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Paynesville Press - May 3, 2006

Board discussed proposal to open a new clinic in Spicer

The Paynesville Area Hospital District Board of Directors took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, April 26.

•The board discussed a proposal to open a new clinic in Spicer with Jean Spaulding, representing the Spicer Economic Development Authority. Spaulding told the board that a survey in Spicer indicated that the community desires better medical facilities. Community representatives toured the main campus of the Paynesville Area Health Care System - the name under which the hospital district operates - in Paynesville and the system's new clinic in Cold Spring.

The board previously discussed this proposal to open a clinic in Spicer at their March meeting. Spicer EDA is offering a $200,000 loan at one percent interest over five years for the clinic project.

Some board members continue to be concerned by the relative distance of Spicer from the Paynesville Area Hospital (18 miles) and its relative closeness to Rice Hospital in Willmar (9 miles). Since most Spicer people now go to Rice, board member Don Anderson asked how PAHCS would be able to change that mindset and get them to come here. With your care, attitudes, and services, said Spaulding.

Opening a clinic in Spicer would also depend on recruiting an additional doctor to staff it. PAHCS is currently recruiting up to three physicians: one for Paynesville, one for Richmond, and one for Spicer.

Steve Moburg, chief executive officer for PAHCS, said the system needs to continue to evaluate the risks and opportunities presented by the Spicer offer before making a final decision. Spicer is located on the Highway 23 growth corridor, but competitors operate clinics in New London and Willmar.

•The board was informed that the system recorded $117,300 in profit in March, slightly under budget for the month. Thru half of their 2007 fiscal year, the system has recorded a profit of $601,500, just $18,000 below their budgeted profit of $619,500.

•The board approved appointing Dr. Edward Green, M.D. (allergist), to the consulting staff after he completed his provisional period.

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