Events are transpiring that may offer a new direction for Prowers Medical Center in Lamar and those changes may have an impact on the future health care for the community. Pending the outcome of the May 8 election, the hospital will have two new members on the Board of Directors, and may see a bond passed to finance a $5million expansion project to build an Outpatient Rehabilitation Center. Next month, the hospital will also have an interim chief executive officer until a permanent replacement is found for James Fairchild, who attended his last monthly board of director meeting Wednesday, April 25.
Mitch Edgeworth, Quorum Health Resources representative to PMC explained to the audience, that QHR, who employs Fairchild at PMC, will bring in an interim CEO while the company and the new board of directors searches for a full-time director for the hospital. Board chairman, Jan Hall, thanked Fairchild for his service to the hospital, along with out-going board members, Joe Spitz and Gene Cruikshank. Six candidates are vying for the two board seats. Ballots are being mailed to eligible voters and once votes have been cast, they should be returned for a count by May 8. Of the six, the two that receive the most votes will be the newest members of the board. Board member, Marge Campbell said she has been told that not all eligible voters have received their ballots yet. The entire board wanted to let the public know that if they have not yet received a ballot, voters should contact either Audrey Kane or Mike Bryant at the hospital at 336-4343.
The board also wanted to lay to rest any local rumors that the hospital is eliminating its obstetrics or surgery departments or will not remain a full service facility. PMC Chief of Staff, Dr. Barry Portner, said he has been questioned with concerns from the public and staff and wanted the chairman of the board and the CEO to assure hospital staff and the public that these are rumors and nothing more. Both Hall and Fairchild were adamant that the hospital is not closing those services, especially in light of the fact that obstetrics is offered in Lamar and more recently in Holly, and the hospital has been seeking ob/gyn physicians for some time. Edgeworth said that as far as Quorum is concerned, “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
The board received an update on developments within the PMC Foundation from chairperson, Darla Scranton Specht. The Foundation recently achieved non-profit status with the IRS and Scranton said the Foundation board will devote their May meeting to outlining short-term and long-range fund-raising plans and the means by which they will attain them. Specht said, “The funds raised by the Foundation can be used by the hospital as matching funds for any grant we pursue.” Specht added that funding can be used for general purposes; could be restricted to a specific purchase of an item or equipment, or could be set up through an estate. CEO Fairchild added that with the 501C3, non-profit status, the Foundation can apply for corporate grants which were not previously available to the hospital. “This opens up a brand new revenue source for us,” he added. Scranton added that the Foundation has received 11 donations so far, and the Wish Book has brought in $10,000 for donations earmarked to specific medical equipment.
Board members approved a motion to authorize a utility easement for the City of Lamar for their water infrastructure program. The city will replace part of an aging water pipeline from the 6 million gallon municipal tank to the hospital grounds and beyond, connecting too Willow Valley.
By Russ Baldwin
Filed under: Business, community, County, Economy, Health, Lamar, News · Tags: Board of Director's Election, Darla Scranton Specht, May 8 Bond Issue, PMC, PMC Foundation, Prowers Medical Center, QHR, Quorum Health Resources