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Hospital board hopes to add liaison

by Christy Chalmers

Carson-Tahoe Hospital trustees will consider a plan Thursday to resurrect the Carson Valley advisory board that voluntarily disbanded because of a change in management at the Minden Medical Center emergency room.

The proposed plan would establish a nine-person board, including five Carson Valley residents. The residents would be joined by a representative of the trustees, who would trade off attending the advisory board’s monthly meetings, two Minden Medical Center doctors and a member of the hospital’s administrative staff.

If approved, the new group would succeed the five-member Minden Medical Center Liaison Board, which voted to disband in July after the hospital trustees decided to lease operation of Minden Medical Center urgent care facility to Physicians Select Management, a private group of doctors that will officially take over Friday.

Liaison board members said they sensed profits would become a primary concern with the private group and thought the change would make the advisory group, which was formed in 1981, obsolete.

The hospital trustees reluctantly accepted the liaison group’s resignations but noted they wanted to maintain an advisory group of Carson Valley residents.

Under the plan recommended for action Thursday, the Carson Valley advisory group would be responsible for identifying health care needs in the community and promoting programs to meet those needs. The group would also be asked to review the financial health of Carson-Tahoe’s Carson Valley assets – an aspect liaison board members said they never scrutinized, but one some trustees said has to be a consideration of any advisory group.

In addition, three standing standing committees are proposed to address building needs at Minden Medical Center, healthy communities and marketing. They would be staffed with advisory board members, who could be asked to contribute at least 10 hours a month to hospital-related issues.

“The successful implementation of this plan will provide a proactive, representative, community team with specific identifiable goals and responsibilities to promote C-TH and improve the health of every citizen within Douglas County, plus they will have the requisite latitude and empowerment to make it happen,” the proposal predicts.

Hospital trustees will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Sierra Room at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William Street. The board also has an in item involving a lease for Minden Medical Center on its agenda, and possible discussion on management and operation of the Valley Meadows Rehab and Sub-Acute Care Center in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

A new group will begin managing the center in October, succeeding an employee-owned corporation that has been running the center since Premier Care Services of Arizona defaulted on a million-dollar loan, sending the facility into receivership in October 1998. Hospital trustees have been mulling ways to recover the loan.