MDs look at more than just hospital

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March 16, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Community amenities and availability of equipment and services at a hospital — sometimes more than bricks and mortar — are of issue when recruiting physicians, Allen County Hospital Administrator Joyce Heismeyer told members of the hospital advisory group Monday afternoon.
Those who consider Iola look at all the community has to offer, including schools and employment opportunities for spouses, she said.
Particulars of interest “depend on the individual. The hardest part is getting someone here for a site visit,” Heismeyer said. “They look at the community online and when asked why they’re not coming, reply: ‘It’s not a good match for us at this time.’”
One piece of equipment that would help in recruiting, particularly an orthopedic specialist, is a 16-slice computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan machine, she said, and “many would like a 64-slice.” ACH has a four-slice machine. Diagnostic capabilities increase with the number of slices.
Heismeyer said a national shortage of medical professionals also makes recruitment difficult.
Asked what drew her to Iola, Heismeyer said having an opportunity to work for Health Corporation of America (HCA), ACH’s management group, initially piqued her interest.
“HCA has a great reputation and when I visited, I found Iola to be a warm and welcoming community,” Heismeyer said. “I never felt like an outsider. I went to Rotary and to the church of my choice and had the same feelings.”
Dr. Dan Myers, who became ACH’s resident surgeon last year, felt the same. He also said the “warm and caring attitude of the hospital’s staff for patients” was a major factor in his decision. Myers previously was at Labette Health in Parsons.

COMMITTEE members reviewed their visit to Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg last Friday.
They found a 50,000 square foot critical access facility with 15 beds on the cusp of qualifying for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design recognition, which would be a first for Kansas.
The $25 million hospital, all but $2.2 million paid for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, grants and insurance, incorporated many features to cut energy consumption and protect the environment. A 50-kilowatt wind turbine provides most of its power.
The hospital has specialty areas for dental, cardiology and vision care. A physician and physician’s assistance practice in an adjacent clinic. The hospital has about 80 employees.
Greensburg’s population is 900, down from the 1,600 who lived there prior to being hit by a massive tornado in 2007.
It has a 16-slice CAT machine. Previously, the Greensburg hospital had one-slice capability.
The next meeting — all are open to the public —  will be at 3 p.m. Monday in the Allen County Courthouse assembly room.
Potential building sites for a new hospital will be discussed. The ACH Foundation and how it might be expanded also will be on the agenda.

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