Meeting slated to elect successor

?John Faber, Rawlins County Republican Chairman, has called a convention for the purpose of filling a vacancy for the office of Rawlins County commissioner, District 1, which occurred upon the death of Commissioner Charles Walker.
The convention will take place at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, May 11 at Midwest Energy Meeting Room, 303 Main St. in Atwood.
Any persons interested in being a candidate should notify John Faber or the Rawlins County Clerk. The candidate must be a registered Republican who resides in the Rawlins County Commissioner District 1.
Only Republican precinct committee men and committee women from Commissioner District 1 will be permitted to nominate a candidate and to vote in the convention for a successor to fill the unexpired term of Charles Walker.
Committee members will elect a person to be appointed by the governor to fill the vacancy.

RCHC financials show improvement

?Rawlins County Health Center board members were pleased to learn that changes at the facility have resulted in improvement in the financial picture. They met April 28 for their regular monthly session.
“In looking over the total picture, things are looking better,” Les Lacy from Great Plains Health Alliance said. “The clinic revenue is above budget for the month and year-to-date operating expenses are under control.”
He noted strong lab and cardiac numbers, with Prairie Plaza profits steady.
“We have reduced our overtime hours at the hospital by 65 percent over last year,” Administrator Sharon Cox commented.
Cox gave a visual presentation from Kansas Hospital Association on the challenges facing Kansas rural hospitals.
The board discussed ways to combat reductions in federal and state reimbursements and develop new options to move forward.
They discussed networking with nearby hospitals, focusing on specialties, and continuing to use electronic technology to keep current.
The board learned that the problems at RCHC are common to all small hospitals.
“There are large decisions for the board to consider, but we are ahead of many hospitals because we have already made some tough decisions in recent months,” Cox said.
The board decided to take another look at the procedure room location, for which they have received tax credit money and a Community Development Block Grant.
“Our short-stay surgical numbers have almost doubled since we started looking for money to fund the room,” Chief Nurse Officer Amber Withington said. “We need to take a good look at how to be the most resourceful in the use of space available.”
The board decided to table decisions about a new sign for the front entrance until they had more information.
Board members Matt Wolters, Mike Mulligan, Karen Bolt, Phil Studer, Violet Beims, Harlan Holste, Peggy Cabrinha and LeRoy Luedders were present for the meeting.
They set the next regular board meeting for 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 27 in the hospital education room.

Dentists sign contracts

?Two dentists recently signed contracts to practice at Rawlins County Dental Clinic, according to CEO Heidi Lowry.
Dr. Zach Shelton and his wife, Kate, will be moving to Atwood within the next few weeks. He will graduate from the Colorado School of Dentistry this month.
Dr. Nathan Schmidt, a Tribune native, will graduate from the University of Missouri School of Dentistry in Kansas City. He will be moving to Atwood in June.
Both dentists expect to have Kansas licensure by July.

Full stories in this week's Square Deal.

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