New HCHC Board MemberWritten by Theresa Rose on January 21, 2015
A new trustee will join the Henry County Health Center board at the February meeting. The board voted at the January meeting Tuesday to appoint Joel Prottsman to replace Megan Wenstrand. Prottsman is a New London native. He is vice president of Danville State Savings Bank in New London. Prottsman returned to his home town after graduating from Coe College. He has been involved in the New London Chamber, served on the school board and coaches youth sports as well as serving as assistant coach for the New London girls basketball team.
The hospital trustees approved purchase of two residential properties….the house at 305 S. White for $54,900 and the house at 400 W. Clay for $116,000 located on the same block north of the hospital. This means HCHC will own all but one property on that block and will give the hospital options for the future. It was a coincidence that both came up for sale at the same time. There are no immediate definite plans for the properties altho the White street structure will probably be torn down. HCHC has also received from the Don Young estate the keys to 305 W Green so now the half of that block west of the alley also belongs to the hospital.
Chief Financial officer Dave Muhs reported that he has started the capital budget process trying to make the finances cleaner and more efficient. Muhs also led a discussion on the tax levy rate. There will be a public hearing on the county tax budget February 17 at noon prior to the start of the regular trustee meeting. The levy rate has been the same for eight years. In fact it’s only been changed twice in the last 15 years. And while HCHC still has a strong balance sheet, Muhs said a tax rate hike is coming. He isn’t recommending an increase for the coming year but told the trustees they will need to start talking about an increase possibly for the following year. Muhs said the eventual hike is due to uncontrollable things like ipers costs and other state and federal mandates.
CEO Robb Gardner reported on the collaboration between HCHC emergency department, Hillcrest Family services and county mental health services to create a behavioral health crisis response team. Credentialed social workers will help with assessment in the e.r. to make sure patients with mental health problems get the proper care in the right place. This crisis prevention program is expected to launch at the end of March or the first of April.