By John R. Schirmer
After one month of operation, Howard Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Therapy Center is seeing an average of 20 to 22 patients per day, hospital CEO Debra Wright told the board of directors April 27. Several new patient evaluations are scheduled, Wright said.
“I really appreciate how the Rehab staff took ownership of this project from start to finish, ensuring its successful implementation Maintenance and EVS staff was very involved. Thanks to everyone who made this goal a reality,” Wright said.
The new facility held open house Tuesday morning,
Wright made a number of other reports during the meeting. She said that only one patient received monoclonal antibody therapy through April 27. “Demand has really dropped with the reduction in Covid-19 positive test results,” she said.
In Howard County, there were six positive cases as of Monday afternoon.
No HMH employees were diagnosed with the virus during April, Wright said at the board meeting.
Dr. Olena Romenska is scheduled to cover shifts in the emergency department starting in May.
Wright said HMH contracted with Arkansas State University to conduct the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment. The executive team reviewed the questions and made additions to determine awareness of services offered at HMH and utilization of those services.
HMH has coordinated the survey process with Arkansas State since representatives of the university are not allowed to conduct in-person focus group meetings because of Covid-19.
The hospital’s executive team is working with a grant application writer to apply for FCC funding for Telehealth services. The proposal includes adding Telehealth capability in the additional 10 rooms in the patient care unit. HMH will receive 10 points as a Critical Access Hospital, five from being in a rural county and 15 as a round one unfunded applicant.
In her legislative update, Wright said the the failure of the “Soda Tax Bill” was a win for the state’s Medicaid Trust Fund that receives proceeds from the tax.
Senate Bill 55 to appropriate funds for the Medicaid waiver application that will replace the Arkansas Works waiver that expires Dec. 31 passed. “This approval allows Arkansas two fund its portion of the expense to continue its expansion of the Medicaid program,” Wright said.