Carson-Tahoe Officials to consider new hospital site

Carson-Tahoe Hospital officials will consider a new location for the hospital and an extra $500,000 to cover costs of conversion from a community-owned hospital to a private nonprofit corporation at today's meeting.

Though not willing to reveal the proposed location Wednesday, chief executive officer Ed Eppersen said officials have eliminated all but one location on the northern end of Carson City.

The acreage, together with conceptual drawings, the negotiated purchase price and all the pros and cons, will be part of today's discussions.

The move to a new building on a new campus will provide solutions to the problems that the current facility presents according to Eppersen.

"It's very difficult to accommodate current methods of delivering of medical care and meet consumer demands," said Eppersen.

Marketing studies indicate patients want private rooms, said Eppersen. Emergency vehicles have a hard time accessing the hospital, parking is a problem and expansion is difficult in the landlocked location. The residential nature of the area and costs of retrofitting an outmoded building, which is more expensive than building a new hospital, compound the problems.

"Even if everything else made sense, there's the disruption to the neighborhood. We have neighbors on four sides," Eppersen said. "And the campus is very small. Ideally we'd like about 40 acres. Right now we're on 7.5 acres."

From April until July 2001, about $457,000 in consulting, legal, and other fees were spent on the hospital's efforts to convert to a private nonprofit and Carson-Tahoe officials will be asking for an additional $500,000 to complete the deal.

Application for tax exempt status was submitted July 23, and it will be another three to six months before that process is complete, pushing the original September date back as far as January 23, 2002.

In other business:

-- If approved, the hospital's proposed Cancer Center will be located in close proximity to the hospital's future campus. Hospital officials plan to build a nationally accredited cancer program and an amendment is required to assure that the cancer center is included in the hospital's new plans.

-- Proposals to build both a new MRI scanner and a new CT scanner for an estimated $1.9 million and $1.2 million respectively could be approved. Designed to supply physicians with more accurate, precise images, the equipment is needed primarily to keep up with modern technology, according to Eppersen. The new scanners will be purchased from either G.E./Phillips or Seimens. Architectural fees are estimated at $100,000 and construction costs about $800,000.

What: Meetings of the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Board of Trustees, Building and Finance committees

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Carson-Tahoe Hospital Health Education Center


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