Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy
Governing Board Chair Alicia Edwards, at the beginning of the monthly Gila Regional Medical Center board meeting on March 23, 2023, introduced HealthTech Regional Chief Clinical Officer Carolyn St. Charles, who would later give the HealthTech update in place of Regional Vice President Scott Manis.
Edwards also introduced the new GRMC Interim Chief Nursing Officer Cynthia Lewis, who said she looks forward to working in the community and in the progression of changes at the hospital.
Members recognized Dr. Norman Ratliff, who as a cardiologist employed by Gila Regional was the first such position at the hospital 10 years ago. "I've only heard good things about you and your cardiology services," Edwards said. "I also want to recognize Dr. Ratliff for bringing to GRMC the CT coronary angiogram with fractional flow reserve, also known as the heart flow machine. It is a very advanced diagnostic tool, and we are the first in New Mexico to have one."
Also recognized, but not present, was Meagan Kuehnlenz-Gutierrez for her five years of service in the Emergency Room.
Governing Board Member Eloy Medina said she is an individual very committed to patient care "She has two jobs, one here and one in Las Cruces. She is in the process of getting her paramedic certification. We are trying to recruit her here to a full-time position."
The members went into executive session.
When they returned after a short time, they approved the consent agenda of minutes. With no old business, they went into new business.
Governing Board members approved the first item addressing the Medical Executive Committee's recommendation for provider credentialing.
The following item contained many sub-items of delineation of privileges the MEC had recommended for approval.
Interim Chief Executive Officer Margie Molitor said every physician applies for specific privileges. "If they don't have the privileges, they cannot do them in the facility."
Members approved the delineation of privileges for cardiology, dermatology, family medicine, infectious disease, internal medicine, nephrology, neurology, psychiatry, pulmonary disease, radiation oncology, and sleep medicine.
Three additional items recommended for approval included outpatient ordering, including infusion scope of services. Chief Financial Officer Patrick Banks explained the item changed privileges to scope of service and moved providers with infusion only privileges to outpatient ordering, including infusion scope of services into the community-based category. Members approved the infusion scope of services.
The second of the three approved by members was the phase out of infusion only privileges. Banks said it cleaned up the item.
The third item approved addressed another phase out for elimination of the Allied Health 2018 delineation of privileges. Banks said it was a legacy item that was no longer necessary, "although there are a couple still doing good work."
The final item in the list addressed the delineation of privileges for emergency medicine and was approved by members.
Members approved the amendment to purchase and maintain IT hardware with Nutanix, as well as additional virtual machine infrastructure with PC Connection.
A following approved item addressd the consolidated service agreement for GE imaging equipment with GE Precision Healthcare LLC. Banks said the items covered included the MRI, the other CT scanner and the ultrasound machine. "It is the same coverage we had, except we are removing a mothballed piece of equipment.
A resolution addressed the approval by members of the final amended budget for fiscal year 2022. "The audit has been accepted," Banks said. "We got another clean audit with solid numbers for 2022, because of our dual status as a critical access hospital and as a 501c3 non-profit organization."
The next resolution, approved by members, accepted the annual audit for FY 2022.
The final resolution approved and adopted the flexible spending account for the cafeteria plan. Banks noted it had nothing to do with dining. "It's our menu of options for certain employee benefits. We're changing the FSA administrator, but nothing is changing for employee's balances or access to those balances. It helps our new administrator issue debit cards and that sort of thing. It gives employees benefits on their spending for tax purposes usually in health care. The change in administrator, which is lower cost for us, brings no change for employees other than enhanced service."
The next article will get into the reports from the leadership team and HealthTech.