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BBGH Trustees approve $10,000 to fund 10 high school scholarships

It’s that time of year again. The Box Butte General Hospital Board of Trustees continued a long tradition of supporting service area high school students who wish to seek a career in health care by unanimously approving $10,000 for 10 $1,000 high school scholarships to graduating seniors. They did so after listening to CNO Carolyn Jones, who provided a long list of reasons why the scholarship program should continue to be supported by BBGH. She said many of the students who apply for a scholarship have already participated in study programs offered at BBGH, including the Health Professions Club (which has the highest number of members the club has ever had this past year) and cadet and summer intern programs. “I can tell you that 25 percent of past scholarship recipients have at one time or another been employed at BBGH after they obtain their degree in whatever field they’ve chosen,” she said. As of today, there are around six or seven employees who have benefited from the high school scholarship program, the Box Butte Health Foundation program, or both. “The students who go through our educational programs at BBGH while in high school already know that this is the greatest place receive care, work and practice medicine,” she said.

Application requirements will be posted soon on the hospital’s website:, after some revisions are made and after the Box Butte Health Foundation (BBHF) board makes its decision on scholarship funding. “We are not reducing what is required in applications for the scholarship, but we are rewriting some of the instructions to make it more clear on what applicants have to do to be considered,” Ms. Jones said. When asked how the application review process works, she explained that a leadership team at another hospital reviews the applications and sends back their recommendations. The leadership team at BBGH reviews those recommendations, then reviews the applications themselves before making a final decision and announcing the scholarship recipients. After that, the applications are provided to the Kiwanis Club of Alliance for review in awarding the annual $500 Terry Padden Memorial Scholarship.  The BBHF board will be meeting soon. They will be asked at that time to continue funding scholarships for college students. The BBHF board has approved funding for five $1,000 scholarships in the past.

The board also conducted the following business.

2018 Employee of the Year Seron Dillard was recognized by the Trustees. Also recognized was Cassie Requejo, Rehab Tech, for being named the January Employee of the Month. They then recognized new employees Lucas Thompson, DPT & Current Rehab Tech; Kevin Early, Maintenance Tech; Chelsea Doughan, Operations Associate; Trevor Ridenour, Nursing Assistant; Erin Jensen, LPN; Marie Dryer, RN; Carissa Adamson, nursing assistant; Jasmine Clarke, Lab Lead Tech; Chelsea Ritter, Lead Cook; Brenda Rising, Cook; Jessica Fisher, Medical Technologist; Kacy Faber, Phlebotomist; and Kacy White, Registration Clerk.

After unanimously approving the consent calendar, Chief Quality Officer Mary Mockerman reported on safety reviews, utilization management statistics and influenza status. The safety part of her presentation focused on patient fall assessments; medication error assessments; OR safety, OB events and behavioral drift. The utilization management report included data on lengths of stay as well as readmission rates for all patients and for Medicare patients. She concluded saying that influenza is widespread throughout the state, with 31 associated deaths, two of them pediatric. The incidence rate for this time of year is higher than in 2017 and 2018, however she sees evidence that it may be plateauing. There have been multiple influenza pediatric admissions to BBGH due to dehydration.

The December financial report was unanimously approved.

CEO Lori Mazanec had plenty of good news for the Trustees concerning physician recruitment efforts, mentioning the hiring of Dr. Dwaine Smith and Dr. Terri Myers as Hospitalists. Dr. Smith has already begun his hospitalist rotations, with Dr. Myers to begin in mid-February. One more Hospitalist is being sought to fill out the monthly day time rotation schedule. BBGH utilizes E-Hospitalists for its evening hours. She then updated the board on the hiring of Dr. Derek Shafer, who will begin practicing at Greater Nebraska Medical and Surgical Services in July of 2019. His hiring means the recently suspended Labor & Delivery services will restart in the summer, with Dr. Timothy Narjes restarting his OB services as well.  Ms. Mazanec added that there are two other promising prospects on the horizon. The Trustees expressed excitement on the recent recruiting results as well.

BBHF Director Brooke Shelmadine gave her annual report to the Trustees. She said BBHF raised a total of $147,056 in the past year: $15,425 for Jane’s Closet (with $7,500 gifted to cancer patients and their families); $11,408 raised via the inaugural BBHF Golf Classic; $18,900 through the “Pay It Forward” employee campaign (65% employee participation rate); and $94,430 for the Rehab & Wellness Center Capital Campaign (total raised to date $1,008,056.55. The Trustees had several positive comments about the Foundation’s efforts over the past year.

After confirming that all the Trustees had turned in their conflict of interest statements, they unanimously approved all credentialing requests.

They entered executive session at 7:15 pm to discuss a quality management/safety matter. The board re-entered open session at 7:49 pm and with no further action taken, immediately adjourned. The next regular board meeting will be held Monday, February 25, at 6:30pm in the hospital’s Alliance Room. As always, the public is invited to attend.

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