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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
June 29, 2011     Indian Valley Record
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June 29, 2011

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Indian Valley Record Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9A ass'stance EPHC asks city of Portola fOrool0v00rtu00,,00e,0000, - oro0000ec00 of a Diana Jorgenson Staff Writer Tom Hayes, chief executive officer of Eastern Plumas Health Care, came to the regu- lar June 15 meeting of the Por- tola City Council to ask for the city's help. Citing a half-million-dollar net loss in February, Hayes said, "We don't have the re- serves to weather the storm." He went on to explain that while EPHC's insured patient base has declined, its MediCal patient base has increased. It has witnessed a "huge in- crease in bad debt in the last six months" and experienced a drop in volume. "Cash flow is our most criti- cal issue," Hayes said, adding that he is looking at ways to restructure the debt load. He then described a vacant 35-acre piece of land adjacent to the hospital known once as the Markwell property and currently owned by the hospi- tal district. The district purchased the property in 2003 for $554,000 and currently owes $354,000. It makes payments of $5,200 a month, pays 7.8 percent inter- est, and has a balloon pay- ment of $263,000 due in 2013. "We're proposing that the city consider buying that property for what we owe, less than half of what we paid," he said, suggesting that the city could develop it. He also hoped that the city would consider selling the district back four to five acres in the future if hospital expansion were warranted. Hospital board member Larry Fites gave a short histo- ry of the property and previ- ous development attempts, pointed out that the northern third was zoned light indus- trial, and outlined infrastruc- ture access. Portola City Manager Jim Murphy asked whether an ap- praisal had been done and felt it was necessary before there could be any discussion of ex- pending public dollars. "We're going through the same things that you are and we appreciate your chal- lenges," Murphy told him. Discussions of the proposed purchase were extensive, tak- ing up an hour of the meeting time, and Hayes fielded sever- al questions from council members regarding other pos- sible buyers and other things the hospital might do. Since EPHC has been bat- tling cash flow problems for some time, Hayes described what had already been done and how the hospital planned to meet its future challenges. "We're looking at every- thing and leaving no stone un- turned," Hayes t01d the coun- cil. "So are we," countered Su- san Scarlett, finance officer for the city. "The difference is that the city has a reserve. We don't have a reserve or we wouldn't be here asking for help," Hayes said. "We can't really delve into our reserve without doing a hell of a lot of research. Re- spectfully, that's where I stand," said council member William Weaver. Murphy added, "Citizens are already upset about rate increases. How are we to in- vest in infrastructure and roads on top of that?" Although city staff and council members were sympa- thetic, they felt that more steps must be taken before a sale could be discussed seri- ously. Their first obstacle, accord- ing to Murphy, was the need for legal counsel. City Attor- ney Steve Gross had recused himself at the beginning of the discussion because he is also attorney for the hospital. The council voted to waive conflict of interest in order to have Gross advise both par- ties, but Hayes will have to take the idea before the full hospital board for approval as a next step. Local Realtor B.J. Pearson urged the council to accept the proposal, "Loss of the hos- Mess of any size moving to Plumas County." Supervisor Terry Swoffo:d countered that there is tl- ready an industrial park in Chilcoot and several busine: ;s- es there have.failed. "Wh .n businesses move in Calif(,r- nia, they move out of Califi Ir- nia," he said, citing Califlr- nia's reputation for being o ]e of the worst states to do bu Mess in. "I want to keep hospital here, but we ca bank everything on light J dustry. I don't see that h pening at this point in time. Pearson also brought up t fact that the city had loan the county $350,000 for Lake Davis Treatment Plm and he thought the city mi show equal support for hospital and save jobs th might be in jeopardy. According to Hayes, hospital employs 240 peop and all but 15 live in Sier and Plumas counties. The jobs calculate into 178 fu Plumas District Hospitaldirectors name president Valerie Flanigan said in a June 24 email that Lafferty's resume shows "a senior health care executive with over 30 years of leader- ship experience in both not- for-profit and'for-profit hospi- tal settings." "He has a proven track record in all aspects of hospi- tal operations including fi- nancial turnarounds, new service development, hospital physician and community re- lations." Flanigan added Lafferty looked for a CEO role that would allow him to be part of the community and to con- tribute to it. Lafferty and his wife have visited the area several times and Flanigan said they are ex- cited to move here. Lafferty will spend the week of July 18 at PDH before Douglas L. Lafferty Incoming Chief Executive Officer Plumas District Hospital Mona Hill Staff Writer rnhill@plu masnews.corn Plumas District Hospital's board of directors has offered Douglas L. Lafferty, of HaM- ford, the role of chief execu- tive officer at PDH, complet- ing a 10-month recruitment effort. Lafferty has accepted a three-year contract at a start- ing salary of $225,000. Lafferty was employed at Adventist Health Systems since 2003. PDH board and system restructuring, hospital design and construc- tion. It also shows, as do his references, excellent board, returning Aug. 8. Flanigan also commended Interim CEO Linda Jameson. "We also cannot express time equivalent positions. Murphy asked Hayes if a low-interest loan from the city would be helpful. "This is about cash flow," said Hayes, "It would help." Mayor Pro Tern Juliana Mark summarized, "We need to take care of some of the variables: look into both op- tions, get Steve involved and get an appraisal." Upon Gross' return to the i- room, he was presented with le the council's waiver of con- L't flirt of interest. n- He said that usually a waiv- )- er of that kind happened after terms had already been nego- e tiated, which was not the case d here. He cautioned that there ]e was a potential for a conflict It, of interest, but that he was ht willing to try. "If it feels un- ae comfortable, I will have to at stop." As a next step, Hayes will e bring the attorney's conflict of e, interest issue before the full ca hospital board at its next 40 meeting and introduce discus- ll- sion about securing a loan. le00 / CEO enough gratitude and res for Linda Jameson. She [ filled the role of interim C] for almost nine months." "She did not just fill  r( She has actively taken P] in new directions, collabor at- ing with other hospitals and health care organizations in Our area, overseen grant ,}p- portunities, worked on ph3 si- cian recruitment, all while continuing to oversee nurs ng as chief nursing officer an a handful of other very impor- tant roles at the hospital. "Her work ethic and saff ct as O le. )H relations have been excep- tional. We look forward to her continued service to PDH as chief nursing officer." Following her appointment as interim CEO, Jameson im- mediately applied for the per- manent position. The 10-mem- ber search committee elimi- nated her after narrowing the field to two candidates follow- ing the initial interviews. Flanigan said the quality of the candidates, including Jameson, put forward by Don Whiteside of HFS Consul- tants, was excellent. Annual Mile High 100 dra,,,,s 450 riders, many rlew M. Kate West Chester Editor chesternews@plu masnews'cm The 29th annual Mile High 100 drew an amazing 450 rid- ers to the Chester Park on Sat- Urday, June 18. Hosted by the Lake A1- manor Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau the Sat- urday of Father's.Day week- end each year, it's hard to judge what demographic par- ticipates most in the event. While it's apparent persons of all ages, ethnicities and bi- cycle skill levels enjoy taking to our high-mountain rOad- ways, observed groupings seemed to contain more women this year. There also seemed to be fewer children riding. Co-chairman Don Van Alert offered some interesting sta- tistics from the overall regis- trations. Traveling the farthest was a participant from Seattle, Wash. Van Alen said there were also several riders from Oregon. the Bay Area and Santa Cruz. He also said, "We had only 10 Lake Almanor Basin riders register. The majority of the riders traveled in from Chico, Redding and Reno." Likely the most interesting fact: 50 percent of the regis- trants had never ridden the Mile High 100 before. This event offers riders the choice of three routes: The century ride is 108 miles long and takes riders from the Chester Park to Warner Valley, back out again, around the East Shore of Lake Almanor, around Indi- an Valley and around the West Shore back into Chester. The metric century is 56 miles long and encompasses the entire Basin by going from the park to Warner Valley and then the 35 miles around Lake Almanor. The half metric century is 35 miles long and travels the circumference of Lake Al- manor. "Another telling fact about the draw of the Mile High 100 is that more people rode the century than any other of the offered options," Van Alen said. The next most popular ride was the 56-mile long metric century. "There were some very heavy duty riders this year," added Van Alen. As part of the annual fundraiser, the chamber sells tickets for a new bicycle. "This year, Lake Almanor resident David Bruker pur- chased a single ticket and won the Gary Fischer bicycle provided by Bodfish Bicycles EPHC Now Offers Digital Mammography. i liii I DAVID Jo HEASLETT -/ a, ' "V .... Nan e Californian - (.,,aet,ala=: gggregute g gsphnlt Products, Int. Serving Plumas, Lassen & Tehama Counties Locally owned and operated Asphalt. Rock o Sand. Gravel Please call for material and placement pricing 530-258-4555 6600 Old Ski Rd., Chester CalTrans 109 Certified Delivery Available I and Quiet Mountain Sports." Van Alert said. The retail val- ue of the bicycle is $800. As part of the packet, their registration wristbands enti- tled riders to snacks at rest stops and an enticing spaghetti dinner prepared by the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge. Van Alert said the Elks fed about 340 people this year. m $80 July Mammo Special No Referral Necessary Higher quaiity! Radiologists can focus on and evaluate areas of concern utilizing magnification and contrasting. Faster! Digital images are interpreted by the radiologist and returned within 24 hours. Safer! 50% less radiation than film mammograms; less radiation than any other digital mammography system in our region. More comfortable! Requiring less time, the new mammography is a gentler way for women to stay current on their breast screenings. EPHC is the only health care provider to offer digital mammography in Plumas or Sierra Counties. For further information or to make an appointment in our Imaging Department, please call: 530.832.6516, or visit our website, *Payment due at time of service. Insurance will not be billed. You must be 18years or older. Jl q00hEastern Plumas Health Care 00People Helping People 500 First Avenue, Portola, CA 96122 530.832.6500