CPGH expansion contract draws healthy interest

Posted: Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Thirty-two contractors have expressed interest in working on the Central Peninsula General Hospital expansion, according to the hospital's top executive.

Chief Executive Officer David Gilbreath told the CPGH, Inc. Board of Directors on Thursday evening that one-third of the contractors are general contractors who are interested in bidding on Phase 2 of the planned $49.9 million expansion.

Phase 1 of the project, site preparation , was completed by the end of last year, and Gilbreath said the Kenai Peninsula Borough could award a construction contract as early as mid-March on the second phase. Bids are slated to close at the end of February.

Construction on Phase 2, which calls for building a 74,000 square-foot, two-story wing with a basement, is expected to take 14 months.

The planned expansion will be done in three phases and will include replacing the 33 existing multi-patient rooms with 50 single-patient rooms, adding two surgeries bringing the total number to four and going from one to two sterile-procedure rooms.

In other business before the board of directors Thursday, interim Chief Financial Officer Mike Haggerty reported the hospital had operating income of $144,624 during December 2004, and the average daily census was 18.84 patients compared to a budgeted average of 21.16.

The shortfall in patient census contributed to a $212,000 variance in net operating revenue for the month as compared to budget. The hospital currently shows an operating income loss of $130,851 for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The board also threw its support to a recommendation raising the hospital's trauma designation to Level 3 from Level 4.

Chief of Staff Dr. Curt Buchholz told the board the surgical and medical staffs at the hospital want to move toward Level 3 in order to be prepared to react to trauma cases that might arrive and to have necessary nursing training in place at the time.

"If we have trauma in this area, we'll be better prepared to handle it," Buchholz said.

"(Being at Level 3) provides an overall team organization," said Chief Nursing Officer Lee Jackson.

"It has been proven across the country to save lives," Jackson said.

Gilbreath told the board a misconception exists that having the Level 3 designation will bring more trauma to an area. Rather, he said, it will make CPGH better able to handle that type of trauma when it does arrive.

Currently CPGH has a Level 4 trauma designation, which means trauma cases at Level 3 need to be transferred to other medical facilities. Providence Alaska Medical Center and Alaska Regional in Anchorage are both Level 2 hospitals.

Alaska does not have any hospitals with a Level 1 designation such as those in major U.S. cities, Gilbreath said.

The board also was shown a preview of a 20-second television commercial promoting CPGH, which will begin airing on Channel 2 within a week or two, according to Gilbreath.

The highly complimentary ad closes with the slogan, "State of the art technology; state of the heart care," which was created by the hospital's marketing director, Bonnie Nichols.

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