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The Joint Powers Commission (JPC) for Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) utilized their October 10 regular meeting for a standard financial update and to hear reports surrounding the past month’s transition of services into the new hospital building. After addressing these items, commissioners adjourned into a closed-door executive session, to discuss strategic and long range planning pertaining to hospital leadership and management.

PHASE TWO ON DECK

Leading interim chief executive officer (CEO) David Faulkner’s administrative report, was confirmation that phase-two construction of the new hospital is now on track to begin in November. This effort will see completion of the new hospital’s pharmacy, inpatient rooms and operating room suite. While expressing pleasure with seeing this final phase lined up to begin, Faulkner did remind JPC members that the coming months would be busy, as hospital staff work through the impact of onsite contractors. Emphasizing how most hospital services will be unaffected by the coming construction, the CEO did acknowledge that noise and other inconveniences would be likely through phase-two development.

OTHER REPORTS

•What began earlier this year as a “two week” project to replace the hospital’s kitchen vent hood, will now be winding toward conclusion after several months of setbacks and delays. Faulkner told commissioners a necessary asbestos abatement had been completed and said he expected the final hood installation to be finished in the coming days. When this project is completed, regular meal preparations temporarily provided through the New Mexico Veterans Home will resume at the hospital proper.

•With all but a few services now centered in the new hospital, Faulkner said the new coffee shop was set to begin serving customers on or about October 16. This special feature is situated in the hospital’s main lobby area and will be offering gourmet coffees, beverages and tasty snacks for patients and visitors.

•Faulkner told commissioners that one of the hospital’s aging ambulances had been shipped to a Texas firm for a full chassis refit. As he relayed to governing board members in September, this approach will effectively return a new vehicle to the facility for far less than the purchase price of an entirely new ambulance. The CEO said another ambulance with high mileage would be sent for a similar refit, once this initial renovation is completed. While this new option will extend the life of some fleet units, Faulkner said efforts are underway to develop an effective replacement cycle, to assure SVH’s ambulances remain at-the-ready.

•Commissioners were also alerted to SVH’s pending contract to provide EMS and ambulance services for Virgin Galactic’s future operations at Spaceport America. Faulkner has said an ambulance would likely be based at the spaceport, and told the board that further efforts are underway to expand SVH’s relationship with the spaceport proper. In response to a question from the commission, the CEO said ambulance crews would oversee the transfer of patients unable to be treated locally, but would be transporting patients to SVH and its services whenever situations warrant.

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