Commission picks ACH consultant



February 17, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Health Facility Group (HFG), Wichita, will be Allen County’s consultant in its effort to improve Allen County Hospital.
The consulting group will study engineering and structural aspects of the hospital, consider ways to improve health care delivery and explore possible funding before it recommends either remodeling and expanding ACH or building anew. In either case, HFG will assist in marketing the idea.
Commissioners Dick Works, Gary McIntosh and Rob Francis discussed the merits of HFG and Woodrum, a Broken Arrow, Okla. consultant, and mentioned several times that they would be comfortable with either one. The third applicant, Whitestone, of Plano, Texas, drew no support.
Francis eventually moved that Alan Weber, county counselor, negotiate a contract with HFG. Works seconded the motion and McIntosh made the decision unanimous.
HFG’s bid was $28,500, the lowest of the three by $20,500. Whitestone offered its services for $49,000; Woodrum $63,500.
The consultant will be paid from the commissioners’ fund, which is budgeted for expenditures of $170,000 this year. Commissioners’ salary and benefits require less than half that amount.

COMMISSIONERS have a tight, but not yet clearly defined, timeline for the consulting firm to arrive at a recommendation. They prefer a funding referendum be on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot. If not, such a vote likely would be at the Nov. 2 general election.
While the consulting firm is gathering data and assembling it to support a recommendation, members of a citizen advisory committee will concern themselves with gathering public comments and information regarding bringing Allen County to the cutting edge of modern health care. That data will also be considered by commissioners in their ultimate decision to rebuild or remodel.
The committee met for the first time Monday afternoon. Mary Ann Arnott was elected chairperson. Committee meetings, tentatively scheduled for Monday afternoons, will be open to the public.

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