At a time when healthcare is going through so many changes itself, KershawHealth's board of trustees is seeing a change as well. Sept. 24, the board celebrated the tenure of four outgoing members: Chairman Jody Brazell and trustees Dr. Marguerite Carlton, Carolyn Hampton and Earnest Witherspoon. Each completed their full six-year terms of, as KershawHealth President and CEO Donnie Weeks put it, "faithful and productive service."
A new study suggests that nearly two-thirds of South Carolina residents could be obese by 2030. The alarming figures are included in a report recently released by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, non-profit organizations that work towards improving the nation's health. With such a troubling trajectory, several programs in Kershaw County are seeking to curb the trend.
"For the benefit of suffering humanity by giving hospital treatment to those suffering from physical ailments or trouble which might be cured or alleviated."
Guy Kahler has joined KershawHealth Primary Care at Lugoff, 116 Standard Warehouse Road, where he will practice along with Alice Brooks. The office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until noon.
Lexington Medical Center (LMC) is making a small expansion into Kershaw County. Like KershawHealth here in Kershaw County, LMC is a public hospital, subject to the authority of Lexington County Council.
How much cash should KershawHealth have on hand in order to stay open if no revenue was coming in the door? Indeed, how much cash (and investments) KershawHealth does have on hand to cover those operating expenses was the question during the KershawHealth Board of Trustees' Aug. 27 meeting. Is it 140 days, as reported in the board's summary financial report for the month of July? Or is it 117 days, as of July 31, as reported on a financial "dashboard" report at the same meeting?
KershawHealth completed its most recent survey by The Joint Commission Aug. 7-10, and the initial results were excellent. During their final briefing, surveyors noted that KershawHealth is performing well throughout the system and providing excellent care for its patients. The commission complimented staff members on their professionalism and care, and noted as well the positive engagement of physicians and board members.
Washing your hands. It sounds simple, almost trivial to talk about. However, ever since Joseph Lister -- working off the theories of Ignaz Semmelweis and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. -- pioneered antiseptic surgery, it's been an important component to keeping patients healthy and alive in hospitals around the world. So important that the very act of hand washing has become something to be tracked at KershawHealth.
Fitch Ratings, the international credit rating agency has affirmed its BBB+ rating for KershawHealth and deemed the healthcare system's rating outlook as "stable." George Corbin, a member of the KershawHealth Board of Trustees and chair of the board's finance committee, gave his fellow trustees the good news at its July 23 meeting.
In response to a significant downturn in outpatient surgery volumes, KershawHealth announced Tuesday that it will close one active operating room. The move will eliminate one management position and five clinical and surgical positions. Two current vacancies in the surgical department will also not be filled. KershawHealth officials said in a press release that it expects to save approximately $600,000 each year with the operating room closure.
Nearly two years before the establishment of what is now KershawHealth in Camden, a group of women gathered to raise funds for the building of what was then referred to as the Burdell Hospital.
As with any other business in recent years -- profit or not -- KershawHealth has continued to look at its finances and respond to challenges. Once again, the KershawHealth Board of Trustees reviewed its financial challenges during its most recent meeting, April 29.
The ALPHA Center in Camden is sending out a warning to parents about two new trends it is seeing among county youth: smoking Smarties and something called the "Cinnamon Challenge."
KershawHealth offered free sports physicals to Kershaw County School District students May 9 at KershawHealth Primary Care at Elgin.
Another symptom of the economy, hospitals across the country are experiencing a higher number of drug shortages on a more frequent basis. KershawHealth can experience those shortages, too, but has processes in place that, in effect, keep patients from really even noticing.
In July, KershawHealth reported scoring 100 percent on six quality core measures for the third month in a row. Monday, KershawHealth Board Vice Chair Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom reported four of those core measures struck the 100 percent again for at least six months, ending in September. Holmstrom, chair of the board's quality committee, reported one core measure hit 100 percent for the ninth straight month.
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