Richmond Clinic plans moving forward

This article submitted by Peter Jacobson on 3/2/99.

Refinements in the estimated cost of the new medical clinic in Richmond were reviewed at the Paynesville Area Health Care System (PAHCS) Board of Directors meeting held Wed., Feb. 24, 1999. The estimated cost for the present design is approximately $800,000.

Ancillary areasĖincluding reception, waiting room, nurses station, laboratory, X-ray department, and office spacesĖare being designed to accommodate up to five physicians. The current plan, however, calls for adequate exam rooms for only three physicians, with easy expansion of exam rooms to house five physicians at a later date.

Included in the new plans is a physical therapy department. PAHCS currently is renting space in Richmond to house physical therapy.

The building will also be designed so that a connection can be made, at some future date, to the Rich Haven apartments, which are located right next door to the proposed new clinic.

The Richmond City Council approved a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district at their council meeting Feb. 24 for the new clinic project. PAHCS will be receiving approximately $34,000 per year back from Real Estate taxes for a period of nine years. The TIF district makes the new clinic building financially feasible, according to Willie LaCroix, PAHCS administrator.

According to the TIF district agree-ment between the city of Richmond and PAHCS, the TIF will be activated upon completion of the clinic by March 31, 2000.

PAHCS also has received a letter of intent to join the hospital district, following the Richmond City Council meeting. The city of Richmond voted to join the PAHCS hospital district in the general election last Nov. 3. The vote to join passed with 309 yes, 307 no and 12 ballots blank.

Special legislation is needed in order for Richmond to join, since it is not contiguous to any part of the district. Representative Doug Stang has set up the house hearing for 12:30 p.m., Monday, March 8, at the capitol in St. Paul. The Senate hearing had not been set at press time.

Lake Henry Township supervisors invited representatives from PAHCS to their regular monthly meeting for the purpose of discussing joining the hospital district.

ďThis really was a positive meeting,Ē LaCroix said. ďthere was no opposition to the district, just to increased taxes.Ē

Efforts to put the item on the ballot for the general township election March 9 ran short of time, according to Lake Henry Township supervisor Ralph Klassen. Klassen told the Press Monday the county needs three weeks notice to make that happen. They did not receive that much notice.

The smoking policy at PAHCS was discussed following a second concern from the family of a patient.

Current state law mandates that no smoking be allowed in the hospital. ďOur policy is consistent with that law,Ē LaCroix told the board.

ďWe cannot require residents of the manor to stop smoking,Ē LaCroix added. ďThis is their home, and we must allow them to smoke if they choose to do so.Ē PAHCS does provide a well ventilated room for staff and residents of Koronis Manor to smoke. The room is located in the manor wing of the facility.

The PAHCS board, following the recommendation of the Joint Manage-ment Committee, decided to pursue developing complementary medicine at the Eastside Clinic in Belgrade. This decision puts on hold the purchase of the Lakeview Medical Clinic from Dr. Roger Dreyling for a complementary medicine clinic and the partnering with Dr. Randy Jacklitch for chiropractic services.

The agreement with Dr. Jack Guy for services at the Eastside Clinic in Belgrade has also been completed, and Dr. Guy will no longer be seeing patients there.

The issue of inequities for trip pay when staff is on call was brought to the attention of the board by a group from the radiology department. The board, through the personnel committee, will start addressing the call situation of all the departments involved. Hopefully, a solution can be reached in time for the next budgeting period beginning October 1, 1999.

LaCroix stated he has made contact with Monte Eastvold, Juran & Moody, to discuss a two to three million dollar bond issue to build the new clinic, remodel the Koronis Manor, upgrade the OB/Outreach areas, and combine several leases and payments. ďBoth consol-idation and low interest rates make this an attractive concept,Ē LaCroix said.

The board extended full staff privileges for Gregory Meyers, M.D., Radiation Oncologist; Andrea Joplin, M.D., Opthalmologist; and Ronald Wolter, LISCW, Psychology.

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