Hospital approves three percent pay raise

This article submitted by Peter Jacobson on 7/3/96.

At their June 26 meeting, the hospital board voted to grant a three percent raise effective July 1, 1996. This increase is effective for all wage and salaried people except the LPN's who are under their union contract which expires on September 30, 1996. The hospital and the LPN negotiating team have agreed to open the contract talks before Sept. 30.

Mr William LaCroix, hospital administrator,ćstated that all hospital personnel wages have been frozen since October, 1994, and the traditional time for annual wage adjustments is October 1 of each year. Because employees have not had a raise in 21 months, and the Health Care System is doing much better financially than it was last year at this time, it was decided to grant this increase three months early.

"Last year at this time, the system showed an $81,000 loss, and in 1996, it shows $343,000 in the black. thatÍs a $424,000 turn around" said LaCroix.

"Our employees stuck with us during our tough times. Now that we are financially doing much better, it's time to reward them with this raise in July rather than wait till October," LaCroix concluded.

Reconstruction of the roof over much of the hospital portion of the complex is on schedule, and photos and records of the wet spots due to the leaks are being kept. The lawsuit with Conklin over the leaky roof is progressing slowly, according to LaCroix.

The low bid for the financing of the replacement roof was accepted at 7.8 percent interest from Carlton Financial.

Representatives of the Paynesville Area Health Care System will be attending the Richmond City Council meeting on July 31 to discuss the possibility of Richmond joining the hospital district. The potential need to upgrade the Richmond Clinic will also be addressed. The clinic was built as a one doctor clinic, and currently two doctors and a physician's assistant are there each week. Architectural estimates to upgrade to gain three exam rooms and upgrade the x-ray room are $107,000. The architect feels the money to upgrade may be better spent on building a new clinic which could house up to three physicians. LaCroix stated the Richmond area has potential for growth, and the idea of a larger clinic needs to be explored.

The board approved a change in the by-laws regarding staff privileges. Section 4.6-2 now reads "If the physician has not seen any patients during the six [6]- or twelve[12]-month provisional period, permanent appointment to the medical staff will not be granted and the physician will be required to re-apply for any medical staff privileges." The board also granted full medical staff privileges to David Lindgren, M.D. [consulting staff, OB-GYN], and to Gregory Friederichs, O.D. [ancillary staff, Optometry].

In other action, the board:
´Noted the closing of the sale of the old Paynesville Medical Clinic building.

´Discussed the new signage for clinic parking. The signs are up.

´Discussed the possibility of the wellness center moving to the Paynesville Area Senior Center, and gave the administration the go ahead to pursue that move.

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