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Posted on May 31, 2016

Hospital begins designing new facility

Quincy Valley Medical Center, with the help of a Portland agency, has begun designing a new facility that it hopes to gain support for from the community.
The proposed facility would be a modular building, with room for an emergency room, lab and radiology services, and a clinic/urgent care facility, said Randy Zolman, chairman of the hospital’s board of commissioners.
Zolman expects that a modular building could potentially save the hospital a million dollars or more in costs (versus a facility built from the ground up) and it would be easily expandable if necessary in the future.
The board on Monday was to hear a presentation on the proposed facility, which is in the very early stages; however, the architects, who specialize in designing hospitals, were not able to make the meeting. Zolman hopes to have them at the board’s regular meeting in June.
“Whether anyone wants to hear it or not, we have to replace that building,” Zolman said. “So we are moving in that direction.”
The design is being done at no cost to the hospital, said Jerry Hawley, interim CEO at the hospital.
Board officials have said that a bond measure may be placed before voters yet this year to pay for such a facility. The current hospital was built in the 1950s.
Zolman said that if the struggling hospital cannot get support from the Port of Quincy or the city of Quincy it must find a solution itself.
“If we can’t get help, we have to fix it ourselves,” he said.
At the meeting on Monday, hospital officials reported that the North Wing, which cared for long-term patients, is now closed. All the patients have been relocated.
April financial numbers show the hospital lost nearly $17,000 in April. However, that’s the lowest monthly loss the hospital has recorded so far this year.
“Hopefully we are off to a stronger start at this point,” said Don Condit, board commissioner.
The hospital at this time is operating at a loss of of nearly $267,000. That’s down nearly $275,000 at this time last year, when the hospital was operating at a loss of nearly $542,000.
Following a semi-annual property tax payment, the hospital’s warrant line with Grant County is at $3.34 million, down from about $3.7 million.
Hospital staff also are gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend, which means the start of the four-day Sasquatch music festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre.
The hospital in the last three years has seen between 49 and 75 concert-goers over the holiday weekend. In 2013, the hospital had 150 patients in its emergency room over those three days. Of those patients, 75 were concert-goers, according to hospital figures.
In 2014, those numbers were 103 patients, of which 54 were concert-goers. And in 2015, those numbers were 113 patients, of which 49 were concert-goers, according to the hospital.
The difference this year is that the music festival has been a three-day event in the past and this year it is a four-day event, starting on Friday, Zolman said.
“We’re staffed for it,” Zolman said of the emergency room.


— By Jill FitzSimmons,

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