NBHH board discusses new programs

The board of directors of North Big Horn Hospital District discussed a number of new programs being introduced over the next few months at their regular monthly meeting held on Feb. 21.

Hospital CEO Rick Schroeder informed the board that the visiting nurse program had received approval from the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) and he is expecting the program to start as soon as a nurse is hired to run the program. The hospital is currently recruiting a registered nurse to fill the role of visiting nurse and to manage the program. As the program grows, more employees will be hired based on the demand for services through the program.

Phlebotomist Jenna VanKirk draws blood for Lovell resident Dawn Eades, who took advantage of the reduced price blood tests offered at the first “Home Town Healthy Living” mini-health fair held on Tuesday at the Lovell Community Center. The preventive health program is offered by North Big Horn Hospital.

“The visiting nurse program will help patients who are released from the hospital but who are not ready to be home alone yet,” explained Schroeder. “It will also help people sustain a level of health that hopefully will keep them from having to be put back into the hospital after they were released.”

Schroeder also gave an update on the success of the “Lovell’s Biggest Loser” which attracted more than 40 participants the first night it was held. The free program is designed to help community members adopt a healthy lifestyle through motivating weekly lectures, nutritional advice and exercise programs.

He also discussed that Wyoming Healthy Frontiers program authorized the hospital to promote the program, which is a pilot program the hospital will be participating in that helps underinsured individuals seek preventative medical care.

Tina Toner of the nursing department reported that the hospital was slow in January but was very busy in February. Traci Harrison also reported that the New Horizons Care Center census was also low in January but that the assisted living facility was full.

Human Resources Director Barb Shumway reported that positions open for employment included EMT, CAN/Elder Assistant, RN, LPN, Dietary Aide and Facility Services Manager.

She also reported that the hospital hired two EMTs, one registered nurse and one certified nursing assistant in the previous month. The hospital currently has 238 employees.

She also outlined ongoing health and wellness programs offered to employees as part of the hospital’s overall focus on creating a “wellness culture” change in the community.

CFO Daphne Hartman presented the hospital monthly financial reports to the board noting that the low census in January contributed to a loss that month.

By Patti Carpenter