GRANGEVILLE – “I have been concerned about buying into brick and mortar, what with telemedicine and COVID concerns and all,” said Syringa Hospital Board Chair Leta Strauss at the June 23 meeting. “Would we be locking ourselves into a situation with no alternatives?”
The discussion continued following the previous month’s meeting where the board made a decision to pursue a potential purchase of the Kooskia Clinic building, located at 22 N. Main Street, Kooskia. The property had been listed online for $230,000.
Trustee Jim May recused himself from the conversation, and left the meeting, as he is the brother of the building’s owner.
Syringa Foundation director, Kristi Brooks, said the owner had made a specific offer to sell and Syringa had until 5 p.m. the following day to counter-offer or answer in another way.
Brooks said she felt “a lot of angst” within the board members and said maybe they needed to just revisit their previous discussions and decisions, adding that St. Mary’s had just opened a brand new medical facility in Kamiah.
“Do we know the loyalty of our customers?” she asked.
She also explained Syringa has seven years remaining on its Kooskia Clinic lease, no matter who owns the building, with a no-more than 10 percent rent increase built into the contract.
“I’m not trying to tell you what to do; I’m just laying out the facts,” she said.
The foundation had previously agreed to provide a certain amount of funding to assist in purchasing the property.
“What is our desired footprint?” asked trustee Jerry Zumalt. “What would our decision not to purchase say to the community?”
The board entered into executive session for the remainder of the discussion, with no action following.
On June 30, Syringa CEO Abner King confirmed The Syringa Hospital Foundation, independent of the hospital, is currently negotiating a purchase.
In other news, director of facilities, Bill Spencer, reported his department has installed seven U/V devices in the clinic and hospital air handlers that help eliminate viruses and bacteria from the air returning to the rooms.
Brooks reported the thrift store is again open, and in the first 2.5 days of being reopened, 15 hours, the store grossed $4,000 in sales, or $267 an hour.
Director of human resources, Katy Eimers, reported the hospital’s 2020-21 work comp renewal from Idaho State Insurance Fund resulted in a premium savings of $30,000 a year.
Director of clinic operations, Michelle Schaeffer, reported PA Kari Holman will begin work this month, working in the walk-in clinic Mondays and Wednesdays. New walk-in hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.