The board decided that the who and where would need to be discussed further, but the clinic was needed regardlessly. The board of directors voted unanimously to purchase the clinic building from Roger Dreyling.
The agreement with Dreyling calls for a purchase price of $308,000, with $8,000 down and 6.5 percent interest over 15 years. During the negotiations, the hospital was presented with several price structures, according to hospital system administrator, Willie LaCroix. After the financial department ran the numbers on a computer, this was the lowest by a few thousand dollars.
The hospital system plans to use the clinic to house complementary medicine, potentially including massage therapy, chelation, nutrition, psychology, and chiropractic care. Dr. Tom Sult might move his practice to the clinic, the board was told. LaCroix has asked clinic manager Rosemary Devlin to develop a department budget for complementary medicine.
Chiropractic care is one issue that will be examined further by the Joint Management Committee, formed by hospital board members and medical staff members.
The hospital system bought Dreyling's practice, patient charts, and equipment in 1997. Last winter the system considered purchasing Dreyling's clinic building and hiring Dr. Randy Jacklitch to handle chiropractic care. Eventually it was decided to remodel the system's satellite clinic in Belgrade and the system approved hiring Dr. Jason Peterson to handle chiropractic care in Belgrade as needed.
The issue of chiropractic care complicated the decision of whether to purchase the Lakeview Clinic. LaCroix asked the board to let the Joint Management Committee explore whether to have it, how to have it, or with whom to have it.
Several board members were concerned that the new clinic building would be underutilized without chiropractic care. That made them hesitant to vote on buying the clinic until they were assured that the clinic would be used regardlessly.
"Tom (Dr. Tom Sult) is already worried about it not being big enough," Dr. Randy Zimmerman told the board. "Chiropractor or not, I think we'll fill it up."
"It'll be used," agreed LaCroix.
*The board approved an e-mail and Internet policy for guiding its use by personnel in the hospital system, which should be connected to the Internet through five stations soon. "I've heard from other people that (the policy will constantly) change," said Karen Bachman, chief financial officer. "There'll be things that we add to it. This is a start."
*The board authorized LaCroix to start negotiations to sell the old clinic building in Richmond. During an appraisal, it was suggested that the building be sold as a residential property.
*Construction of a new clinic in Richmond is proceeding well. "Basically, we're right on schedule," said LaCroix. "They're getting ready to pour the floor."
"The big problem is we don't have access to County Road 9," he added. The system's request for access has been denied twice, and will now be appealed before the county commissioners.
*The board also directed the Joint Management Committee to explore staffing of a clinic in Watkins. CentraCare of St. Cloud has offered to sell the clinic to the Paynesville Area Health Care System. "We've got to go back and make sure we can cover it," LaCroix told the board.
*The system is also recruiting physicians actively again. One resident physician visited in June and another will be coming to visit in July. The idea would be to have another physician join the system next summer. There might even be a need for two doctors.
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