Syringa board

Syringa board chair Leta Strauss honors trustee Steve Didier for his service on the board. Al Bolden was also honored.

GRANGEVILLE – “I want to apologize for our previous value-based discussion process,” Syringa board chair Leta Strauss stated at the April 23 board meeting. “I believe I went about that the wrong way.”

Strauss said the board is not entirely responsible for vetting out the 115 capacities within the value-based list.

“Our job is to look at value-based payment options,” she explained. “The staff, the experts in their departments, can look at the remainder of the items and let us know what their needs are in order to implement any changes or goals and make things happen.”

Trustee Jim May asked is a “hybrid approach” would be best.

“These are major implications for the sustainability of the organization,” he said.

“The strategic plan should be driving all we do – how will these mesh?” trustee Steve Didier questioned.

The issues will continue to be discussed at each board meeting.

In other news, outgoing board members Al Bolden and Didier were each honored with a plaque for their years of service to the board. Their positions, as well as that of May, are open for election May 21. Six candidates have filed for the three, six-year terms.

Additional reports included the following:

*Chief nursing officer Alex Frei reported two nurses will go to Kootenai for rotation in the E.R. and in obstetrics. In addition, two nurses will attend an Advance Trauma Care course in June.

*Chief medical officer Dr. Matt Told reported the medical staff had a guest speaker, Dr. Kanwar, who works in infectious disease, Tri-State Hospital. He spoke about antibiotic stewardship and resistant fungal infections.

*Marketing director and community relations coordinator Dana Greig reported 2019 marks Syringa’s 80th year. Several upcoming celebrations are planned.

*Director of clinic operations Michelle Schaeffer reported on a 2016 Community Needs Assessment provided by Public Health, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Twin County United Way. She and Dr. Told reviewed this. Some highlights include:

-- Median household income in $19,527, which is 16 percent below Federal Poverty Level.

-- Idaho County has 6.6 percent of its population without high school diplomas and 37.3 percent of the population have only high school diplomas.

-- 10.6 percent of households receive supplemental nutritional assistance and 47 percent of school children qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

-- Persons younger than 65 without insurance make up 22 percent of the county’s population.

*Director of facilities Bill Spencer reported a flood in the basement of the hospital April 9 where the environmental services stores its supplies. More than 300 gallons of water were vacuumed. He also reported some heating problems.

“How are we planning to fix the situation, so we don’t flood again?” asked trustee Jan Carlson, “And how are we planning for the [antiquated] heating system replacement?”

“Very valid questions, though I assume the drainage issues may be quite costly to change,” Didier interjected.

CEO Abner King said for the heating systems, the current plan is only to replace as they break down.

*Foundation director Kristi Brooks reported the thrift store sales were down 11.5 percent versus the same period last year.

Volunteers were to be honored at an event April 24. They celebrated breaking the $500,000 mark in net income since the store opened in April 2002. As of the end of March 2019, the store netted $559,738 since opening.

The Blue Jean Ball fund-raiser is set for Friday, June 28, at the Elks Lodge.

*CFO Betty Watson reported charges written off as bad debt and sent to collections were $60,456 (3.4 percent of gross charges). Kootenai Health Management Services agreement fees for March were $19,506. Contributions/grants received in March included $1,013 from Idaho Community Foundation for the ambulance.

*CEO Abner King reported the Walla Walla VA has removed its equipment from Syringa’s building. Syringa has helped 35 veterans transition their care to the primary clinic through April 12. He reported that, overall, these transitions have gone well, with the exceptions of getting timely medical records and refills on pain medications.

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