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KH committee now involved with Capella negotiations

Posted: March 10, 2015 4:33 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2015 1:00 a.m.

The KershawHealth Board of Trustees’ executive committee is now officially involved in the day-to-day decisions being made in negotiating the hospital’s lease/sale to Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., and MUSC Health, the patient care arm of the Medical University of South Carolina.

The executive committee, made up of Board Chair Karen Eckford, Vice Chair Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom and Trustee Steve Holliday Jr., will work with KershawHealth administrators and hospital attorney David Summer to help finalize the deal, schedule to close March 31. The decision came as a unanimous vote following an executive session at the end of the board’s meeting Monday night during which the board received legal advice regarding the Capella/MUSC transaction and the transfer of emergency management services to Kershaw County.

Specifically, Trustee Derial Ogburn made a motion to have “the board authorize the executive committee, working in concert with hospital administration and legal counsel, to make day-to-day decisions regarding the negotiation of the transaction documents with Capella/MUSC, as well as any other decisions incident to the transaction, in order to facilitate the efficient negotiation and execution of the transaction, with the understanding that the final contractual documents between Capella/MUSC will be subject to review and approval by the board.”

Summer said the idea is to give the executive committee latitude to handle an expected upcoming escalation of decisions and actions related to the Capella/MUSC deal rather than having to call numerous special board meetings for every minor detail.

The board also used the executive session to receive a compliance committee report from Holliday.

Also during Monday’s meeting, KershawHealth Director of Safety/Emergency Preparedness Abby Palmer provided trustees with an update on how the organization continued to strengthen its safety and emergency preparedness programs during 2014.

Palmer discussed highlights in seven environment of care elements, including security, safety, emergency preparedness, fire/life safety, utilities, hazardous materials, and medical equipment.

“It’s about cultivating a collective mindfulness and culture of safety,” she said.

Palmer said KershawHealth has installed surveillance cameras and monitoring systems in the emergency department, Women’s Center, Health Resource Center, and Karesh Wing patio.

In the area of emergency preparedness, Palmer said KershawHealth participated in a drill, “Operation Earthquake,” June 14, 2014. In that scenario, an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale “struck” Kershaw County. Hospital and emergency preparedness officials decided to evacuate the hospital and the Karesh Wing to its secondary treatment location, Camden Middle School, actions which ultimately proved to be smooth, well organized, and timely, Palmer said.

KershawHealth’s decontamination team continued with its quarterly training, including an Ebola event simulation, Palmer said. The team responds to such situations as hazardous chemical spills, infectious bacteria events, and radiation exposure.

According to Palmer, KershawHealth started updating its fire alarm system in 2012; the project is nearly complete. In addition, the hospital has replaced its HVAC system.

“We also continue to maintain strong relationships in the community,” she said; this includes partnerships with the Camden Fire Department, which provides hands on fire safety training to hospital employees. “Last year they trained 193 newcomers and conducted 59 fire drills on all KershawHealth campuses.”

KershawHealth also continues to actively participate in such community events as the Carolina and Colonial Cups, FireFest, and Toys For Tots, Palmer noted.

Palmer said she is looking forward to continue building on the accomplishments of the program.

In other business, KershawHealth CEO Terry Gunn reported on a new Joint Replacement Center of Excellence program. The new program, which actually started March 2, thus far has been successful, not only receiving high ratings from patients but showing significant improvement in unit operations, including turn-around times for operating rooms.

“Big kudos to our employees -- they really went above and beyond,” Gunn said.

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