Seneca tries new venue for board meetings

In a continued attempt to accommodate and encourage more members of the community to attend the monthly board meetings of the Seneca Healthcare District, the regular meeting held Aug. 30 was again held at the Almanor Recreation Center building on Meadow Brook Loop.

The board also scheduled the meeting for a 6 p.m. start with the idea of gaining more attendance from people that work during the day.

Pre-meeting comments soon brought to light that no one cared for the way the room was set up due to the large window walls at both ends, and due to the size of the facility it was necessary to use a public address system for any speakers to be heard.

The board decided to use the larger recreation center building for the September meeting, but move the start time to 4 p.m.

After much discussion, the 4 p.m. start seemed to be based on several factors:

First, there were fewer people attending this 6 p.m. meeting than were present at the previous two 3 p.m. meetings.

Second, the length of the board meetings has become progressively longer in recent months and a session that ends at almost 9 p.m. is not attractive to most people.

Case in point. By the mid-meeting break of the Aug. 30 meeting, only two members of the public were still in attendance along with the board and nine staff members waiting to give reports.

The third point is that evening meetings create a hardship on hospital staff that are required to extend their working day without additional compensation and several of whom have families with children at home.

The board expressed a desire to have as much public input as possible about what services will best serve the patients using the hospital and the quality of care being provided.

To accomplish that goal there needs to be a certain level of support and cooperation from the community by providing information.

Attending the board meetings on a regular basis is a good way or simply completing and returning the surveys the hospital may send to patients goes a long way toward improved service.

There were several other positive notations during the department reports as well; several new staff were hired, including an LVN and an RN.

Three medical providers have expressed interest in providing services at Seneca as hospital contracted providers.

The new computers and servers for the medical staff are getting very close to being finished, which will greatly enhance the ability to complete the electronic health records required by the medical staff.

The Strategic Planning Committee submitted a proposed Strategic Master Plan to the board for review and approval with the notation that it is by nature a continually changing document pending future facility changes.

The hospital is also prioritizing a list of capital improvements that need to be addressed in 2018-19.

Part of the $600,000 list is already underway with the EHR upgrade, and a variety of projects, from a new roof to new surgery lights, are in the future.

Lots of good things are happening in and around the hospital and the board is looking forward to the community’s support with their feedback.