Hospital to study adding daycare program for employees’ children

Republic County Hospital administrator David-Paul Cavazos was authorized by the board of trustees Monday to begin a serious study of adding a daycare for hospital employees only to the hospital campus.

“Just counting informally we think there would be at least 12 children of hospital staff members that could use the service,” he said. “I think a daycare in-house could be a good recruitment tool for us to recruit and retain staff.”

Because of the hospital’s Medicare reimbursement formula, the daycare can only be offered to staff members, and not the general public, he said.

Cavazos said he would visit with contractors about estimates to renovate a space for a daycare, do a survey of staff to assess the demand, and do cost estimates based on the amount of providers needed to care for children based on the numbers enrolled.

“I’ve had a very difficult time finding daycare in Belleville,” Melton told the board. “I’m using a provider in Concordia.”

Bowers, who also has young children, agreed. “When I my husband and I were hired (Kyle Bowers is a physical therapist) we did not have daycare, and I thought I might not be able to start until we found a provider,” she said. “Just before I was scheduled to start, I found a parttime opening, and for a while I drove my son to a friend’s house in Concordia the other days.”

Flooring, concrete

Monday’s meeting was the first for new board member Dr. Andy Walker, who represents the medical staff on the board of trustees. In other business Monday:

  • The board authorized payment of $105,000 for equipment and installation of a new boiler system that will replace the steam-heat boilers that are original to the 1960s-era construction of the hospital. Maintenance director Troy Isaacson said the boiler will heat the acute patient wing and Intermediate Swing Bed unit, “direct areas of patient care.”
  • Isaacson also presented a proposal for concrete repairs on the walkways around the hospital and the Prairie Ridge Estates apartments. The bid was awarded to Quality Express, Hebron, for $7,019. Isaacson said contractors hope to complete the work by December 30. No local companies responded to requests for estimates, he said.
  • The board directed Isaacson to seek bids to replace 12-year-old carpet with vinyl tile in several public areas of the hospital. The hospital will vote by email when the final estimates are received to take advantage of year end pricing. All quotes are from Republic County businesses.
  • The board approved $50,000 in matching funds towards a new instrument washer in surgery and a defibrillator unit. A Dane Hansen Foundation grant provided more than half of the purchase price of the new equipment. Cavazos said the hospital has also received grants for a new infant warmer for the obstetrics department and for IT infrastructure.
  • Deb Hadachek, board chair, who also serves as liaison with the North Central Kansas Health Care Foundation gave an update on physician recruitment. The hospital and Foundation have several interested residency candidates who will complete school in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Cavazos said the county recently received a high score as an underserved area, which will gain physicians who locate here extra federal assistance in repaying student loan debt.

Cavazos said he and local physicians will complete the emergency room coverage schedule for 2019, and interested residents may be hired for weekend emergency room coverage to introduce them to the hospital and community.

Cavazos also raised the possibility of the hospital adding a mid-level practitioner to its staff to assist in ER coverage during the day, and will investigate a telemedicine service to help provide ER coverage.