Hospital sees staff changes, drop in surgeries, admissions

Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In his last report before being officially appointed chief executive officer of Central Peninsula General Hospital, the top finance officer gave a rather grim report of the hospital’s March numbers.

The number of patients being admitted to the hospital was down by 41 as compared to March 2005, according to newly appointed CEO Ryan Smith.

The number of surgeries was down by 30 for the month, which accounts for the drop in admissions, Smith said.

Smith officially replaced David Gilbreath as CEO at the CPGH Inc. board meeting Thursday evening. Gilbreath, who has been CEO for three years, will relocate to Washington state with his wife, Pat, to be closer to her father who is having health problems.

On Friday, Chief Nursing Officer Lee Jackson announced his resignation. He will leave CPGH in two weeks.

The financial report given to the board on Thursday stated the total number of outpatient visits for March was 5,109, compared with 4,450 a year ago.

Net revenue for the month was $4,104,000, which was 13.2 percent below the budgeted amount, but only 0.2 percent below revenues for March 2005, which were $4,114,000.

On Friday, Gilbreath said the numbers are already looking up for the month of April.

“Surgeries are normally down in March,” Gilbreath said.

“In spring, a lot of people are out of Alaska, and in March, we had a couple orthopedic surgeons who were out,” he said.

The hospital has contracted with a surgeon for temporary help while a general surgeon is being recruited to replace Dr. Regina Chennault, who left the Soldotna area earlier this year.

CPGH also is in talks with Dr. Steven Hoebelheinrich, a board-certified general surgeon who has been in practice in Virginia for 20 years.

The board approved a resolution Thursday to contract with CompHealth for physician locums tenens — a physician temp — for a general surgeon.

In other action, the board approved the purchase of a new mammography system for the hospital.

Smith said the current mammography machine was purchased in 1996.

The new machine will bring CPGH up to the standard of the equipment at the Kenai Clinic and will be equipped with a stereotactic biopsy attachment, according to Gilbreath. The total purchase price is $211,499.

Kenai Clinic is operated by the hospital in the Kenai Public Health Facility on Barnacle Way.

During his final CEO report, Gilbreath told the board a working assessment of hospital operations was completed by McKenna and Associates which said CPGH is “a very safe hospital.”

“They said they would have no problem staying in this hospital,” Gilbreath said.

To help the hospital prepare for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations surveys, Gilbreath said McKenna and Associates “looked at 1,300 standards in various areas.”

“It’s all about quality of care,” Gilbreath said.

CPGH is due for an unannounced JCAHO survey anytime between Jan. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2007.

The board also approved creating an executive-level position, that of chief philanthropy officer for the Central Peninsula Health Foundation.

The executive would be responsible for directing fundraising, raising community awareness and for promoting support for the foundation and for the hospital.

Following the regular business portion of the meeting, board members were given a preview tour of the new hospital expansion.

Gilbreath said the contractor remains two months ahead of schedule on the phase two portion of the project, which involves building the new two-story wing west of the existing hospital.

The building is expected to be completed by the beginning of November.

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