Hospital Authority reappoints Livingston, Grimsley

Published 2:55 pm Friday, June 18, 2010

In a brief meeting of the Memorial Hospital and Manor Authority held Tuesday, the board members quickly took care of the approval of one purchase, reappointment of two board members, approval of two word changes in the by-laws, a slight realignment of the organizational chart and canceled the July meeting, a customary procedure.

After reviewing a list of what was described as a field of highly qualified candidates, the board unanimously approved the reappointment of board President Joe Livingston and secretary Johnny Grimsley to serve new terms.

The purchase approval was for an ALGO 5 newborn hearing screener, including laser page printer, patient cable assembly, acoustic transducer, pre-amp cable and cart from Natus Medical Inc. at a total cost of $17,679.

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Following legislation in 1999, all Georgia hospitals are required to perform hearing screenings on no fewer than 95 percent of all newborn infants. If the newborn doesn’t respond consistently to the sounds presented during this test, the doctor may suggest a follow-up hearing screening and referral to an audiologist for a more comprehensive hearing evaluation.

When hearing loss is detected late, language development is already delayed. Children are more likely to perform below their grade level and more likely to be held back.

In 2000, the Georgia Department of Human Resources loaned Memorial Hospital automated infant screening equipment manufactured by SonaMed. As of this June, Natus has issued a voluntary product recall of their systems.

The SonaMed clarity system has been removed from service and Natus has agreed to provide a loaner until the permanent replacement system can be acquired.

CEO James Peak informed the board that sidewalk repairs are being made to five existing fire exits and a new sidewalk will be constructed from the sixth fire exit door, for a total expenditure of $7,660. These projects will connect all fire exits to existing paved public walkways.

He explained these improvements are being made in anticipation of a visit from the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission reviews each hospital for accreditation every three years, without advance warning, and Memorial Hospital and Manor are due for a visit from the commission this year.

Financial key indicators reported by the Finance Committee indicate the hospital experienced a net income loss of $147,860 for May, an improvement over April’s net income loss of $511,434. However, the current year-to-date net income loss is $669,411, compared to a year-to-date net income loss of $357,507 for 2009.

Prior to the close of the meeting Peak asked Livingston to make a special presentation to Dr. Paul Bennett, who was attending his last board meeting. Dr. Bennett will close his medical practice in Bainbridge on July 9. He is relocating to Lynchburg, Va.

The next board meeting is scheduled for the third Tuesday in August.