Sawyer takes over as Director of Nursing Services at NVH

Informatics Nurse Lori Sawyer was appointed to serve as interim Director of Nursing Services with the termination of Arnese Stern, who was appointed interim DNS when Tina Smith was terminated last February.
Informatics Nurse Lori Sawyer was appointed to serve as interim Director of Nursing Services with the termination of Arnese Stern, who was appointed interim DNS when Tina Smith was terminated last February.

District planning to open sleep lab, Aug. 8

“From all the different options of reimbursement, the strongest option that was supported by all was the subsidizing of the emergency room from the communities.”

Mike Zwicker, CEO
North Valley Hospital District

TONASKET – North Valley Hospital has chosen Lori Sawyer as an interim Director of Nursing Services until the hospital recruits for that position.

“Lori Sawyer is performing an outstanding job and she is very much appreciated,” said NVH CEO Mike Zwicker.

The previous interim DNS, Arnese Stern, was let go July 12. Zwicker had no comment on Stern’s dismissal. Stern was hired earlier this year as a replacement for DNS Tina Smith, who was terminated in February.

In other NVH news, is planning to open their new sleep lab August 8, and already have several people on a waiting list for initial consultations. The clinic will be staffed by Jakdej Nikomborirak, M.D.

NVH is also preparing to open a wound care clinic, with two employees traveling out of state in September to become certified in wound care.

NVH CEO Mike Zwicker
NVH CEO Mike Zwicker

Zwicker reported attending the 40th Annual Rural Hospital Leadership Conference in Chelan at the end of June, where he was able to network with other CEOs and healthcare professionals.

“The first meeting involved only CEOs to collaborate on various issues such as reimbursement issues,” reported Zwicker. “From all the different options of reimbursement, the strongest option that was supported by all was the subsidizing of the emergency room from the communities.”

Zwicker reported more issues need to be researched before moving forward with the geothermal project.

Ancillary Services Director Noreen Olma reported the current Bridge Contract for the VA clinic will be extended for another six months. The clinic currently serves over 800 vets. The new VA clinic provider is Ute Wilcox, M.D. Wilcox worked at Indian Health Family Practice in Omak from 2009 to this year, and Midvalley Hospital Emergency Room in Omak for ten years before that. Wilcox worked at NVH from 1996-1999.

Ken Kirkham reported the IT department is almost finished installing a Windows 10 upgrade. “I’m learning a tremendous amount and am shocked at the complexity of the new units,” said Kirkham. “It’s much different than three years ago and I’m having to learn a new language.” The upgrade includes a new security upgrade.

Commissioners approved a $25,000 purchase of Revenue Consulting Services through TruBridge after a presentation by Jana Symonds and Patrick Plumb. Symonds said the hospital has had a CPSI electronic health information system since 1999 but staff were never shown how to run all the reports the system is capable of producing.

“We’ve had the desire to implement this since 2001 to provide more live data,” said Plumb.

Symonds said the reports will make it easier for department heads to be accountable for their budgets.

“We are a $25 million a year business, and there is a lot to be said for keeping tabs on that,” said Plumb. “The hospital in the past has spent upwards of half a million dollars on different consultants with mixed results, and with this proposal we are going to involve more staff for cross training and business continuity.”

The next NVH commissioners meeting is Thursday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

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