At the end of its meeting Monday, following a somewhat lengthy executive session, the KershawHealth Board of Trustees voted unanimously to authorize KershawHealth administrators to negotiate and execute an agreement for emergency department services with TeamHealth.
On paper, January turned out to be a better month financially than KershawHealth has seen in some time. Compare January's $84,000 operating loss to December's $344,000 loss, November's $572,000 loss and October's $902,000. For all of Fiscal Year 2013, which ended Sept. 30, 2013, KershawHealth experienced a $3.62 million operating loss and $4.75 million decrease in net assets.
Safety and security were the lead topics at a KershawHealth Board of Trustees' meeting Feb. 10. KershawHealth Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness Abby Palmer, RN, presented the board with her annual safety report. Her report provided safety and security highlights from 2013, and looked ahead to 2014.
Donnie J. Weeks, FACHE, recently retired president and CEO of KershawHealth, received the American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent's Award on February 6. The award was bestowed on Weeks by William T. Manson III, president and COO at AnMed Health and ACHE's Regent for South Carolina. The Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent's Award recognizes ACHE members who are experienced in the field and have made significant contributions to the advancement of healthcare management excellence and the achievement of ACHE's goals.
"You do so well with the really sick patients -- better even than with the well ones."
Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke, and in 2010 South Carolina had the sixth largest number of strokes in the country, in part because of its particularly high incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and smoking. In addition, African Americans tend to have more debilitating strokes, and have them earlier in life, than other groups -- likely because one in three African Americans suffers from high blood pressure, the number one risk factor for stroke. Given statistics like that, treating stroke in South Carolina is essential.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke, and in 2010 South Carolina had the sixth largest number of strokes in the country, in part because of its particularly high incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and smoking. In addition, African Americans tend to have more debilitating strokes, and have them earlier in life, than other groups – likely because one in three African Americans suffers from high blood pressure, the number one risk factor for stroke. Given statistics like that, treating stroke in South Carolina is essential.
As interim CEO Terry Gunn predicted two weeks ago, surgical volumes are up again in comparison to a year ago at KershawHealth. Surgical cases have been dropping at KershawHealth -- comparing year-to-date figures from fiscal year to fiscal year -- for some time.
Located off DeKalb Street in Camden, directly behind the United Way/Holsten Center Building and Food for the Soul, is a non-profit 501(c)(3), medical clinic that has been offering free services to the uninsured and underinsured of Kershaw County for 15 years. According to the Community Medical Clinic (CMC) of Kershaw County Resource Development Coordinator Deb McAbee, "the (clinic) was founded in 1998 by concerned citizens who wished to provide healthcare access to uninsured residents. Initially, the clinic's offices were located in the front of the Holsten Center."
People with injuries or other issues with bones or connective tissues like ligaments and tendons often think they have to go to a big city for treatment, but Camden has a doctor who is board certified in both orthopedics and sports medicine: Dr. Andrew Piasecki, M.D., at Carolina Bone and Joint, 1112 Mill St.
While interim KershawHealth CEO Terry Gunn didn't have all good news for the healthcare organization's board of trustees at its Jan. 13 meeting, he did describe much of what he's seeing as "encouraging trends."
There have been nearly 100 cases of the flu in Kershaw County since the end of September, according to figures provided by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Paula Guild, KershawHealth's director of infection prevention and control, said the week of Sept. 29 -- known as Week 40 -- is the week the flu season officially began and cases of influenza-like illnesses are recorded.
KershawHealth's new interim chief executive officer (CEO) says the healthcare organization needs to reestablish relationships with physicians and the trust of the people of Kershaw County in order to succeed in the future. Terry Gunn, who took over as interim CEO two weeks ago, made the statement as part of a report to the KershawHealth Board of Trustees during its meeting Tuesday evening.
Doug Murray, PharmD, of Heath Springs, has been reelected to the board of the S.C. Society of Health System Pharmacists (SCSHP) as the representative for District 3. SCSHP is a state affiliate of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. SCHSP's mission is to advance public health, safety, patient care and patient outcomes through enhancing the roles of health-system pharmacy professionals by promoting education, communication, research and legislation.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term rating to 'BBB-' from 'BBB' on South Carolina Jobs Economic Development Authority's $19.6 million series 2008 hospital revenue bonds issued for KershawHealth. The outlook is negative.
KershawHealth still suffered an approximately $80,000 operating loss for the month of January, but -- thanks to an increase in emergency department visits and other factors -- improved its fiscal year-to-date bottom line by $1.5 million from January 2014. KershawHealth had lost $2.41 million dollars for the first four months of the 2014 fiscal year. For the first four months of Fiscal Year 2015, KershawHealth has only lost about $918,000.
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