RGH ready to open addition

PNT Staff

The addition to Roosevelt General Hospital is scheduled to be in operation Monday, according to reports from Thursday’s hospital board meeting.
The building will include additional room for 11 physicians, medical staff and the patients. Also mentioned at the board meeting was a room for use in education programs on diabetes and ways to stop smoking.
The medical office building will expand from 8,000 square feet to more than double the size — 16,900 square feet. According to RGH Administrator James D’Agostino, there will be 31 exam rooms and five procedure rooms in addition to the 11 offices — including an X-ray machine for non-emergency room visits.
“Doctors are to be moving in this weekend or starting (Friday),” D’Agostino said, “and they should be ready for Monday.”
The only thing up in the air at this point is when the hospital will have its grand opening on the building. During the medical staff report, Leslie Donaldson said he was having trouble finding a day in April for the ceremony.
The board ideally wants a Friday for the ceremony. The first two Fridays in April, Donaldson said, had doctors out of town on conferences. April 15 is the final day to file income taxes — a depressing day for a grand opening, Donaldson joked — and April 22 is the first day of the Roosevelt County Relay for Life.
No decision was made, but Donaldson told the board that April 29 looked like the best available option.
In other business, the board approved a resolution to apply for a grant/loan of approximately $1.1 million for equipment.
The United States Department of Agriculture, D’Agostino said, offers low-interest loans to help worthy facilities in rural areas. D’Agostino said that he worked with board member Boyd Evans and the Roosevelt Telephone Cooperative agreed to put up a percentage of the money for RGH to qualify for the loan.
D’Agostino said that a similar loan was done when the hospital opened to the tune of $1.6 million. That money was used to buy equipment for the hospital’s first few months.
This money, D’Agostino said, would likely go towards a permanent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system and an update to RGH’s computer tomography unit (computed tomography is a diagnostic procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional pictures of the body).
In other business at the meeting,
• D’Agostino discussed Senate Bill 541, which would allow the governing board of a special hospital district to enter into an agreement to own or operate a common health care service.
D’Agostino said the bill, sponsored by Stuart Ingle (R-Portales) passed the Senate unanimously. However, the bill is on a long waiting list before it is introduced in the House, likely by Jose Campos (D-Santa Rosa), and the legislative session ends Saturday at noon.