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Hard work of Tyrone Area Hospital staff focus of annual corporation meeting

Board members of the Tyrone Hospital Corporation met last evening to discuss general hospital business of 2003.
Those present included: Board Chairperson, Judith Norris; Secretary, Richard Searer; Chief Executive Officer, Tommy Bartlett; Chief Financial Officer, George Semko; Director of Nursing, Sandra Snyder; Chief of Medical Staff, Dr. Bernard DiGiacobbe and Auxiliary member, Ann Searer.
Norris addressed the board members with the chairman’s report for the 57th Annual Corporation Meeting.
She stressed that according to an article in Hospital and Healthsystem Association of PA, Pennsylvania is one of the 18 states judged to be in a medical liability insurance crisis. The most affected specialty services are obstetrics, orthopedics, general surgery and neurosurgery.
Also, three in four hospitals in PA are either losing money or barely breaking even on patient care. This means that hospital services are closing, and communities are losing access to care.
“We at Tyrone have our share of problems and challenges, and our bottom line is not what we would like it to be,” said Norris, “but we are making slow progress and are working very hard to get a favorable line.
“What is in our favor now is that we have very dedicated employees, physicians, nurses, administrators and volunteers who continue to work together to provide excellent care to the patients of Tyrone Hospital.”
Bartlett thanked the hospital board members and staff and extended a special thank-you to the patients of Tyrone Hospital.
He said over the year, the hospital had many accomplishments, especially in construction and renovations.
For the next year, he wants to focus on the medical malpractice issue for physicians, reimbursement environment from the state and the managed care environment.
Bartlett said the most important aspect to focus on for the upcoming year is to continue to create a positive working environment and to continue to train and educate the staff at the hospital.
Semko offered the treasurer’s report to board members.
Many key items were purchased to benefit the hospital over the year, including a C.T. scanner with renovations for $550,000. Also, purchased was a Yag laser, computers, new care-car van with the assistance of donations from the Auxiliary, bio-terrorism equipment, mattresses, infant cribs and various X-ray machines, operating room table, dictation system for medical records, pharmacy computer system and bone density machine.
Snyder offered the nursing’s report to the board members.
Some of the legislative mandates from the state level that nurses incorporated this year included required education for all parents of newborns on Shaken Baby Syndrome and then reporting the training to the PA Department of Health.
Also, there was new state legislation with the Newborn Protection Act. Under this law, an individual can drop off a newborn up to 27 days of age to any health care facility in the state, and the hospital is obligated to provide the necessary care with no questions asked. The hospital then reports the incident to the authorities, the state police, children and youth services and the PA Department of Health. The purpose of the act is to eliminate deaths of unwanted newborns.
Work was also done at the federal level. For bio-terrorism, bio-hazardous coverings were purchased, on-line education on hospital bio-terrorism information was provided through the PA Department of Health, information and alerts were ongoing for a period of time on SARS, and required education for staff on HIPAA.
Snyder said the greatest challenge in the nursing department is still staffing issues. There is a difficulty in filling vacancies in specialty units in the ICU, ER and OB.
“Our main goal in nursing is to do what we do well,” said Snyder.
Mrs. Ann Searer gave the annual report of the Tyrone Hospital Auxiliary.
The main accomplishment for the past fiscal year was the donation of $10,000 to purchase the new Care Car for the hospital. Also donated was $10,000 to support the daily operations of the Care Car. The total donations to the hospital by the Auxiliary for the past year was $25,000.
The Auxiliary also continues its TLC program for the newborns of Tyrone Hospital. Each newborn receives a hand-crafted afghan, baby hat and booties. The Auxiliary received from one of its inactive members 80 stuffed beanie babies that were also distributed to each newborn in addition to the regular TLC package.
Other Auxiliary activities include patient parties and the serving of refreshments to patients, staff and visitors during major holidays. Also, the Auxiliary continues to decorate the lobby for the Christmas holiday.
The Auxiliary is currently in its membership drive and encourages individuals to become active with the group to help support the hospital.
The goal of the Auxiliary for next year it to establish a gift shop within the hospital, which will be run by volunteers.
Norris closed the meeting by acknowledging outgoing board members for the year, which included William Dewey, Peter Gardella and Robert Smith.