Hospital board pens its wish list

Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005

In the spirit of the season, the Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. Board of Directors has approved a wish list.

Unlike most lists this time of year, though, this one will not be going to Santa. It will be presented to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for addition to its legislative priority list.

Besides not going to Santa, the hospital board’s list was uncommon in that it contained but one item.

CPGH Inc. would like to see the Serenity House treatment center doubled in size from a six-bed facility to one that can treat 12 chemical dependency patients.

Serenity House began 4 1/2 years ago in a leased, log chalet along the bluff overlooking Kalifornsky Beach, with many of its furnishings being donated by central Kenai Peninsula businesses, individuals and CPGH.

CPGH Inc. board member Alyson Stogsdill on Tuesday said Serenity House “is not a medical model, but they are doing good work.”

Stogsdill, who also serves on the board’s subcommittee on Serenity House, said the goal now is to make the treatment center “more marketable.”

Most patients served by Serenity House are uninsured or underinsured and are unable to pay for treatment received there.

In fact, when the facility first opened in 2001, it was expected to lose $150,000 in its first year.

“If the facility were more attractive and had more beds, it would make it more attractive to those who can pay,” said board President Loretta Flanders.

She said she believed companies with health insurance plans for their employees would be more prone to sending workers with alcohol and drug problems there.

In a resolution passed Tuesday, the board said, Serenity House “currently serves up to six clients at a time, and there has been a constant waiting list for the past year.”

“More space is needed to accommodate local needs,” the resolution stated.

By placing the treatment center on the borough’s list of legislative capital project priorities, the board hopes to “get it on the Legislature’s radar screen,” said Tom Boedeker, board secretary-treasurer.

He predicted the treatment center expansion would not receive funding in the coming year.

The board’s resolution has been forwarded to the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board for its consideration and recommendation to the borough assembly.

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