Hospital board does expansion planning

By Kevin Wilson

The Roosevelt County hospital board talked about the medical center’s expansion for right now and in the years ahead during Thursday’s regular meeting.
Roosevelt General Hospital Administrator James D’Agostino told the board members that work was on schedule for the medical office building, which will be located in the northeast area of the hospital.
There was a small delay in the concrete work, but D’Agostino said he is still positive the project will be completed soon.
“It doesn’t look like a lot has been done right now, but once the framework goes up you’ll see things happen pretty quick,” D’Agostino said.
The building, D’Agostino said, will allow the hospital to have an additional 18 medical examination rooms, six doctors’ offices, Xray machines and an expanded area for storing medical records.
Also, the board received word that clearing the Schlenker property would require $18,100. The Schlenker property is an area of about nine acres adjacent to the hospital, purchased to “preserve the medical integrity of the area,” D’Agostino said.
The area will be available for long-term expansions to the hospital, or for new businesses that work with the hospital.
The nursing service report said the hospital has seen an increase in patients since the hospital opted to increase the availability of Remicade. The hospital had been offering the injection for rheumatoid arthritis every eight weeks, but now offer it every six weeks.
“Our Remicade is really growing,” said Carol Reuter, who delivered the nursing service report. “(The word) is really getting out in the community.”
In other business at the meeting:
• D’Agostino said the hospital had received a $60,000 grant from the state for physician recruitment and retention, and
• Rueter said a diabetic child that receives treatment from the hospital had qualified to attend a camp for diabetic children. Board member Terry Cone said he would look into getting financial assistance for the child through the Lions Club.