County Commissioners Ratify Hospital Board’s Purchases; Hear Five Rivers RC&D’s Budget
Purchase of two major equipment items for Nemaha County Hospital was ratified Wednesday, July 13, by the Nemaha County Board of Commissioners. Both purchases were recommended by the Nemaha County Hospital Board of Directors.
The commissioners ratified a $297,720 purchase of a Shimadzu RadSpeed digital radiography system from Browns Medical Imaging. The system was a budgeted capital expense and came with a one-year warranty. The company will dispose of the hospital’s old equipment.
Kermit Moore, Nemaha County Hospital chief operating officer, said that hospital officials have worked on the digital radiography system purchase for about 18 months but they delayed the purchase until after construction. Moore said that such equipment has not been purchased for the hospital in 27 years. He said that the current equipment was still functional but the new equipment is more technology advanced. Moore said that Nemaha County Hospital needs to have such equipment available if they want to continue to do business.
Dave Allen, director of diagnostic imaging, said that digital radiography was the most up-to-date technology for diagnostic radiology examinations.
The Shimadzu RadSpeed digital system with two wireless removable DR panels will replace the two existing Toshiba analog radiography systems. Allen said that the two detector radiography system will help maintain speed, flexibility, ease of use for staff when the radiology department is reduced from two diagnostic rooms to one diagnostic room. With the dual detector room, Allen said that there will be less handling of the removable panel which can promote safer, faster examinations along with better patient care. He said that when evaluating vendors with regards to service, the Shimadzu RadSpeed system has the advantage of being located in close proximity, Omaha. Allen added that the digital equipment is used in such rural hospitals as West Point, Albion and McCook in Nebraska; and Atlantic and Storm Lake, Iowa.
Also ratified was a $16,232.50 purchase of a GlideScope from Verathon Medical. Hospital officials designated $18,500 in the capital budget for the equipment. Moore said the equipment will improve patient quality.
The GlideScope Video Laryngoscope provides hospital staff the ability to intubate patients safely and efficiently, especially when less experienced personnel were on duty or for difficult intubations, officials said. The equipment may be used for first-use intubations, normal or restricted oropharyngeal views and trauma airways. The equipment gives hospital staff the ability to intubate adult, pediatric and infant patients.
The physician staff at the hospital has received a demonstration of the equipment and it supports the enhancement in patient care that the equipment will provide for Nemaha County Hospital patients. The equipment is used in many Nebraska hospitals and is becoming the standard of care. Hospital officials reviewed several other systems but believed that the other systems did not have the proven track record or the same capability.
Health Insurance Proposals,
Request For Part-Time Employee
The commissioners discussed health insurance for county employees with Jim Oestmann and Angela Brown. Both will return to continue the discussion.
The commissioners favored remaining with United Health Care, the current provider. The proposal called for a substantial increase. Discussion included possibly increasing the deductible and considering a preventative program. The current deductible was $2,000. The renewal is due in September.
County Attorney Louie Ligouri requested that a part-time employee be hired. The employee would work about 10 hours weekly for six weeks. The position was previously included in the budget.
Five Rivers RC&D Membership Dues Request
Representatives of Five Rivers Resource Conservation & Development, Inc. (RC&D) requested membership dues of 20 cents per capita from each of the eight counties. That represents about $1,500 for Nemaha County, which contributed $300 in fiscal 2010-2011.
Commissioners took the funding request under advisement as they are working on the fiscal 2011-2012 budget. Commissioner Marvin Bohling said that the board will do its best to help as they believe that Five Rivers RC&D is a good program.
Five Rivers RC&D includes Nemaha, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson and Saline counties. Its project areas include: business/employment and economic development, community development, natural resource protection, and recreation and tourism. The council is among 12 in Nebraska and 375 nationwide.
Mary Kruger, Nemaha County representative, said that the federal budget crunch eliminated a lot of Five River’s funding. However, Five Rivers RC&D members believed it is important to stay together. The group has discussed a plan to survive and continue with its projects. Members agreed that while these are tough economic times, the contributing entities receive a good dollar return for their investment, Kruger said.
She added that RC&D staff helped with the development of the Auburn Recreational Complex. Members have received calls about when the next hazardous waste collection will be. Kruger said that RC&D representatives have had good responses from officials of other counties. Many representatives on the RC&D are county commissioners, she said.
Also representing Nemaha County on the council is Scott Kudrna of Auburn, representing the Nemaha Natural Resources District.
Howard McNiff said that Five Rivers RC&D has enjoyed support from officials of all eight counties which it serves. The council has worked on a variety of projects, has a lot of experience and wisdom. McNiff said the council serves the interests of county officials well as a regional organization.
Five Rivers RC&D, which started in 1991, is a 501(c)(3) organization. McNiff said that is a big deal for officials of small communities and small organizations. The RC&D has worked in partnership with various organizations. Its projects have included a wine school, which has attracted attendees from 10 states; household hazardous waste collections; tire collections; drug abuse prevention coalitions and business training. The agency tries to fill in the gaps where there is a need, McNiff explained.
“We hope that we’ve been a good enough partner that county officials can see the value of it. We’ve more than paid for ourselves with our grants received. We want to try and hold the council together and continue our projects,” McNiff said.
The former federal funding of about $130,000, which has been eliminated, included paying for a full-time coordinator, part-time assistant, office space and a vehicle. Five Rivers RC&D has arranged to keep its office space in Tecumseh.
“We believe that we can move forward without federal assistance,” McNiff said.
Mark Mainelli of Mainelli Wagner & Associates discussed bridge projects for fiscal 2011-2012. A $114 quote per bridge for 2011 bridge inspections was approved. There will be 63 bridges inspected.
The commissioners approved the following:
–An agreement for Emergency Protective Custody Service with Region V Systems from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012 at a cost of $121 per individual for each day or fraction thereof;
–Omaha Public Power District applications for a proposed single phase overhead crossing and set pole, seven miles south and 1.5 miles west of Johnson; Larry Habegger’s proposed single phase underground crossing 1.5 miles south and three miles west of Brownville, and a proposed single phase underground crossing, three miles south and 2.5 miles west of Nemaha;
–A resolution releasing a $250,000 pledged security to First National Bank of Johnson;
–Two Windstream applications, to replace communications facilities near Auburn and to place communications facilities near Johnson.
The Board also:
–appointed Marvin Bohling as alternate delegate to Five Rivers RC&D; and
–authorized Chairman Bob Hutton to sign the subgrant agreement between the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Children and Family Services and Nemaha County for child enforcement Title IV-D State Program, from Oct. 1, 2011-Sept. 30, 2012.