employee premiums.
3. Hospital Administration-Remodel Project /proposals for cafeteria area remodel project / acceptance of proposal for cafeteria area remodel project/ Owners Representative-Administration - HGH Owners Representative Mike Sheppard presented cost estimates for completing an expansion-remodel of the hospital cafeteria. Mike said Sletten Construction is estimating the project at $324,569. Trustees agreed to a change order to the hospital's current construction projects to allow Sletten to carry out plans submitted by CTA Architects. The board authorized construction costs not to exceed $400,000; work should begin in the new year.
4. Hospital Administration-EMS / determination that ambulance vehicles are no longer required for public use and authorization to dispose of the vehicles/ CFO -HGH Trustees determined that several EMS vehicles are no longer of use to the hospital and will be disposed of through auction.
5. District Administration / proposals to provide administrative management services for the hospital district administrator-chief executive officer position and to implement a plan to select and employ a permanent administrator-chief executive officer / Board of Trustees - Trustees unanimously agreed to work with B.E. Smith, a professional services firm specializing in executive recruitment services for healthcare organizations, to begin the process of hiring a permanent CEO. HGH Interim CEO Cole was asked to assist with the search for a permanent CEO. Chairman Casalez thanked Cole for all she has done over the past year to help move the hospital forward. "You've made excellent changes and hard changes," said Casalez. CEO Cole responded, "This has been an excellent opportunity for me." However, she noted that she is not in a position to accept the position permanently. Trustees said the recruitment process could take from 6-12 months.
6. District Administration / Western Regional Trustee Symposium / Administration - CEO Cole shared information about the Western Trustees Symposium, scheduled for June 10-12 in Reno. The conference is designed specifically for hospital board members and executive leadership.
Trustee Gene Hunt shared his positive experience with Andrew Wesely, MD, who provides pain management services at HGH two days each month. Trustee Hunt said he was impressed that Dr. Wesely is concerned about designing his practice to fit HGH's needs. He also thanked CEO Cole, and said he felt the board moved in the right direction with their selection of A and H Insurance.
Chairman JoAnn Casalez welcomed new Trustee Alicia Cramer and asked her to serve on the HGH Community Giving Committee.
Trustee Ken Tipton welcomed new Trustee Cramer. He also thanked CEO Cole for all she has done and for her promise to help HGH recruit a permanent CEO.
Secretary Michelle Miller thanked CEO Cole for helping over the past year. She said she appreciated the opportunity to have CEO Cole help the hospital recruit a permanent replacement.
Trustee Hammargren welcomed Trustee Cramer. He also thanked CEO Cole for her work over the past year.