Hospital pursuing avenues for local pharmacy service

Fran oathBy Becky Brewster

At the regular meeting of the Culberson County Hospital District held on June 1, the Board learned that American Home Health with its delivery service for prescriptions will be pulling out of Van Horn this month.  Jonathon Voelkel, Hospital Administrator, reported that Preferred Hospital Management is negotiating with a regional pharmacy to begin providing telepharmacy services in Van Horn with the goal of opening a full-service pharmacy in the new clinic building once it is completed.  Another home health agency is looking at expanding its presence in Van Horn which will fill the void left by the departure of American Home Health.

Since the District only had two candidates apply for a place on the ballot for the May 7 election, the District was eligible to cancel its election.  The candidates, incumbent Cheryl Owen, and new Board member Fran Malafronte, were eligible to take their seats for the four year term after the date the results would have been canvassed.  Oaths of Office were administered, and the following officers were elected for 2016-2017: President – Edwin Easley, Vice-President – Larry Simpson, Secretary – Gracie Mendoza.

Judy Blazek, Project Manager for the Clinic Construction project, briefed the Board on the status of the clinic construction project noting that the actual construction work has begun.  She advised the Board that when the new sewer line is connected to the sewer main, the sewer will be disconnected at the hospital for approximately three hours. This will be scheduled at night to provide the least disruption to the hospital as possible.

Jonathon Voelkel then reported that one of the ambulances is down, and will need major repair or replacement.  The EMS is licensed for three ambulances, and currently has three in operation so the EMS will be able to remain fully functional. However, with the age and mileage of the two older units it is imperative that the District begin looking at repairing or replacing the unit that is down.  The EMS did acquire a new ambulance in December 2014, and the District’s Capital Improvements Plan provides for the purchase of a new ambulance every three years. Edwin Easley stated that due to the age of the ambulance he would prefer to replace the unit.  The Board discussed various grant possibilities for assistance in funding a new ambulance.

In other business, the Culberson County Hospital District:

• Approved financial reports and accounts payable.

• Postponed consideration of a tax sale proposal.

• Accepted a proposal from ComTel USA for cabling service to the new clinic.

• Ratified Change Orders for the construction project.


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