Hospital addresses COVID patient transfer problems

By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County Hospital District met in Regular Session on October 14, 2020. The Trustees approved refinancing the District’s outstanding 2009 Bonds to reduce the interest rate from 6-6.25% interest to 1.99% interest and to reduce the remaining term from nine years to eight years. The Board authorized the sale of $4,399,000 in outstanding bonds and fees to TIB. This will result in a savings of over $800,000 in interest payments over the next eight years.

Judy Blazek, Project Manager, updated the Board on the parking lot/façade improvements project. Blazek noted that the footings have been inspected and poured and the stucco finishing has begun. It is anticipated that the steel for the façade will be delivered in late November with anticipated project completion in December.

Hospital Administrator Rick Gray briefed the Board on the Culberson Hospital’s response to the COVID-19, noting that cases are increasing in West Texas. Gray also reported that there is difficulty in transferring patients due to limited beds and/or limited staff in area hospitals, noting that they are having to expand the search as far as San Angelo so far. Gray acknowledged that the District was temporarily limited to one ambulance for local service due to mechanical and electronic difficulties with two of the ambulances. The 2019 ambulance has subsequently been fixed. Arrangements were made with Hudspeth County EMS to assist in transfers as needed. Gray reported that the hospital is conducting drive-through administration of flu injections on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Trustees acknowledged receipt of the resignation of Board member Joe Morales. Morales recently was sworn in as Tax Assessor-Collector of Culberson County. The Board will accept the resignation at the next board meeting and consider the means to fill the vacancy until the next election.

In other business, the Culberson County Hospital District:

Approved the consent agenda.

Approved the 2020 Tax Roll for Collection with a levy of $4,067,478.54.

Authorized routine payments for 2020-2021.

Acknowledged receipt of the 2019 CCAD Audit Report.


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