News & Events

BBGH Trustees boost funding for scholarships to $10,000; BBHF approves additional $5,000

Click here for 2018 Scholarship Application Information and Form

The Box Butte General Hospital Board of Trustees, when asked to approve the usual $5,000 contribution to the hospital’s scholarship program at their noon meeting Monday, January 29, started a discussion that resulted in the Trustees moving to increase the funding to $10,000.

Prior to the motion, CNO Carolyn Jones reviewed the scholarship program. She said the hospital has offered $5,000 in scholarships to graduating high school students planning a career in health care since 2004. “It’s been a very successful program over the years,” she said. “High school graduates seeking a career in health care who are awarded the ten $500 scholarships available each year are invited to shadow at BBGH over the summer months. They always go away with a very positive view of the hospital as a future employer. Of the previous scholarship recipients, 25 percent are currently employed at BBGH.” She requested the board approve the usual $5,000 in funding.

Trustee Chairman Tom Furman, DVM, MS, asked how long the hospital had been funding the scholarship program at the $5,000 amount. Ms. Jones thought since the program was first started in 2004. Dr. Furman suggested the hospital increase the amount offered, as college costs have increased significantly since then. He also suggested the hospital executive team become more involved in the choice of eventual recipients. Currently the hospital sends all applications to a hospital board of trustees in eastern Nebraska, who ranks the applications and then sends those back to the hospital. “I’d like to see a process where the executive team provides additional input into the eventual recipients of the scholarships before being awarded,” he said. After discussion, the Trustees unanimously approved increasing the amount to $10,000 for ten $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors. The executive team indicated they will go over the applications sent to them and make adjustments if needed.

The Box Butte Health Foundation met Wednesday at noon and approved an additional $5,000 for five $1,000 scholarships targeted to individuals already in college seeking a career in health care.

BBGH and BBHF will soon have an advertisement announcing the $15,000 in scholarships, with additional information on application requirements and deadline for submission. Please watch for details.

The board also conducted the following business.

The Trustees recognized Sarah Lunbery, an RN in the Labor & Delivery Department, as the 2017 Employee of the Year. They also recognized Heather Rehder as the January 2018 Employee of the Month. New employees were welcomed to the BBGH team: Shana Marsteller, Dialysis RN; Brittany Ash, Nursing Assistant; Maria Valdez, LPN; Mariah Pedersen, GNMSS Registration Clerk; and Jennifer Meadows, GNMSS Financial Billing Representative.

After approving the consent calendar, CQO Mary Mockerman reported that BBGH is starting a 2018 Hand Hygiene Campaign hospital wide to educate staff on the need to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs. A video was reviewed explaining why hand hygiene is so important in a hospital setting, with some staff members required to wash their hands as much as 100 times in a day, especially in the PCU setting. Ms. Mockerman reported that influenza is still widespread across the state. She said that Nebraska has seen a total of 27 deaths attributed to the current outbreak, one of them pediatric. The number of schools having greater than 11 percent absence due to illness totaled 28 as of January 20. “It’s all around us,” she reported. Her report concluded with a 2017 employee injury report, with 27 total injuries recorded for the year.

Before unanimously approving the monthly financial report, Trustee Randy Langemeier said the financial committee will review the hospital’s investment strategy due to changing financial conditions and bring a recommendation to the board for consideration soon. He also touched on the recent tax cut passed by Congress, saying it’s the largest cut since Ronald Reagan was president and that the hospital should look at how it affects operations.

CEO Lori Mazanec presented the Physician Recruiting and Retention report, stating that the position of Provider Recruiting Specialist is currently vacant and being advertised with two applicants so far. A site visit and phone conference has been held with a prospective provider who is from the Panhandle area who is interested in practicing in the Panhandle once obtaining her medical degree in May of 2019. Ms. Mazanec reported the visits went well, with current medical staff feeling she would be a good fit for GNMSS. The hospital is also collaborating with Dr. Timothy Narjes of Alliance Family Medicine in the recruitment of additional OB providers for the Alliance area. The return of Dr. Jay White, ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery specialist was mentioned, with his first day seeing patients Wednesday, February 7, rotating every other Wednesday after that. It was also reported that GNMSS Orthopedic and Sports Medicine’s Dr. Bryan Bomberg will be increasing his visits to Alliance in April to three Wednesdays and Thursdays each month from the current two. Mazanec reported that his first clinical day is already booked. She also reported that Dr. Steve Boyer will be joining GNMSS Family Medicine April 5, practicing at the clinic three days a week Wednesday through Friday. “He brings lots of years of experience to the clinic and will be a welcome addition,” Ms. Mazanec concluded.

The board was updated on the land purchase of a plot in Hemingford, with closing on the purchase to happen as soon as some minor questions are resolved.

JaeAnn Bradt, IT Clinical Informatics RN and ACO Champion provided a brief introduction to the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Caravan Health, whose representatives were on site January 30 for the launch of BBGH’s ACO effort. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted the Shared Savings Program (SSP) in 2012 which is designed to provide better care for patients, better health for communities and lower costs though improvements in the health care system. The SSP allows doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers coordinate care for Medicare patients through ACOs. The ACO Caravan Health BBGH belongs to has nine other hospitals in the ACO.

Ms. Mazanec asked all board members to sign and return their annual conflict of interest statements for hospital records.

After approving all credentialing requests, the Trustees adjourned at 1:14pm. The next meeting will be held Monday, February 26 at noon in the BBGH Alliance Room. As always, the public is welcome to attend.

Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.