April 1, 2009 Edition

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Board authorizes use of land

The Lawrence Health Services Board of Governors, which governs the hospital and Lawrence Hall Nursing Center, approved a request to use a parcel of hospital grounds for construction of a Head Start building at its meeting on March 23.

County Judge Alex Latham, Barbara Sisco, program director for Head Start/Early Head Start/ABC with the Black River Area Development Corporation and Jeff Spencer of USDA Rural Development spoke to the board regarding the proposal.

The board voted to allow the construction. The Head Start Program being proposed will initially serve 16 children from six weeks of age through age three, who meet needs criteria. The program's primary funding source will be grants from the state of Arkansas, hopefully using some money from the Economic Stimulus Package and a grant from USDA Rural Development.

LMH receives top rating

Lawrence Memorial Hospital participates in a quality program that measures compliance with criteria relating to core measures for Congestive Heart Failure, Pneumonia and Acute Myocardial Infarction.

According to Rosalind Casillas, director of nursing, the hospital has always had a high rate of compliance, but since June 1, 2008, LMH has been at 100 percent.

"Those results place us in the number one spot as compared to all the other 29 critical access hospitals in the state of Arkansas," Casillas said. "To meet the criteria it takes a lot of teamwork among the physicians, nurses and pharmacists, as well as other departmental staff."

Terry R. Lambert, president of LMH, said, "Results like this show that LMH provides as good, or better, care for the conditions that we treat. We just do not provide care for all conditions like some larger facilities."

LHNC to get new look

The board had previously approved approximately $185,000 to replace all of the vinyl floor coverings throughout the nursing home. At the March 23 meeting, the board approved spending more than $102,000 to replace all of the vinyl wall coverings, handrails and cove bases throughout the facility.

Vance Construction Company from Jonesboro was the low bidder. The floor coverings in the residents' rooms and bathrooms have almost all been completed. The vinyl wall covering replacement will start soon and when completed the floor coverings in the hallways will be done.

Jones reports on status of grants

Wilma Jones, chairman of the Lawrence Memorial Health Foundation, reported on the status of several grant awards.

She reported that Diabetes Prevention and Control, also known as the Coalition Grant, has been funded by the Arkansas Department of Health Community Mobilization Grant in the amount of $9,949.

This grant focused on partnering with the Lawrence County Healthcare Coalition to identify the health needs of residents in Lawrence County by holding two town hall meetings, identifying gaps in services, establishing communication with existing patients, locating and educating at-risk individuals, addressing financial concerns of those needing treatment and providing education through printed materials.

Diabetes Prevention Phase II Grant has been funded by the Arkansas Department of Health in the amount of $20,000 with Lawrence Memorial Hospital providing $6,667 for a total of $26,667.

This grant will be used to provide diabetic education to residents of Lawrence County through diabetic educator training, dietician consultation, educational materials from the American Association of Diabetes and diabetic classes. The grant will also be used to provide diabetic supplies and educational brochures.

Grant Assistance Program (GAP) has been funded by the East Arkansas Planning and Development District for $17,000, with an additional $6,714.80 provided by Lawrence Memorial Hospital for a total of $23,714.80.

This grant requires the Lawrence County Diabetic Program to partner with each school in Lawrence County for diabetic testing and education of students.

The purpose of this grant is to develop a program geared to each educational level. It will include testing of blood glucose levels, RN and dietician educational programs for students, providing printed materials for developing a healthy lifestyle, preparing results of testing and contacting the parents of students' needing follow-up.

Heart Health Grant was funded by the Arkansas Department of Health Rural Health Services Revolving Fund Grant for $17,470 with a match of $5,887.50 and an additional in-kind services from Lawrence Memorial Hospital of $2,700 for a total project of $26,057.50.

This grant focuses on partnering with the Lawrence County Healthcare Coalition to provide community outreach and education by providing free seminars to address a variety of topics. It will also provide educational materials, free screenings for high risk factors and fund the purchase a new defibrillator for use in the LMH Emergency Department and the repair of an existing defibrillator for back up use.

"Choose Hope" Grant was funded by the Arkansas Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the amount of $11,700. The purpose of this grant is to provide 78 screening mammograms to women in the area who are not covered by insurance and are not eligible for other programs.

In other Foundation business, it was reported that Lila Floyd, chair of the Appeals Committee, has been working with her members and hospital staff to develop a budget for updating and renovating all the patient rooms at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, as well as the nurses' station.

This project would include updating the tile and plumbing fixtures in each bathroom, vinyl floor coverings, window treatments, paint, television and patient furniture. The group hopes to renovate one room to use as a model to be shown to potential donors.

Finances are stable

Vanessa Wagner, chief financial officer, reported that the hospital and nursing home were slightly profitable for the month. Cost reductions have been made in almost every area of the hospital.

"Lawrence Memorial Hospital just needs a few more admissions, on a continued basis, to weather the economic downturn that everyone is facing," Lambert said. "We just hope that people who need to be admitted to a hospital will give LMH a chance to prove our quality care and compassion."

In other business, board members authorized the purchase of a Dinex Refrigerator for the Dietary Department in the amount of $7,635. They also authorized the replacement of the batteries for the mobile x-ray machine at a cost of $5,824.

Lambert also reported that Senate Bill 582, relating to a Medicaid provider tax or assessment had been approved by the Arkansas Senate and House and had since been signed by Gov. Mike Beebe. The Act, when fully operational, if approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will net $267,500 for Lawrence Memorial.

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