QVMC board approves budget, reviews bus incident response
Randy Zolman, who leads the board of Grant County Public Hospital District No. 2, thanked everyone, from the first responders to the hospital staff, who had a part in taking care of the University of Washington students who were injured in the bus accident on Thanksgiving.
“It worked like a well-oiled machine,” Zolman said at the Nov. 26 board meeting. “It worked like clockwork. I was very impressed.”
All the agencies involved and individuals worked together to help the 16 students received at QVMC from the incident. The Thanksgiving evening incident would be further discussed later in the meeting.
The district’s board members were all present at their Nov. 26 meeting.
Commissioner Don Condit gave a report from the financial committee and said that October ended about $88,000 in the red for the month. Then, looking ahead, he added, “Our revenue stream is likely to be impacted by the time of year.”
Commissioner Anthony Gonzalez reported on the building and grounds, saying the replacement of the water heater that had to be done was completed and at lower cost than it might have been because the staff shopped around.
Then as part of the personnel report, a new employee, Susan Blair, was introduced. Blair is the hospital information management supervisor. Bishop later said the position is not new, but QVMC had an unfilled position.
Later, the proposed budget for 2019 was discussed. The total revenue forecast for 2019 is the same as in 2018, at $5.8 million. The amount budgeted for 2019 salaries and benefits is up slightly, 1.7 percent, and most of the expense categories show the same dollar totals as in 2018. The bottom line in the proposed 2019 budget is a loss of about $55,000 – close to breaking even.
The difference in the 2019 forecast compared to 2018 is the levy money, Zolman said, which was approved by voters in February and arrives in 2019.
The commissioners voted in favor of the proposed budget.
Later in the meeting, CEO Glenda Bishop returned to the topic of the response to the bus accident and acknowledged Newton Moats for his role in disaster preparedness. Moats is QVMC’s general services director.
Bishop described the efforts of the hospital staff on Thanksgiving as the 16 students were received and had high praise for the staff as well as the students.
“What I really saw is a structure in which people were responsive to needs,” she said, and “they knew what to do” when patients arrived.
Bishop said QVMC received more than half the students who were taken to hospitals near the accident, which occurred west of George. The injuries were minor, but up front you don’t treat injuries as if they are minor. Many needed neck and abdominal CT scans, and they all needed lab work, she said.
Bishop praised the QVMC staff, some of whom had worked a 12-hour shift and stayed on to help.
She said that afterward, in a discussion with Dr. Fernando Dietsch reviewing the incident and how the hospital staff handled it, Dietsch told Bishop that it was like a ballet, it was so well coordinated.
“We should be so proud of the staff,” Bishop said.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com