NVH warrants continue to sink

TONASKET – North Valley Hospital’s debt to Okanogan County continued its downward trend so far in May, dipping to as low as $369,000 on Wednesday, May 6.

The ever-fluctuating number had bumped back up to $576,280 by the Thursday, May 7, but the overall trend continued in the right direction as far as hospital and county officials are concerned. The warrants nearly hit $3 million in 2012 and at $1.3 million last spring.


The backup generator that had to be shipped to Spokane has been repaired, but its return has been held up by a disagreement over terms of the repair contract, Kelly Cariker reported.

“We ran into an issue with the company,” he said. “They were asking us for full payment before they brought it back and installed it.”

Cariker said the contract dictated payment on the 10th of the month following the purchase.

“That was defined as after the repair, and after installation and load testing,” he said. “We’ve been trying to get that squared away. We want to see it in, running and tested before paying.”

Drill report

Administrator Linda Michel said that the multi-jurisdictional disaster drill run two weeks ago was a good experience for hospital staff.

“We learned a lot of little things,” Michel said, citing the ability of agitated parents to find their way into the emergency room and communications issues. “All in all it was a great drill. Kim Jacobs did an outstanding job of getting people together and getting it to work.”

The hospital and school will be following up with a meeting this Friday to review procedures on reunification (getting kids – in this case those injured in the school bus crash scneario – back together with their parents).

Mental health

Michel said that she had wondered why so much time at the health care meeting called by the Okanogan County Commissioners two weeks ago focused on mental health. But the day after the meeting, she said that a during a Washington State Hospital Association call, Senate Bill 6312 was discussed.

“It is something that the health care authority of Washington is instituting for Medicaid patient, combining mental health with acute care,” she said. “They want to write contracts to different places to take care of a Medicaid groups, like managed care. If they have behavioral needs you take care of that along with their acute care needs. So that was why all the discussion about saferooms …

“The county commissioners are involved in this process… I don’t want to assume that is what we were there for but it is what we talked about for an hour.”

The NVH Board of Commissioners next meets on Thursday May 29. The Thursday, June 12 regular board meeting will be rescheduled for Monday, June 9.

About Brent Baker

Brent, is a former reporter/photographer for the Gazette-Tribune and sometimes works as a freelance sports reporter for the G-T. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent worked as a full time reporter/photographer at the G-T from 2011 - 2014).

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