CPGH has healthy ratings

Survey: Birth center great, cancer treatment needs work

Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2006

Central Peninsula General Hospital’s satisfaction rates are soaring, according to a 2006 survey presented to the CPGH board Thursday.

Of the 410 people surveyed, 83 percent said they were satisfied with CPGH compared with just 57 percent in a survey conducted in 2000.

“That speaks well to what you’re doing on the peninsula,” said Jean Craciun, president of Craciun Research Group Inc., the company that conducted the survey.

The poll surveyed Kenai, Soldotna, Kasilof and Ninilchik residents, and also asked questions soliciting more detailed assessments of CPGH’s performance.

When asked about whether they would choose CPGH for eight specified services, for example, a large percentage said they would.

Ninety-two percent, for example, said they would choose, for themselves or their families, to have a baby at the CPGH birth center, up from 88 percent in 2000. The number of respondents who said they would choose CPGH for cancer care and treatment, however, dropped from 71 to 55 percent and 90 to 74 percent, respectively.

When asked an open-ended question about how the hospital could improve, 41 respondents requested more physicians and 39 respondents listed cancer-related treatment.

Following the survey presentation at its Thursday meeting, the CPGH board approved a step to advance the purchase of Heritage Place Nursing in Soldotna from Banner Health Systems by approving a conditional sales agreement.

Banner has offered to sell the nursing home to the Kenai Peninsula Borough and CPGH for a little under $1 million.

“Banner is offering us a heck of a deal,” said David Gilbreath, chief executive officer of CPGH. “The risk is not that we’re not going to make money or loose money, but that Heritage Place will close.”

If the facility were to close, 90 employees would lose their jobs and 55 residents would be forced to leave the peninsula in search of other facilities, he said.

“They would be ripped out of the community away from friends and family,” Gilbreath said.

Purchasing the nursing home would be a win-win situation for everyone, he said.

“It’s the right thing to do for the community,” he said. “It would not be a drain on this institution ... or the taxpayers. This will not increase taxes. So there would not be an impact on the taxpayer to make this happen.”

The board also learned the search for a new CEO had narrowed to three candidates since Gilbreath announced he would be leaving last December.

Gilbreath plans to leave CPGH at the end of April, and said he and his wife are planning to move to Washington to be closer to family.

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