The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

Haxtun Health election cancelled; Soens to fill seat

 

April 27, 2022



The Haxtun Health Board of Directors will remain the same as recent notice of cancellation came regarding upcoming elections to elect one director. Per the notification, there were not more candidates for director than offices to be filled, therefore Pastor Jeri Soens has been elected to a three-year term to expire in May 2025. Soens was the only local resident who submitted necessary paperwork to fill the vacancy on the Board.

Soens, who has served on the local hospital board for the past few years, will continue her place around the table along with fellow members Kent Bamford, Rod Salvador, Jeff Firme and Rebecca Ensminger. The five-member Board recently met for a special meeting to select a contractor for the main street clinic project’s final stage as well as an April meeting to conduct regular business.

According to Dewane Pace, Chief Executive Officer of Haxtun Health, the board of directors selected Skarco Design as the company to complete the final phase of construction for the main street clinic during a special meeting on April 5.

“Skarco has been involved with the project from the beginning and was responsible for the concrete work,” Pace said. “Having a company from the eastern plains that understands the project and will strive to work with local firms as much as possible is a plus.”

Skarco Design, a company based out of Burlington, works in a seven-state area and has completed significantly larger and more complex projects than the main street clinic here in Haxtun, Pace added. He said Mike Ensminger, Project Manager, has been pleased with the work that Skarco has done so far and he looks forward to working with them on this final phase.

“Expect to see construction ramp back up within the next month and a new clinic open on main street sometime in 2023,” said Pace.

In their reports at the regular monthly meeting on April 18, both Chief of Staff Ben Stephenson and Chief Nursing Officer Lea White gave updates on COVID as it relates to Haxtun Health and the local community. White said since the last board meeting, zero staff members have been out with COVID and the hospital has seen zero patients with the virus. Additionally, no patients in the extended care unit have tested positive for COVID thus far this year.

“New cases and seven-day averages are declining, along with COVID related deaths,” said Dr. Stephenson in his report. “Although COVID appears to be diminishing, new variants will likely continue to be on the horizon. This month, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster of either Pfizer or Moderna for older adults and certain immunocompromised patients.”

Stephenson said per the FDA, emerging evidence suggests that a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against severe COVID-19 and isn’t associated with new safety issues.

Per the Center for Disease and Control guidelines, White said health care workers continue to wear masks when they are in areas of the healthcare facility where they could encounter patients.

“Staff continues to wear masks at work regardless of vaccination status,” she said.

Dr. Stephenson also announced the he, along with Dr. Amy Seinfeld, have been selected by the Colorado Health Service Corp. for a loan repayment program. The application process, he said, was extensive, took several months and was competitive. “This is awarded to providers serving in rural and underserved areas of Colorado,” he said. “Part of the agreement is a three-year service commitment.”

In her Chief Community Relations Officer report to board members, Julia Biesemeier gave an update on the infrastructure project happening on the main Haxtun Health campus. She gave an in-depth report on the project to the local Lions Club at a recent club meeting.

She said that the infrastructure project has closed the north ECU hallway, which is the last of the patient rooms that will be affected. The hallway and patient rooms are expected to be complete in April.

Additionally, the kitchen ceiling has been taken down and work has begun in the kitchen area of the campus. The back employee hallway remains closed while the kitchen work is complete.

Biesemeier said work is also underway in the chapel. Marv Einsphar’s crew is removing ceilings and cleaning out infrastructure material that was being stored in that location. “There is duct work and an HVAC unit that needs to be installed and tied into once the kitchen area is complete,” she said.

To wrap up his information to the Board, Pace said Haxtun Health continues to benefit from a partnership with other eastern plains hospitals. Haxtun Health is a member of the Eastern Plains Health Care Consortium, an organization of 10 hospitals working collaboratively to support each other while maintaining independence.

“Through several groups that meet monthly such as the CFO, CNO, HR, CEO and quality directors groups, we have been able to accomplish many things that none of us could have done along such as submitting a plan for meeting the new required Hospital Transformation Project that required each hospital to submit a detailed plan of quality improvement measures and regular reports – we wrote the plan as a group of 10 hospitals together and it was not only accepted, but recognized as superior quality.”

 

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