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January 15, 2015     Lovell Chronicle
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January 15, 2015
 

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January 15, 2015 I The Lovell Chronicle 13 DAVID PECK Delicate hoarfrost coated plants in northern Wyoming Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, formed by an icy fog that blanketed the region. TITLE 25 NOT PROFITABLE continued from page i provide compassionate care to those needing it in a time of crisis through a suicide prevention program coordi- nated by local law enforce- ment agencies. "We have Title 25 pa- tients that come to our fa- cility," explained Schroed- er. "In cooperation with the Town of Lovell Police Dept. and the Big Horn County Sheriffs Office, those who are deemed not at risk to hurt themselves or others are given the opportunity of being admitted to the hos- pital rather than having to be held in jail. NBHH loses money every time we have a Title 25 patient, but we do it because it is the right thing to do for patients in crisis. They are admitted to our facilities because access to mental health (services) is limited due to bed capaci- ty both in Lovell and across the state." Concern was expressed at the meeting that the cur- rent law needs to be clari- fled and properly funded. Wyoming currently has the highestsuicide rate in the nation, TOBACCO TAX Boley encouraged legis- lators to give more tax dol- lars to medical providers to deal with the many medi- cally related issues that are caused by smoking. "The WHA believes that health care services should receive the lion's share of any tobacco tax," said Schroeder. Currently, a large por- tion of the money goes to tobacco use cessation programs. CONVALESCENT CARE BILL A convalescent care bill that would allow ambulato- ry surgical centers (ASCs) to build convalescent care centers is also on the table. The bill would allow ASCs to keep patients for up to 72 hours. The WHA is against the proposal, citing concern for patient safety. "The real concern for us is patient safety," said Schroeder. "The typical ASC does not have 24-hour provider coverage, nor does it have an emergency room or nursing staff trained in emergency situations. If there is an unexpected sit- uation that develops in a postsurgical patient's con- dition that requires emer- gency care, they have to dial 911 so the local hospital can care for their patients. To me that does not appear to be as safe as it would be if the same situation were to occur in a hospital." LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS A law that repays nurs- ing .students for their edu- cational expenses is expect- ed to sunset if not renewed. The WHA Supports the re- newal of the law, which increases the number of trained nurSes available in the state. Schroder said NBHH has hired very few nurses out of the program. "We presently have no nurses on the loan repay- ment program nor have we since I've been here," said Schroeder. "We have had several nurses apply for as- sistance, but all have been denied. Nursing recruit- ment and turnover is an ex- pensive proposition. We are very fortunate at NBHH in that we have very low nurs- ing turnover." Other issues related to Center for Medicare Ser- vices (CMS) and other fed- eral requirements were dis- cussed a great length, in particular the increasingly lower reimbursement rate to providers and the myri- ad of compliance issues con- nected with CMS in par- ticular. Long-term care issues were also discussed, along with a discussion re- garding whether or not the state is ready for medical marijuana. Guest speaker Char- lotte Carlton spoke about the issues surrounding any type of marijuana use, rec- ommending a moratorium of at least three years on any changes to the current law, which prohibits mari- juana use of any kind in the state. "It was a very good meeting, well attended and I believe that the messages were received," said Schro- eder. "I thought it was a benefit that the combina- tion of legislators, board members, hospital leader- ship and WHA represen- tation were able to hear a consistent message at the same time about key healthcare legislation. The dialogue shared was benefi- cial for all parties in under- standing the current state of the issues, as well as how the future may look for crit- ical access hospitals. I was particularly pleased that our local legislators seem to be on board with expanding Medicaid." CITIZENS SPEAK OUT continued from page I speaking just for myself, is that it's the town of Lovell. The town of Lovell has to go forward regardless. I would hope that would not be an issue, that would not be the case. I can't answer to it because I've never been in that situation before, but by a matter of fact, all appoint- ments must be approved by the town council." "A lot of us here hope that's the way it goes, too, and that there's not stone- walling and things like that to try to undermine May- or Montanez," Brinkerhoff said. Heather Sawaya said she has friends and loved ones on both sides of the is- sue, noting, "We are a small community and a tight community. This has been a very divisive issue. This is about more than history and egos. This is about heal- ing our community. This is about being respectful of police in our community. "I like you, I like you both. I would like you to move forward on some of the positive changes on your agenda and things we talked about when you were campaigning. I'm dis- appointed in your decision to fire Nick the way it hap- pened and the timing that it happened, and I'm dis- appointed that you did not give him a chance and even attempt to work with him in his position. I would like to ask you to reconsider." Dale Smith spoke in support of change, noting, "I was once told, change is ridiculed by people who fear. Change is something that needs to happen. Those of us, whether it be on the other side of the law or the law itself, need to have jus- tice, fairness, for every- body in the community, not to be pinpointed, not to be ridiculed, but fairness as a whole, whether your skin color is black, white, yellow, purple, it doesn't matter." Jack Brinkerhoff also supported Mayor Mon- tanez, saying, "I hope the council will take very seri- ously Angel's decisions and recognize that there are those who voted for that change, and we hope that you will take that into con- sideration and realize he was duly elected." Speaking strongly in favor of Lewis was Robert Grater, who stated, "One of the people mentioned change. Also, progress is something. The police de- partment has progressed to a point where it's extreme- ly efficient. A lot of people don't like that. That's OK, but the council has the abil- ity to change the way the appointments are made, and I suggest you do that because you're losing a very big asset, and it makes Lovell look like crap." Jennifer Padilla said she wholeheartedly sup- ports Mayor Montanez, saying she believes Lovell has a corrupt department. She said she looks forward to Montanez's positive change, adding, "I think our police department needs a change and I've proba- bly put a big bulls-eye on myself and on my vehi- cle and anything associat- ed with me, because that's the corruptness I hear about. Working in Cody I hear snide comments about our town, which is really disheartening. "I wholeheartedly sup- port you and your decision to change our police chief. I hope our council can stand behind the mayor. He was voted in for change and some are too afraid to ac- cept this change and now we have it and we have to deal with it. I hope we're not too afraid to accept that." Ken Ferbrache also ex- pressed support for the mayor, noting he supported Montanez's campaign and spoke highly of him, though he disagrees with the pro- cess regarding the chief. "I told people you weren't going to do what you did," he told Montanez. "I'd just like it to be han- dled, whatever happens. I don't think Nick wants to work for someone in an en- vironment where it's hos- tile, either. I just want this to be handled in as profes- sional a manner as possi- ble and move forward in a professional, upstand- ing manner. It does make Lovell, the way it was han- dled and turned around, look a little bit foolish, and if we'd slowed down a lit- tle bit and looked around it may have been a little bit different." Rosalie Patina said she supports the mayor's deci- sion and said she doesn't think the decision to fire Lewis makes Lovell look bad; rather, the way peo- ple reacted makes Lovell look bad: "I don't think all of that is on Angel's shoul- ders," she said. "I think we need to support our may- or and what he chooses to do." Bernie DuMonthier warned about an excessive desire for change, noting, "Change is a very intox- icating word. Change for the sake of change is not necessarily a wise thing." He said people must think of the context of the change or it could be "quite disastrous." "Simply to change be- cause 'we want a change!' is not necessarly always a wise thing," DuMonthi- er said. "Everybody who's elected, they are to rep- resent the majority of the people. I'd like to remind everybody of that. They reflect the majority of'the people that elected them." EARLY AGENDA Tuesday's meeting be- gan with the council voting to remove from the table the swearing in of newly re-elected councilmen Wol- sey and Jones after that act was tabled at the Jan. 2 swearing in of Mayor Montanez. Clerk-Treasurer Valerie Beal administered the oath on Tuesday. Beal then read the dis- closure of interest forms that the mayor, coun- cil and top officials must fill out annually, disclos- ing the local financial in- stitutions they do business with. The council named as official depositories the Bank of Lovell, First Bank of Wyoming, Big Horn Fed- eral and Wyoming State Treasurer's Asset Reserve. The council also approved the Lovell Chronicle as the official newspaper of the Town of Lovell. ADMIN ISTRATOR Montanez said he wants to return to the town administrator system the town had several years ago and presented a reso- lution funding the wages and benefits for the posi- tion through the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Councilman Allred said he supports the position but doesn't want to dip into reserves to pay for it. "Although I support you 100 percent in the de- cision to have a town ad- ministrator, I really have a hard time pulling mon- ey out of savings," Allred said. "What I'd like to do is go ahead and proceed with the town administrator po- sition and try to absorb it into the town budget...At the end of the budget year we can look for a way to move money around with- in the budget so we don't have to spend any more, and at that time if we don't have it we can go out to do a resolution to go into the reserves." To move the process forward, Allred moved to pass the funding resolution for $43,400 out of general fund reserves, and the res- olution died for lack of a second. MAINTENANCE AN ISSUE AT ANNEX continued from page i appropriate." Per the current agreement, the town handles regular utilization of the facility, bathroom supplies, light bulbs, etc., up to $12,000. The commissioners discussed other options including selling the annex to the town or another entity. "There's just a whole lot of issues that need to be considered," Hyde said. "I firmly support keeping a presence, but I think we can be fairly creative," Commissioner Jerry Ewen said. He said that could be asking the town to pay rea- sonable rental rate to alleviate the drain on the county finances. Commissioner Felix Carrizales in- quired about grant funding to help re- pair the facility or build a new county facility. Hyde said currently the county is short on buildings, noting both the north and south search and rescue units need more facilities. "Getting rid of Lovell annex right now is not the proper thing to do, but I'm all in favor of charging Lovell a rea- sonable rate," Hyde said, adding that he would go to the town and let them know the county would be looking to change the terms of the current agreement. Werner noted that in addition to the $21,000 annually, the county has spent about $250,000 over the pfist five years on improvements in the facility including a new boiler system. They have sincerely requested no party or encourage well wishers to send them a card. Drs. Hoffmann Join us in congratulating them on deserved retirement! THE HOFFMANN CHILDREN IIORTH BIG HORN USA WRESTLERS SIGN UP THURSDAY, JANUARY 15, 2015 5- 7p.m. Lovell High School Gym Foyer $75.00 OPEN TO AGES 5 YEARS AND UP *First time wrestlers please bring a copy of your birth certificate* Questions? Contact Angie Spann 307-272-5912 Trista Marchant 307-272-9130 Pictured left to right - Karolyn Rood, BSN, RNC, CLC - Certified Lactation Counselor; Sharae Bischoff, APRN, CNM - Certified Nurse Midwife; Bergen Vardell, WHNP, CNM - Certified Nurse Midwife; Kristin Greenwald, MSN, RNC - Director of Obstetrical Services Our OB team is now offering expecting mothers the option of laboring and delivering in a specialized birthing tub. This is great news for those women who prefer the option of water birth or who just want to be able to labor in the comfortable, soothing environment Of a birthing tub. If you would like to learn more about .. our birthing tub and water births, ///V' please don't hesitate to contact our Powell Valley Healthcare Women's Health ,,,.,,,c.o,g and 0B Clinic - 75t,-7770