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January Board Report- Scholarships, Coronavirus

The BBGH Board of Trustees’ meeting was held on Monday, January 20th.  Discussions involved the hospital’s peer review process, high school and college scholarship opportunities, and the latest on coronavirus.

Friday, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency in the U.S. in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to an article by Allison Aubrey of Nebraska Public Radio. She states in the article, “The risk of contracting the coronavirus in the U.S. is low—something that federal health administration officials emphasized repeatedly.” Although the risk of contracting this virus is low, precautions are still important. At BBGH, Clinic Coordinator Joni Sautter sent out an email stating: “There has been an outbreak in China of a virus called the Wuhan novel coronavirus.  This is spreading beyond China’s borders… There was a call from PPHD [Panhandle Public Health District] instructing facilities on what precautions should be taken.  These calls will be repeated on a weekly basis until further notice.” Implementation of specific scripting began immediately to help address patients’ needs when calling or presenting with cough, fever or any respiratory complaints. Questions to anticipate when calling are: (1) Have you traveled to China in the past two weeks?  (2) Have you or anyone else you’ve had contact with traveled to China in the past two weeks? Further updates will be provided as the staff continues to monitor the outbreak.

In other business, Trustees heard from Carolyn Jones, Chief Nursing Officer requesting the approval of $10,000 in scholarship awards. The trustees unanimously approved the request.  Ten high school seniors interested in pursuing a career in healthcare will receive a $1,000 scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year. The scholarships are in coordination with the Box Butte Health Foundation, which is providing $5,000 in awards to college students working in a healthcare field. To apply, visit Deadline for applications is March 14, 2020. 

Trustees also adopted the peer review process BBGH as presented by Mary Mockerman, Chief Quality Officer in her quality and safety report.  Trustees discussed the importance of an annual review of the peer review process.

CEO, Lori Mazanec provided a brief update on physician recruitment and retention.  Mazanec shared that two physicians specializing in Family Practice/Obstetrics were visiting in the same week.  Both would fill the openings to allow sustainment of the labor and delivery program at BBGH. Both Dr. Tim Narjes and Dr. Derek Shafer are currently seeing obstetrics patients.

Maintenance Tech, Myles Ochsner was introduced as a new BBGH employee. Also recognized were Employee of the Year Surgical Coordinator, Erica Smith RN, BSN, Employee of the Month Jessica Vespie RN, BSN, and Provider of Choice Dr. Dwaine Smith.

The next meeting is Monday, February 24 at noon in the Sandhills Room. As always, the public is welcome to attend.

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