July 25, 2007 Edition

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Peyton is new chief of staff

Bill Maxwell, president of the Lawrence Health Services board of directors, opened the July meeting by welcoming Dr. Shawn Peyton, the new chief of staff for the facility. Peyton provided the medical staff report and reports on performance improvement and safety as monitored by LHS physicians.

Sarah Wright, Lawrence Hall Nursing Center administrator, told board members that the reporting process for the nursing home has been changed to a format that is easily communicated. Now, reports will identify processes that are important to the functioning of a nursing home. Items will be qualified by a red light, yellow light and green light icon, to highlight areas that need attention. Benchmark information from other nursing homes will be used for comparison

"We are streamlining the focus of information we use to measure our operational success, and we will be offering board members very useful information on all operations ~ nursing home, hospital and affiliated services," said Leah Osbahr, LHS president.

Wright shared with the board a list of long term-care options available in the LHS market area. The service area has 1,508 licensed beds with an 84 percent average occupancy, 256 licensed assisted living beds and a large number of independent beds. A projected increase of four percent in the age range of 65 years and older ~ expected by 2015 ~ would inflate the number of persons needing the nursing home to 206.

The US Department of Health estimates that 40 percent of those aged 65 years of age and older will likely enter a nursing home. Wright also shared information on assisted living center construction in the area.

Osbahr updated the board on community involvement by LHS employees. Photos were shared from the regional Relay for Life event held in Randolph County. LHS participated with a large turnout, many honoring employees and others who have fought the battle with cancer.

"We brought home the gold, again, for our success in the Arkansas Fitness Challenge," said Osbahr. She and others won the gold for their level of continued commitment for physical fitness activity among employees.

A team representing LHS will be heading to Little Rock on Oct. 20 to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. "Members of the community are more than welcome to sign up for our team," said Osbahr. "It's not too late."

Upcoming community outreach programs in the works include a bike safety event that will be held at the Hoxie Medical Clinic Saturday, a coloring contest and grant applications for glucose testing and women's stroke awareness and prevention.

Tonya Couch, Lawrence Memorial Hospital director of nursing, informed the board that LMH is three months into a nine-month grant received from Rural Health. Couch shared information regarding the prevalence of diabetes at eight percent in the state while Lawrence County is at 12 percent. She also provided detailed information regarding the number of people seen in schools and community programs. She announced that free diabetic education classes start this week.

A slate of officers was nominated and approved. Maxwell will continue to chair the board, with Lila Floyd serving as vice president and Wilma Jones in the capacity of secretary/treasurer. Committee appointments will remain the same.

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