CCHC developing master facility plan
Cloud County Health Center, taking a first step toward the possible construction of a new facility, has hired TreanorHL Health Studio to put together master facility plan.
The Cloud County Health Center (CCHC) board of trustees designated funds during its budgeting process last July to develop a master facility plan.
“It is very complex,” CCHC administrator David Garnas said of developing a master plan, “It is looking at all of statistics in every department from X-ray to radiology to inpatient to outpatient, everything we provide. Looking at areas we are growing, possibly looking at areas we can grow more in.”
Garnas, who took over as the CCHC administrator last April, said the process would include input from department heads and their staff along with input from the medical staff and the board of director.
“Look at all of those pieces from a data and statistical standpoint and help us determine right size, right shape, right adjacencies,” Garnas said, “It is a huge process to go through. And once we are done with that, then hopefully the outcomes are the correct size, the correct adjacencies and design. From there we would hope to have a very statistically dollar amount that we could realistically build a facility for.”
Garnas said a facility plan will be customized to hospital's size, statistics and services.
“It is built specifically for us,” Garnas said.
CCHC will go through the process of developing the master facility plan in conjunction with Salina Regional Health Center.
The hospital, which is a stand-alone non-profit facility, entered into a management and operating affiliation with Salina Regional Health Center in 2016.
“We picked the firm that we picked for two reasons. Number one, I have a great deal of experience with them, and I have used them in Torrington, Wyo. as well as in Julesburg, Col., so I know them and I have a lot of trust in them. But also Salina Regional interviewed them and vetted them appropriately because they are going to possibly be using them for some work in Salina. So we get some economies of scale,” Garnas said.
Garnas said TreanorHL has experience in Kansas, experience in critical access and experience in rural areas.
“They were just a very good fit for an organization and a facility concept of this size,” Garnas said.
The master facility plan process will include involvement from the general public.
“We want to bring the community along for the ride in this so they can have representation as part of this,” Garnas said, “We want to make sure we have input from all different facets of our community.”
The first meetings on the master facility plan will be the week of December 17, with a possible completion date of the first week in April, 2019.
“It is a systematic process and a very thoughtful process we are going to go through to have an end concept and numbers to go with that concept,” Garnas said.
Three possible sites for a new facility, including the current CCHC location, will be evaluated during the master facility planning process.
“Look at our existing location, the pros and the cons. The flow, the functionality of where we are at. The other locations, we will work with our board to determine what those are,” Garnas said.
Garnas said that a facility will be designed to meet the needs of Cloud County.
“This is going to be a facility that is designed for today, and it is also going to be conservative. It is not going to be fancy but it is going to be functional, and I think those are the best words I can use,” Garnas said, “It is better to put money into good, high quality square footage than it is bells and whistles and fancy.”
Cloud County Health was opened in 1951.
There have been two previous attempts to get voter approval for the construction of a new facility.
A $28.9 million bond issue was defeated by Cloud County voters 2,658-1,666 in November, 2008.
During a special election in February, 2013, a the proposed construction of a 72,000 square-foot facility adjacent to Blosser Municipal Airport at an estimated cost of $29.8 million was defeated 1,699-1,387. It called for a .75 percent sales tax increase to help fund the project.
“As evidenced by two previous public funding votes for a new modern health care facility, the board has been aware for some time that the overall inefficiency and physical limitations of our current facility need to be addressed. However, after the last election, the board's focus shifted to improving internal operations and focusing on patient/customer care,” CCHC board of trustees chairperson Phil Gilliland said in a statement, “A major step in the last couple of years was the affiliation with Salina Regional Health Center. This has provided better allocation of overhead expenses, created access to specialty care and allowed substantial improvements in technology and a more seamless coordination between the two organizations. The affiliation allowed us to do a nationwide search for a new administrator. Dave Garnas started here April 1 of this year, and the board's initial plan was to give him a year or so to settle in, evaluate operations and focus on improving patient/customer care. We are very pleased with the progress Dave has made so far, and therefore we are comfortable in moving up the timeline to formally address our facility needs.”
Earlier this year, CloudCorp executive director Ashley Hutchinson, at the direction of the board of directors, asked the governing bodies and other entities it the county to compile a list of three priorities for the county.
Eight entities responded to the request from CloudCorp and a modern medical facility was included on seven of those lists, and was the number one priority listed on five of them.
“I think it is important for the community to go through that process because in any community there are a ton of needs and not enough money to go around,” Garnas said.