Hospital board approves next phase of Master Facility Plan

Jerilyn VanDeWoestyne
An architect’s proposed drawing of Hammond-Henry Hospital’s Master Facility Plan.

Approval of the adoption of Phase 19 as the foundation step of the Master Facility Plan, a $17.9M construction project, was given by the board of directors of Hammond-Henry Hospital at their regular board meeting Sept. 16. Hospital Chief Executive Officer Brad Solberg explained to board members the importance of “taking one step at a time” in planning for the next phase of construction at the hospital. “And we are remaining mindful of long term,” he said.

Solberg distributed an architect’s drawing of Option 19,  and explained it is the first step as a plan to meet the hospital’s long term needs. “We need to make a certain group of decisions before we can go on to the next step,” he said, stating they  have looked at several options and looked at vertical expansion wherever possible. “The plan must have public appeal, curb appeal and be user friendly,” he said. “Not just for patients and their families but for employees.”

The plan is for the early 1900 portion of the building to come down. “Our concern was we didn’t want to have to go too far into the parking lot. If we build it correctly we’re not going to lose any area,” Solberg said. “We also want to preserve the integrity of the emergency department.”

In an ongoing effort to educate the board on important topis, attorney Richard Stone spoke to the board on the issues of the Open Meeting Act.

Stone said the hospital board is a public body and therefore must abide by the Public Meetings Act. “The law applies to board meetings or meetings of any committee, including subsidiary meetings, created by this board,” he said. “All meetings must be open to the public unless they qualify for a closed meeting exception.”

Of the list of 24 exceptions to the Open Meetings Act, Stone said there are only a few that would apply to the hospital board including:

1). A meeting for employee performance review;

2). The purchase or lease of property or whether a particular property should be purchased;

3). The setting of a price for a building the hospital owns;

4). Security procedures as response to safety of employee or property;

5). Pending litigation;

6). Recruitment of health care professionals for the hospital.

“These are all exceptions to the Open Meeting Act,” Stone said, adding semi-annually it is necessary to review the minutes of closed meetings to determine if they should be made public.

The media needs to be made aware of any open meetings and a sign needs to be posted on the meeting room, according to Stone. He also noted all committee meetings are public meetings, “But you can have a closed session in a committee meeting. All the same standards apply to committee meetings,” he said.

In response to a question, Stone said during a closed session meeting, board members should try to limit discussion to topics reasonably related to the subject.

In other business, the board:

• Learned from Laura Domino, vice president of patient care services, that the hospital’s cardio-pulmonary department is celebrating a very successful year and, along with Kelly’s Medical, will host an open house Oct. 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. beginning in the northwest clinic at the hospital. Tours of the Imaging Department, Sleep Disorder clinic, cardio-pulmonary department and other areas of the hospital will be given.

• Learned that Theresa Peterson an RN in the surgery department,  is the recipient of this month’s U Strike a Difference award.

•  Bonnie Obrecht, hospital auxiliary representative, told the board of the Auxiliary’s annual membership meeting Oct. 3 at the Geneseo Country Club. Obrecht also told board members the auxiliary will sponsor a $5 jewelry sale Oct. 7 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the hospital.

• Gave their approval to begin a comprehensive Bariatric Lap Banding Total Care Program and also gave approval for the purchase of a Hologic System, a bone densitometer.