Board approves new hospital building space program

At the regular Board meeting April 23, 2019, the Board approved the new hospital building’s space program for approximately 54,000 square feet, projected to cost just below the $44.5 million budgeted amount. The Board also gave approval for the district to proceed to the building’s schematic design phase.

The new hospital building will provide sufficient services and volumes for the next five plus years, with growth areas to be designed for expansion when needed. The building will include 21 hospital beds (nine medical/surgical/OB beds, 10 Sanctuary beds, and two conversion beds that can be used for either department), two large operating room suites and a procedure room. There will be seven emergency department rooms and triage, as well as all required and anticipated outpatient and ancillary services for future growth, said Steve Patonai, LCCHC CEO. The clinic will be located on the hospital campus in the future.

The Board will hold a District Forum for the Hospital on Wednesday, May 8 at the Lake Chelan Senior Center from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Board members will give presentations and answer public questions at the meeting.

District Forum on the Hospital

The LCCHC Board of Commissioners voted at their regular March 26 Board meeting to hold a District Forum on the Hospital Wednesday, May 8 at the Lake Chelan Senior Center at 5:30 PM to share their vision and and answer public questions. The Board scheduled an open workshop meeting on April 16 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM to prepare for the District Forum.

Jane Jedwabny, 2018 Caregiver of the Year

Congratulations to Jane Jedwabny, 2018 Caregiver of the Year. Each year, employees at Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) nominate and vote for four caregivers of the quarter. In 2018, the four recipients were Jose Sausedo, surgical technician, Valerie Rife, Sanctuary intake coordinator, Brad Hankins, clinic administrator, and Jane Jedwabny, Sanctuary director.

At the end of the year, employees vote again to choose the annual winner from the four quarter winners. This year’s winner was Jane Jedwabny. Jane is the director of Sanctuary at the Lake, LCCHC’s dual-diagnosis chemical dependency unit.

Local emergency medicine, healthcare providers honored at annual EMS awards banquet

Chelan, WA –  Saving lives when seconds count is all in a day’s work for Lake Chelan Hospital’s Emergency Medical Services caregivers. The team’s hard work and dedication to the community was celebrated at the annual EMS banquet Feb. 2 at the Chelan Senior Center. “Tonight we celebrate where we have been and get excited about where we are going,” said EMS director Ray Eickmeyer.

Local EMS service started in 1972, after the spouse of Great Griffith, Chelan, was killed a tragic motor vehicle accident. Griffith and a group of volunteers started EMS classes and helped form the Lake Chelan Valley Ambulance system, which is now part of the local hospital.

In 2018, LCCHC EMS answered a record number of response calls, almost 1,500, said Eickmeyer. “We have become a better team,” he continued, “more compassionate and community focused. The proof? We have received more thank you letters and phone calls of appreciation than in the last five years combined.”

Brad Hankins, RN, Lake Chelan Clinic administrator, and Jill Thompson, RN, received the 2018 Edward J. Armbruster Award for their foresight and vision to make a healthier community, from integrated behavior / mental health to the soon-to-be-launched community paramedicine program. Only one percent of the nation has access to this type of service, explained Eickmeyer. Hankins was one of the early EMTs in the valley and has worked in local healthcare for almost 30 years.

Steve Patonai, LCCHC CEO, awarded the 2018 Administrator’s Award to Raynor Baker for constant dedication and service. Raynor has been a fulltime employee for 11 years, taking on the major role of CPR program coordinator. Raynor is a senior EMT instructor and has served with great passion and performance, said Eickmeyer.

The Director’s Award for sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty was presented to Dr. Lance Jobe. Jobe has served over 20 years, said Eickmeyer, and has unified over 23 different organizations in Chelan and Douglas counties to regionally provide the best out-of-hospital cardiac arrest rates in the country.

Rachel McCall was chosen by her EMS peers and recognized as the 2018 Personnel of the Year. McCall was described as “the hardest worker with the best attitude,” “the most encouraging co-worker I know,” “team player,” and “outstanding addition to the team.”

Eleven providers received save pins for CPR saves of patients. Five caregivers were recognized for delivering babies. Rachel McCall, Mark Schram, Greg Moser and Brandon Fogelson were recognized with first-year pins, Jared Eygabroad received his 10-year pin, and James Ashmore, Rinita Cook, Christina Eickmeyer and Ken Young earned 20-year pins. Mark Courtney of Stehekin was honored for 34 years of service as an EMT, most often as a volunteer. He is the only EMT in Stehekin.

At the conclusion of the banquet, Eickmeyer looked to the future. The ambulance organization was born out a need for rescue, and while there is still that need in 2019, he said, there is also a need for prevention and proactivity. “My vision is to show the community that they can have an EMS system that responds to them in a new, meaningful way, both as rescuers and as partners in prevention.”

Quoting Margaret Mead, he continued, “‘Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.’”

Local homeowners will pay less for hospital bonds than projected

A recent drop in interest rates means tax savings for local homeowners, who will pay approximately 33 cents per thousand for 25 years on the community’s new hospital building project. This is both a lower amount and a shorter time period than anticipated.

When the capital bond measure was passed by almost 65 percent in 2017, the hospital district projected voters would pay a rate of 38 cents per thousand for 30 years. A 4.55 percent interest rate secured by the District in December allows the hospital to pass savings on to taxpayers.

“If a home is valued at $300,000, the owner will pay just under $100 a year,” explained Jim Nelson, Bond Underwriter, from D.A. Davidson, at December’s Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) Board meeting. Taxpayers will begin paying for the project in 2019.

“We are very pleased to have the bonds for our new hospital come in under the originally projected amount,” said Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair. “It was the Board’s priority to minimize cost to the taxpayers as much as possible on this project, and this is very good news for property owners in our Hospital District.”

In April 2017, local voters voted to approve the bond measure for $20 million to help fund construction of the new hospital facility. The remaining project costs will be funded by LCCHC, with loans from USDA, grants and the Lake Chelan Health & Wellness Foundation.

The LCCHC Board anticipates breaking ground on the new building in fall of 2019, with occupancy in 2021. It will be built on hospital-owned property at Chelan Apple Blossom Drive, near Wal-Mart, across from Columbia Valley Community Health, and have private patient rooms, increased outpatient capacity and a larger Emergency Department. It will also have space for rehabilitative therapy, laboratory and radiology, as well as an expanded surgery department and a helicopter pad for emergency transfers.

LCCHC Board writes letter to the community

The Board of the Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) approved a Letter to the Lake Chelan Community at their regular Board meeting on December 20, 2018. See content below. Click here for a .pdf version.

Dear Lake Chelan community,

Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics (LCCHC) Board of Commissioners has been working on your behalf on three major activities which will impact health care in our community for many years to come.  These are to:

1)  enhance the health and wellness of residents and visitors,

  2)  improve quality of care to the highest standards, and

  3)  lower health care costs.

We want you to know what we are focused on, and how you can help.

What is the Board doing to prepare for our healthcare future? Our LCCHC Board and key hospital and clinic leaders met for two days in August to develop a Ten Year Vision for LCCHC. This is the most far-reaching strategic plan we have ever developed. It will be updated every year as new information emerges, but we already know enough about the rapidly-changing U.S. health care system to be able to predict numerous local effects.  Many of you are already experiencing these changes. The Board’s Ten Year Vision will safeguard LCCHC’s ability to financially thrive in the years ahead and ensure high-care quality to our community.

LCCHC is now focused on six key areas of Performance Excellence in our Vision: People, Service, Quality & Safety, Growth & Innovation, Finance, and Community.  Excellence in all six of these areas are interrelated and necessary to be successful long-term.  LCCHC employees in all areas are working to achieve measurable results. Progress will be monitored to assure that you have satisfying experiences each and every time you encounter LCCHC.

When will the Board hire a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)? For the last 7 months, the Board has worked with B.E. Smith, a national recruitment firm, to help identify highly-skilled CEO candidates who would love to work in a small but growing rural community. We have taken the necessary time to make sure that the CEO will be the best match to help LCCHC achieve our vision and become a respected leader in our community. Our standards are high, because community expectations are high. All candidates interviewed were very qualified to fill the CEO position but did not “fit” our overall needs.

The Board has offered the CEO position to our Interim CEO, Steve Patonai. During his tenure at LCCHC we have directed Steve to make the necessary improvements to move LCCHC thoughtfully and strategically towards our Vision. As the new CEO Steve will continue these improvements. During this time of significant challenges and changes, we especially appreciate LCCHC leaders and employees working cooperatively, together, in pursuit of excellence on all levels of our organization. The Board is very confident and supportive of the direction in which we are headed under the leadership of Steve Patonai.  He is the best fit for our organization to guide us to the level needed for achievement of our goals and Vision.

When will the Board break ground for the new Health Care Facility? Thanks to the community-approved local levy in 2017 and the USDA guaranteed loan in October 2018, funding is now in place. We must now refine and finalize a detailed building plan to be sure that every detail and space will support the health needs of our community (the new Ten Year Vision).  We anticipate breaking ground in the Fall of 2019 with construction being completed in early 2021. The Board’s goal is to provide a facility built within the $44.5 million budget, in the right size and design to support innovation of the highest quality experience for all, long into the future.

What does the Board need from the community in order to succeed?  LCCHC is your local health care organization for emergency and outpatient medical services, primary and wellness care, specialty care, and a long list of health and education services. We need your support as we move forward.  Your vision of community health care needs is very important to the Board.  The merging of the Community Vision with the Board’s Ten Year Vision will provide  quality health care for everyone in the community  now and in the future. Feedback about your health care experiences will help us to continuously improve care. Please let us know how the Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics can best serve you.

For a healthy Chelan Valley,

Board of Commissioners: Mary Signorelli, Phyllis Gleasman, Fred Miller, Jordana LaPorte, Mary Murphy

 

Hospital Board chooses interim Steve Patonai as permanent CEO

The Board of Directors at Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) voted unanimously to approve a resolution naming interim CEO Steve Patonai as the organization’s permanent CEO at their regular Board meeting Dec. 20.

According to an official statement written by the Board, “For the last 7 months, the Board has worked with B.E. Smith, a national recruitment firm, to help identify highly-skilled CEO candidates who would love to work in a small but growing rural community. We have taken the necessary time to make sure that the CEO will be the best match to help LCCHC achieve our vision and become a respected leader in our community. Our standards are high, because community expectations are high. All candidates interviewed were very qualified to fill the CEO position but did not “fit” our overall needs.

“The Board has offered the CEO position to our Interim CEO, Steve Patonai. During his tenure at LCCHC we have directed Steve to make the necessary improvements to move LCCHC thoughtfully and strategically towards our Vision. As the new CEO Steve will continue these improvements. During this time of significant challenges and changes, we especially appreciate LCCHC leaders and employees working cooperatively, together, in pursuit of excellence on all levels of our organization. The Board is very confident and supportive of the direction in which we are headed under the leadership of Steve Patonai. He is the best fit for our organization to guide us to the level needed for achievement of our goals and Vision.”

Hospital administration and local law enforcement efficiently manage email threat to ensure safety for patients and caregivers

No credible threat, Chelan hospital one of dozens of businesses across nation to receive email bomb threats Thursday

Chelan, WA –  Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) was one of many businesses and institutions across the United States and Canada that received email bomb threats Thursday, Dec. 13. According to an article on CNN, the FBI is aware of the threats and is working with law enforcement to provide assistance.

At LCCHC, workers who received emails responded by notifying the LCCHC IT Security Officer, who quickly identified the email’s source and level of threat and notified the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. The Chelan County Sheriff Officer, LCCHC safety officer and clinic administrator did a visual inspection of both hospital buildings and the Lake Chelan Clinic. No credible threat was found.

See article from Wenatchee World here: https://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2018/dec/13/chelan-hospital-one-many-receive-spam-bomb-threat-email/

Hospital receives USDA funding to complete financing package for new hospital building

Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics receives USDA funding to complete financing package for new hospital building

 

Chelan, WA –  Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) received USDA loan approval Tuesday, Oct. 23 for a total of $22,026,000 for the new hospital building project.

“This is the approval we have been waiting to receive,” said LCCHC Board Chair Mary Signorelli. “It represents the diligent work of many, led by our very capable Chief Financial Officer Vickie Bodle, and we are grateful to all involved and to the community for continued support throughout this process.

“With this approval we are able to move forward on our building process with much gratitude and excitement!”

The new hospital building project is about strategically planning for healthcare services to meet the needs of the Lake Chelan valley in the future, said Steve Patonai, LCCHC interim CEO. “Our goal is to build a facility to help patients receive the medical care they need, right here, in our community.”

Hospital district residents voted to approve a bond to help fund construction of a new hospital facility in Chelan in April 2017. The cost of the construction project is $44.5 million, and voters voted to pay $20 million. The USDA loan, which is a low-interest Department of Agriculture loan, will fund the remainder of the project, as well as grants, hospital funds and donations from the Lake Chelan Health & Wellness Foundation.

The new building, which will be located on hospital-owned property at Apple Blossom Drive, near Wal-Mart and across from the new Columbia Valley Community Health Clinic building, will have private patient rooms, larger birthing rooms, increased outpatient capacity and a larger Emergency Department. It will also have space for Rehabilitative Therapy, Laboratory and Radiology, as well as an expanded Surgery Department and a helicopter pad for emergency transfers. The fully ADA accessible hospital will be designed for cost effectiveness, said Patonai.

Architects from CollinsWoerman have made two site visits to meet with caregivers about space and design of the new facility. With recent loan approval, the architects and general contractor Bouten Construction Company will resume the design process.

“We have concept drawings that will be very helpful,” said Barry Leahy, project manager. “Our next step is to finalize those and begin the permitting process through USDA, the city of Chelan and the Department of Health. If all comes together as hoped, we hope to break ground in 2019 and complete the building in 2021.”

Bouten Construction Company, based in Spokane, has been a regional leader in healthcare construction for more than 70 years, building some of the largest and most complex facilities from eastern Washington to western Montana, as well as critical access hospitals like LCCHC.

Thanks from our Chelan School partners

Chelan Athletics would like to thank PA (Physician Assistant) Trent Lyman and the Lake Chelan Community Hospital for all their support with our student-athletes. There are many programs they provide for us.

Most recently, with all the concerns around concussions, Lyman and his staff have provided a concussion baseline test that our student-athletes take, which in return, becomes an added resource for them to use when an injury may occur. Impact testing is a program that Lyman and his staff use to assist when making a diagnosis on a concussion.

The test is $40 a student-athlete. The LCCH provides this test to all our CHS student-athletes that play contact sports free of charge.

Here you see our 2018 girls soccer team taking the baseline test. All football and girls soccer student-athletes have taken this concussion test. In the future, wrestling, girls and boys basketball, boys soccer, baseball and softball student-athletes will take the concussion baseline test before their seasons begin.

We are fortunate to have so much support in Chelan in keeping our student-athletes safer and more informed. We thank all of you for your service and GO GOATS!