HCHC trustees talk additional security measures

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


Henry County Health Center CEO Rob Gardner told the board of trustees on Tuesday that he would like to add more security to the grounds to be proactive instead of reactive.

Gardner said he felt there was a need for the increase because of the ?disturbing trend? of violent behavior in hospitals and clinics. Currently, the health center has an active shooter policy, security cameras, annual training and doors only usable with badge access. ?We?ve done a lot of interventions throughout the years but we need to continue to look at more,? he said.

Gardner would like to look into adding 24/7 security measures for the safety of patients and staff. The official plan of what that will entail will be revealed at the next meeting. ?It?s one of those things I think we?ll need to strongly review and discuss,? he said.

Gardner felt this was especially necessary because their only assistance with patients who have mental health related issues is the Henry County Sherrif?s Office. The partnership they currently operate under has been working, but Gardner would like to see more extensive measures put in place. He informed the board he met with Per Mar Security Services, of Cedar Rapids, on Monday but no plan or offer has been decided. He reported that negotiations and final offers would be presented at the next meeting.

The trustees have decided to add another member to the board. Trustee Carmen Heaton reported Carla McNamee came highly recommended and the motion was made to have her appointed. The motion was approved and McNamee will take her oath at the next meeting. She will be part of the quality and HR committee.

Renovations inside are coming along as trustee Kent Severson noted the new rural health clinic was right on schedule. The plans for renovation include HCHC moving Dr. Michelle Tansey?s offices to the second floor of the hospital and Dr. Reed Bouchey to expand into an old suite that has sat empty in the hospital for almost two years for administrative purposes. ?Bouchey still is in transition but you can see where things go and what?s happening,? he said. ?I was there a few months ago and compared to now, you can really see the change. It?s just a really nice addition.?

In other news, the fiscal year 2018 operational performance survey came back. The goal was to keep associate turnover at 16.9 percent or less, which they met, coming in at 16.3 percent. ?That?s a really nice improvement and reduction from the past two years,? said Gardner.

They also met goals with their outpatient and ER services as well as community engagement.

Michelle Hanson, of Park Place, announced they passed their annual survey as well. In order to complete it, staff needed to comply with several regulation updates in a short amount of time. The new survey is based on elders and families thoughts and experiences at Park Place instead of staff perspectives.

The next meeting of the HCHC board of trustees will be Thursday, Sept. 20, at 12 p.m., in the HCHC boardroom.