RGH to ask for $1.1 million intensive care unit

By Tony Parra

Tuesday was the start of the 2006 legislative session and hospital officials want a portion of the excess amount of capital outlay revenue for an intensive care unit.

Monday was the first day of the 30-day session, which with the help of oil and gas revenues, has created the largest surplus in New Mexico history with more than $500 million, according to associated press reports.

The Roosevelt General Hospital Board of Trustee members during Tuesday’s board meeting gave approval for James D’Agostino, hospital administrator, to request $1.1 million from the 47th New Mexico Legislature for a four-bed intensive care unit at the hospital. The request has been sent out to eastern New Mexico legislators.

The $1.1 million would pay for the planning, designing, constructing and furnishing of a four-bed ICU. D’Agostino said if approved for funding, more than likely the 3,700 square-foot ICU portion would be built to the south of Roosevelt General Hospital.

In his request, D’Agostino said the project is a priority to meet patient needs as requested by newly recruited physicians.

“We are getting critical patients, cardiology is increasing, we need ICU,” D’Agostino said.

• Eva Stevens, chief financial officer, reported a net income loss of $33,392 for the month of December for the hospital. The total operational revenues and other income were $1.383 million and the total expenses were $1.416 million for the month of December.

The budget news is more positive than in previous months. According to the RGH income statement, the hospital had a net income loss of $74,574 for November and a monthly average net income loss of $99,689 for the last six months.

•Tawnya Burton, registered nurse and director of the Roosevelt County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, said that medical staff saw 785 patients in the emergency room for December and 74 were admitted. Burton said home health care currently has 13 patients.

She also said the sexual assault nurse examiners had 24 victims in 2005, 22 were females and two were males. According to the statistics, 10 were less than the age of five, 10 were between the ages of 11 and 19 and four were in their 20s. Numbers D’Agostino labeled as “ugly” numbers for the year.

“Statistics reveal that only one-third of the victims report the sexual assaults,” Burton said. “Two-thirds don’t come in and are unreported.”

• The Board of Trustees approved a resolution commending Don Davis for his dedicated service to the health care needs of the people in Roosevelt County. Davis served as a former Board of Trustees member and was on a design, services and contract committee.