NVH VA training scheduled to start soon

TONASKET – The training at North Valley Hospital for the Veteran’s Administration contract is scheduled to start by the end of this month, Administrator Linda Michel announced during the NVH board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 13.

In her written report to the board, Michel said the contract has been very frustrating for the hospital district and the community, with calls coming in to question when the service will begin. Her written report also states that a nurse has been hired for the VA clinic.

During this meeting, the board was informed that it is time to replace the current mammography machine.

“The current mammography machine was recently submitted to the American College of Radiology for a renewal of the ACR Licensure,” Michel wrote in her report. “This includes not only the application to be submitted, but also patient mammography films and quality assurance information. On Jan. 5, we received notification that we had failed the renewal criteria. The major reason was that the machine did not have adequate breast compression. The films were performed at the machine’s maximum compression and further compression is not possible. We therefore have to submit a plan to resolve the issue and until they receive that plan and okay it, we cannot do mammography at NVH.”

To solve this problem, a request was put in to the board to order a digital mammography machine from GE, who made the district’s current machine, for $300,000. This price also includes the monitor upgrade the machine would require to handle the higher level of megapixels.

“We would be state of the art with a digital machine,” Michel wrote. “At the time of this writing, it is my understanding that we would be the only facility in Okanogan County with digital capabilities should we decide to move in that direction.”

The request was then approved by the board to purchase the machine, which Michel said she felt would meet the district’s needs for the next eight to ten years.

Finally, Chief Financial Officer Bomi Bharucha said the warrants are still reasonably on track despite the Medicare reimbursement funds not being released yet.

The next NVH Board meeting will be on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the boardroom.