The BBGH Board of Trustees (Board) meeting was called to order at 12:15 pm Monday, January 25th, in the Alliance Room and via Zoom. Five board members were present. Discussions involved the current status of the COVID-19 vaccine, a new roof for a section of the hospital, and the decrease in influenza cases this season. The finance report, including the fiscal year 2020 Audit, and credentialing requests were approved as presented.
Under new business, Kurt Moural, CPA with the hospital’s audit firm Dohman, Akerlund, and Eddy, LLC, presented the 2019-2020 financial audit and indicated the hospital is in good financial position, considering the COVID-19 emergency declaration in March 2020. The hospital has operated within the guidelines provided by both state and federal regulatory agencies including emergency restrictions resulting in a decrease in overall hospital service volumes as both hospital and physician elective procedures were limited. Under the authority of the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established various Provider Relief Funds to distribute funds to health care providers, including BBGH. The fiscal year 2020 audit reflects Provider Relief Funds used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus health care-related expenses or lost revenues that attributed to the coronavirus. Total net operating revenue growth was $796,246 coming in at $44,013,619 in 2020. Assets for BBGH totaled $81,527,151 at the end of the year including 256 days cash on hand.
Throughout the duration of the pandemic, there have been five elements that have been the main focus of the hospital; patient care, staff care, virus testing, community education and communication, and vaccination. As the 12-month mark of the pandemic ticks forward, BBGH continues to vaccinate the community and surrounding areas. The population being vaccinated currently is 65 years of age and older, with the primary focus being on those 75 years of age and older. Allocation of the vaccines are based on census, presently providing BBGH 150 vaccines per week. Currently more than 50% of BBGH employees have been vaccinated with their first dose and will receive their second dose at the appropriate 28-day mark.
Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD) continues to report a decrease in positive cases and hospitalizations. However, it is still too early to lift visitor restrictions. The current visitation policy will remain in effect but is evaluated on an as-needed basis. As a reminder, one healthy adult (19 years of age or older) is allowed to accompany a patient in the hospital. No children under the age of 19 are allowed in the building unless attending a medical appointment or seeking medical attention. BBGH leadership understands the dissatisfaction this gives to patients and their families, so appreciate the support from the community in our devotion to the health of patients and staff remaining a top priority.
During the recent wind storm, the roof over the Wellness Center and original 1976 hospital building sustained great damage. The Board approved the spending to replace the roof over said areas and Jim Bargen, COO, is working with companies for project bids. Once work on replacing the roof begins, the project will take 2-3 weeks to complete.
Dr. Tim Narjes, Chief of Staff, provided a written report sharing he has not yet seen a case of influenza this season. The belief is that the health practices for COVID-19, among lack-of travel, are attributing to the low case numbers. As COVID-19 numbers continue to drop and more individuals receive the vaccine, it may be tempting to halt these practices. However, it is vital to continue washing hands, wearing a mask, and socially distancing.
The Board approved an increase in dollar amount rewarded with the BBGH Scholarship Program. For selected recipients of the 2021 scholarships, the amount will increase from $1,000 to $1,500, again offering ten total awards. Scholarship applications are not open quite yet, but will be in the upcoming months.
Visit https://www.bbgh.org/education_scholarships/scholarships.html to learn more about the BBGH Scholarship program.
New BBGH employees introduced include Christian Hagen, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Personal Trainer, Timothy Powers, IT Help Desk Tech, Sarah Gumpenberger, LPN, Staff Nurse, Katelyn Thomas, Fitness Center Attendant, Natosha Beauchamp, Cook, and Katlyn Mittan, Nursing Assistant/Ward Clerk. Staff recognition includes Dr. Jessica Ott, GNMSS Family Practice- Provider of Choice for Q4, Angela Jones, PT, DPT, ATC, Physical Therapist- January Employee of the Month.
The next BBGH regular board meeting is Monday, February 22nd at noon in the Alliance Room. In the interest of room size limitations, the public is welcome to attend via Zoom.
Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.