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Town Hall Facilities Q&A

Facility Background:

Existing Facility:

New Facility Planning/Acquisition:

New Facility Specifics:

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Youtube Video:

        

Half the respondents were predominately facility related and half were finance related.
Below we are providing answers directly to the questions of facilities.

The finance questions will be addressed in the near future.

Facility Background:

1)  What is the reasoning behind the current time table for this decision? 

Once it was determined that a new facility was the optimal direction to proceed and the design was chosen, the Hospital Board immediately began the required steps to present it to the community.  At this point, the time frame of the process has been subject to statutory requirements to proceed to a public vote.

2) Were there bids for the architect and construction manager? Are these groups related to anyone on the hospital Board of Directors or Great Plains Health Alliance? 

Yes, a request for proposals was sent out for both architectural and construction management companies as required by law. Two architectural groups and four construction management groups were considered. There are no conflicts of interest. No one on the hospital Board of Directors or with Great Plains Health Alliance is related or affiliated with either the architectural firm or construction management. The choice of both was strictly up to the BOD.

Existing Facility:

3) Has the current facility been properly maintained? Could updates and maintenance to our current facility solve the problems cost effectively?

The facility has been very well maintained but it is 60 years old.  Many components that are central to the operation of the facility are simply worn out, i.e. the pipes and sewer lines that are buried into the actual foundation, the boilers and chillers that are at the core of the facility, and the ductwork and electrical systems that are expensive and impractical to replace.  This is our current situation - it will be more practical to build a new structure rather than attempt to rebuild the current facility.

4) Where is the flooding from the heavy rains (in the photos/video) occurring?

Rain produces standing water on the flat roofs (the clinic roof was featured in the presentation), the ER drive through, the helipad, and the crawl space below the facility.  Additionally water collection beneath the facility results in infiltration of moisture into the lab and other patient care areas.

5) What will happen to the current facility?  Suggested use of old building – apartments, housing, B&B, skate park, storage, etc.  Is there a purchase agreement with someone?

The overall project budget currently includes tearing down the current facility which consist of the hospital, the clinic, and long term care and returning the property to grass land, enabling future development. The independent living units will remain as a standalone facility.  However, if the community wanted to utilize the current facility for other purposes, that would lower overall project costs. Additional options for use are being explored. There is no purchase agreement at this time.

New Facility Planning/Acquisition:

6) How was the project location chosen?

The Hospital Board reviewed an extensive list of possible sites.  Each site was evaluated for available space, accessibility, proximity of utilities, acquisition cost, and site preparation costs.  The proposed site was best suited to meet the project requirements including:

• adequate space for the current proposed facility

• room for potential expansion

• public accessibility from existing streets

• easy access to utilities and minimal site work

• affordable acquisition cost.

7) Why was there a down payment put on the property before a vote?

We have put down a deposit with an option to purchase.  Though non-refundable, the $2,500 down payment ensures the land will be available if the bond election is approved.  This is necessary to avoid continuing to plan, design and develop the project for a location that may/may not be available when it is needed.

8) Will the facility have an entrance to the highway?

Having an entrance directly to the highway presents issues.  As such, we are investigating using 2 entrances from Kentucky Street (River Road) as our access points.

9) This plan will require many new utilities to be extended west. Does the price include that, or will the City of Ashland have to do it? Can our current water/sewer facilities handle this extra extension?

Yes, utilities will need to be extended.  All utility providers have been contacted and the associated costs have been included in the project budget.  Yes, we have been working with the City of Ashland to assure that the current systems can handle the new facility.  The new facility will essentially replace the water and sewer usage of the current hospital facility.

10) What besides Medicare payments makes a swing bed facility more desirable for Ashland than a traditional nursing home?

The quality of care received in a swing bed facility (ISB) is at or above that of a long term care facility due to the fact that it is held to the same standards as the rest of the hospital.  Additionally, adaptability and flexibility are greatly increased as the rooms are built to the same specifications as a hospital room.

New Facility Specifics:

11) When do we get a hands on copy of detail plans?

Copies of the floor plan will be available at the March 23rd Community Meeting.

12) Is the new health center being built to federal guidelines?

Yes, we are building the new facility to meet all applicable State and Federal guidelines.  We would not be able to complete this project without meeting these regulations.

13) What are the square footage comparisons between current facility and new design? Why the difference in size?

Regulations, utilization and medicare reimbursement are all specific reasons for the differences in size of the new facility. These will be specifically addressed by ACI Boland (Architects) at the March 23rd Community

14) Why are there two dining rooms?

There is one dining area for the senior living residents.  The second dining area next to the kitchen serves staff and visitors.  It can also be used as a meeting room and is the designated emergency shelter area.

15) Why are there three break rooms?

The number and location of staff break rooms is to meet regulatory requirements.

16) Why do they need a separate nourish room?

This is required to handle after hours patient nutritional needs.  It is easily accessible from the nurses station allowing the nursing staff to avoid leaving the patient care area to access patient food from the main kitchen.

17) Why do they need two large nurse stations?

One station serves the Acute patients and the other one serves the Senior Living residents - similar to what we

18) How many new employees will be required to staff the new Health Center?

Initially, the new facility will not require any additional personnel. However, if additional services are added staffing will be adjusted accordingly.

19) Will the new facility be conducive to updating to meet new requirements?

Yes, the design of the new facility incorporates the new model of healthcare which is focused on outpatient services.  Knowing that regulations continuously change, the facility has been designed for maximum flexibility.  The proposed floor plan allows for the reassignment of areas with little to no remodeling.  If further modification is needed, the building design features predominantly non-load bearing walls that can be moved at minimal cost when the need arises.  Additionally, utilities and services are located in the areas above the ceiling which are easily accessible if space requirements change.

20) Will there be any additional services with a new facility?

Our goals at this time include the expansion of visiting specialty and telemedicine services.  The design of the new facility will enable us to deliver our current services more efficiently and allow for effective expansion of services. The imaging area has the capacity to include fluoroscopy if this service becomes needed and cost effective.  The new facility will have the capacity to provide upgraded CT scan services.

21) Any chance of doing minor surgeries here with the new facility?

A surgical suite is not included in the design of the new facility. Including one would significantly increase cost.  Due to increasing regulations and specialized staffing requirements, it is unlikely we would provide minor surgeries in Ashland.

22) Will the new facility offer home health services to community members?

Building a new facility does not affect whether home health services are provided within the community. We are currently evaluating options to address this need within our community.

23) How will Ashland Health Center deal with the increasing need for elderly services – and recognize the need for additional services?

Meeting the growing needs of the elderly of our community is a priority for Ashland Health Center. Assuring the sustainability of senior living is a primary goal moving forward. The proposed facility has been designed with maximum flexibility. This will allow Ashland Health Center to adapt to the evolving health care needs of our community including services for the elderly.

24) Will a new facility improve recruitment of staff, doctors, nurses, etc?

We anticipate and fully expect that it will help with recruitment as well as retention of professional staff.  The current facility has been problematic in that respect.  We need to plan for less turnover and minimizing outside agency workforce.

25) Will this proposal and plan, if passed, meet our needs for the future?

Yes, our plan provides maximum flexibly to meet our needs now and for the foreseeable future.

 

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Ashland Health Center625 S. Kentucky St.Ashland, KS  67831

p. 620.635.2241f. 620.635.2229

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