Sidney Health Center Holds Annual Membership Meeting
November 24, 2021 | View PDF
Sidney, MT - The annual membership Meeting of Sidney Health Center was held on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the Richland County Fair Event Center. Highlights of the meeting included presentations from CliftonLarsonAllen on the audited financials as well as reports from the Dr. Ralf Kiehl Chief of Medical Staff, Jennifer Doty Chief Executive Officer, and Lance Averett Board of Directors President.
Three board members were elected to the board including incumbents Stephanie Carroll and Rebecca Bradley and newly elected Eric Beenken. Other board members include Lance Averett, Bob Burnison, Randy Johnson, Kevin Mayer, and Cheryl Van Every as well as Dr. Kiehl and Dr. John E. Carey from the medical staff.
Sidney Health Center reportedly ended the fiscal year (July 2020-June 2021) very strong financially with an 8.9% operating margin. Federal provider relief and paycheck protection program funding provided through the CARES act assisted with a portion of the labor expenses and improving infection control measures in responding to COVID-19.
Dr. Kiehl reported on the medical staff recruitment efforts for the year including the addition of four physicians and two physician assistants bringing the total to 45 physicians and advanced practice providers on the medical staff.
Dr. Eric English joined the ER team in January and covers 5-7 shifts per month. Dr. Andrew Roberts started in August as a hospitalist providing hospital care to inpatients on the medical-surgical wing on a rotating schedule. Dr. Peter Deveaux is a board certified general and colorectal surgeon who started in September. Dr. Rouba Hadi is pathologist at Billings Clinic who is providing pathology support at Sidney Health Center. In addition, physician assistants Joan Turek and Adrianne Bryant started in March and April respectively improving access to care through the Primary Care and Same-Day Clinics.
In her presentation, Doty highlighted the new services that were added in the last year including the pool therapy and air ambulance. Both were made possible with support from the community including the Foundation for Community Care, Richland County and the organization's Good Cents Store volunteers.
Doty noted the organization has made great strides to address the impacts of COVID-19 in our community. Since last year's meeting, Sidney Health Center has expanded its Same-Day Clinic providers, implemented COVID-19 drive-thru testing for symptomatic individuals and set-up an outpatient monoclonal IV therapy unit to reduce hospitalizations and non-emergent visits to the Emergency Room.
In addition, the organization has expanded access to COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, patients and residents. Since the onset of the pandemic, one of the main concerns has been the health and well-being of the workforce. On Nov. 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in hospitals that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Under the regulation, all eligible workers regardless of whether their positions are clinical or non-clinical (including employees, contracted employees, licensed practitioners, volunteers and students) must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022.
As a Condition of Participation in the Medicare and Medicaid program, hospitals across the nation have been instructed to implement policies and procedures to meet the new federal vaccination mandate by Dec. 6, 2021. Sidney Health Center implemented its COVID-19 Vaccination as a Condition of Employment policy on Nov. 12 including medical and religious exemptions.
In Montana, more than 524,000 people receive healthcare services through Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). Termination from the Medicare and Medicaid program would drastically reduce access to healthcare services for Montanans over 65 years of age; working and low-income families; pregnant women and children; and people with disabilities.
At Sidney Health Center, Medicare and Medicaid make-up 57% of all hospital patient and nursing home resident revenues, which is equivalent to $65 million in revenue. To exclude individuals on these programs would be a disservice to our community.
In closing, Doty acknowledged the Sidney Health Center employees and the purposeful and important work they do each and every day, stating, "Please join me in thanking these amazing individuals for being an outstanding example of what we can do together to serve others in an ever-changing world. Thank you for showing up and tackling this challenging year along side of me. We are Sidney Health Center!"
Sidney Health Center is a membership organization. To become a member of Sidney Health Center, individuals and businesses pay a one-time membership fee of $100. In the last year, 3 new members joined the organization, totaling 222 individual members and 61 business memberships. To become a member or for more information, please call Kaila Roth, executive assistant at 406-488-2364 or stop in at Sidney Health Center administration. You can also visit our website at: http://www.sidneyhealth.org/About/Membership-Info.