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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsTerritorial Hospital Board Discusses Continuing Issues; Welcomes New Vice President

Territorial Hospital Board Discusses Continuing Issues; Welcomes New Vice President

The Territorial Hospital Board met Wednesday night. (Screenshot from Teams meeting)

The V.I. Government Hospital and Health Facilities Corporation Territorial Board met Wednesday, and in addition to welcoming a new vice president of financial services at the Schneider Regional Medical Center, Jordan Wathen, they discussed contracts, medical equipment purchases, and dialysis during an executive session.

During her report to the board, Tina Comissiong, SRMC’s chief executive officer, introduced Wathen and commended him on already introducing ways to save money on overtime expenses. She also said the hospital has worked over the last year to cut expenses and stabilize the workforce. They have also worked towards increasing access to important medical services.

SRMC has hired 52 registered nurses and four licensed practical nurses in the last year, and currently, there are only 20 traveling nurses on the payroll. She said work is being done to streamline emergency room services. They also hired a nurse practitioner and a full-time psychiatrist.

“At SRMC, we’re constantly focused on quality and quality improvement,” Comissiong said.

Gastroenterology services were added last spring and that department is fully booked until May 2024. The cardiology suite is under construction and a new X-ray machine is expected at the end of February, she said. Patients from St. Croix will also utilize cardiology services eventually, she added.

SRMC is also working with Juan F. Luis Hospital to synchronize Meditech and other services common to both hospitals, according to Comissiong.

The Howard University pharmacy program has reached out to SRMC to start a program to help implement a call-back system to cover prescriptions that have not been filled. The plan is to call the prescription holders and follow up with questions for the patient as to why they did not fill the script.

Later, the board, in executive session, talked about several contracts needing approval. First, a contract between Vlad Associates and JFL requiring an increase in cost was forwarded to the finance committee.

Another contract between Varian Medical Systems and the Charlotte Kimmelman Cancer Institute was approved for an increase in cost for a CT machine for more than $80,000 — a seven percent increase. Only one of four machines incurred an increase, according to Christopher Finch, board chair. Other purchases from Varian include software and radiation equipment.

Also discussed were the hospital’s potential strategy for dealing with Medicaid and temporary medical staff. They also talked about a potential Centers for Medicaid and Medicare return inspection in January after the initial survey in December of JFL.

A number of medical staff were approved for additional contracts with the JFL hospital, including medical doctors Evadne Sang, Joseph Vitterito, Iliannie Rodriguez-Chaluisant, Edilberto Alvarez, and physician assistant Arthurlyn Sullivan. Dr. Trevor Smith was approved as associate psychiatrist for the SRMC medical staff.

Attending the meeting were board members Finch, Dr. Jerry Smith, Jenifer O’Neal, Dr. Frank Odlum, Dr. Greta Hart Hyndman and Faye John-Baptiste.

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