Union General talks parking expansion during monthly board meeting

Business, News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Chief Executive Officer of Union General Hospital Lewis Kelley recommended to the hospital’s Board of Directors at their monthly meeting Tuesday, Nov. 28, to proceed with plans to expand parking at its Blairsville facility.

Kelley explained the hospital owns a forested strip of a land adjacent to Union General that, if cleared, would allow for approximately 50 more parking spaces. The lot, located just across Deep South Farm Road, would be used for employee parking and would make available more spaces in its main lot for patients and visitors to the hospital.

“We’re in desperate need of parking,” Kelley told the board. “If you come over here on some of our days, every piece of parking we have is full.”

Kelley stated about 50 trees would need to be cut and cleared, and the bid cost for site development is approximately $49,600. The CEO further explained paving for the lot would not be able to completed until spring; however, prior to the paving, the lot could be graveled to allow for sooner use. Kelley also stated the hospital would speak with Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris about the possibility of adding a crosswalk with a caution light to provide employees safe crossing from the lot.

Though the amount for the project is under Kelley’s $50,000 spending limit, the CEO asked the board to approve the expenditure, which was approved unanimously.

Kelley also brought to the board’s attention the need to replace a piece of ear nose and throat (ENT) equipment for the operating room that failed two weeks prior to the meeting. According to Kelley, hospital officials are evaluating the situation and taking bids to replace the equipment. The equipment, Kelley stated, would cost between $190,000 to $225,000. Currently, the hospital is using a piece of equipment on loan from a private company until a permanent replacement can be attained, according to Kelley.

Also during the meeting, Julia Barnett, chief nursing officer for Union General, announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the hospital a five-star rating for the quarter in its latest quality measures rating. “I just want you all to understand how hard that all of our folks have worked to get to a five-star rating,” Barnett said.

In addition, Chatuge Regional Hospital in Hiawassee received a four-star rating from CMS.

The board also approved the hospital’s updated Organizational Plan for Patient Care Services, which, according to Barnett, is a CMS required document that outlines and explains all of Union General’s patient services and is updated annually.

Chief Financial Officer Nick Townsend delivered the monthly financial statement and reported Union General has netted $2.5 million this fiscal year to date in comparison to $3.6 million this time last fiscal year. Rising healthcare and health insurance costs across the industry, Townsend stated, are contributing factors to the decrease.

Townsend also reported Union General received $74,000 from the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit while Chatuge Regional received $17,000 from the tax credit. As for the hospital’s clinics, Townsend stated, “Overall visits continue to trend upward each month.”

Michael Gay, chief operating officer, presented a construction update for the hospital’s orthopedic wing expansion stating the demolition phase has been completed and walls have been constructed in the wing. Gay estimated a completion date of February 2018 for the construction.

 

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Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

*UPDATED* School Closings Due to Severe Weather Conditions

News
  • Union County Schools will be CLOSED Monday, September 11th and Tuesday, September 12th due to Gov. Nathan Deal declaring a state of emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia. Please continue to monitor here for further updates.
  •  Fannin County Schools will be closed for students and all personnel on Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12, for students, as well as all faculty and staff, except for 12-month personnel, district directors, and principals. As long as it is safe to do so, all 12-month personnel, as well as district directors and principals, should anticipate reporting by 9:00 a.m. on September 12.  These personnel should note, though, that this expectation may be revised, depending on the weather conditions overnight; nonetheless, if you ever believe it is unsafe to report, please notify your immediate supervisor. In addition, the Board of Education work session meeting that was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12, has been cancelled.  Please continue to stay safe!
  • Pickens County Schools closed Monday, September 11th – TWELVE MONTH EMPLOYEES REPORT AT NORMAL TIME. Schools will also be closed on Tuesday, September 12.  Twelve month employees will be contacted late Monday as to whether they will be required to come to work on Tuesday. All school activities, including athletic events and after-school programs, will be canceled.
  • Gilmer County Schools  will be closed Monday, September 11th and Sepember 12th due to Hurricane Irma. We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds especially at higher elevations, debris, dangerous road conditions and downed power lines left in its wake. Only 12 month staff should report if safe to do so.
  • Dawson County Schools  will be closed on Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Twelve month employees will operate on a 2 hour delay.
  • Lumpkin County Schools closed due to the weather forecast for our area, Lumpkin County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The anticipated high winds pose a significant threat to our students and staff. We understand that weather predictions are not always accurate, but we cannot ignore the potentially dangerous situation that this storm poses. Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff safe! Wednesday will still be a early release day as planned so that teachers will be available for parent conferences. 12 month employees should report if it is safe to do so. 
  • Towns County Schools closed Monday, September 11th and Tuesday, September 12th for all students. All employees should report at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, September 12th if safe to do so.
  • White County Schools due to the severe weather forecast, White County Schools are closed for students and staff Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Please be safe!
  • Murray County Schools closed Monday September 11 and Tuesday September 12, due to the possible impact of Hurricane Irma.   We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds, debris, dangerous road conditions, and downed power lines.  We understand that weather predictions are often incorrect, but the size of this storm cannot be ignored. It is our hope that Murray County is spared from any of this storm’s impact, but we will always choose to error on the side of caution.  All events planned for Monday and Tuesday evenings are also cancelled.  This includes the September 11 MCPS Board meeting.  This meeting will be rescheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 6:15 p.m.  All maintenance, grounds crew, and transportation employees will meet at the transportation office.

Hurricane Irma prompts school closings in Georgia

News

*  Union County Schools will be CLOSED Monday, September 11th, 2017 due to Gov. Nathan Deal declaring a state of emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia. Please continue to monitor here for further updates.

  •  Fannin County Schools will be closed for students and all personnel on Monday, September 11.A great deal of consideration has been given to this decision. Governor Deal has us under a State of Emergency. Severe weather conditions, such as severe winds (especially at higher elevations), debris, dangerous road conditions, and downed power lines are all possible for our area beginning tomorrow(Monday) morning.Weather predictions are not always accurate, but this storm is massive and cannot be ignored. It is my hope that our community is spared from this, but it is better to err on the side of caution when safety is in question.  Please stay safe!
  • Pickens County Schools closed   Jasper, Georgia — Due to inclement weather conditions,the Pickens County School District will be closed tomorrow, Monday, September 11th – TWELVE MONTH EMPLOYEES REPORT AT NORMAL TIME. Schools will also be closed on Tuesday, September 12.  Twelve month employess will be contacted late Monday as to whether they will be required to come to work on Tuesday. All school activities, including athletic events and after-school programs, will be canceled.  Information will be posted on the Pickens County School District website at www.pickenscountyschools.org, the Infinite Campus parent portal, district and school websites and social media sites, and sent to local media.

     *  Gilmer County Schools closed   Release from Gilmer County School         School Closed – Monday, September 11, 2017Gilmer County Schools will be closed Monday September 11 due to Hurricane Irma. We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds especially at higher elevations, debris, dangerous road conditions and downed power lines left in its wake. We understand that weather predictions are not always accurate, but this storm is massive and cannot be ignored. It is our hope that our community is spared from the force of this storm, but we will always choose to err on the side of caution when our students’ safety is in question.

    *  Dawson County Schools Closed   Based on information from the NWS, Dawson County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, 2017. Twelve month employees report.

    *  Lumpkin County Schools Closed   Due to the weather forecast for our area, Lumpkin County Schools will be closed on Monday, September 11, 2017.  The anticipated high winds pose a significant threat to our students and staff. We understand that weather predictions are not always accurate, but we cannot ignore the potentially dangerous situation that this storm poses. Our number one priority is to keep our students and staff safe!  Decisions for future closings will be made as more information becomes available.  Thank you for supporting Lumpkin County Schools!

    *  Towns County Schools will be closed Monday for all students and staff. A decision about Tuesday will be made tomorrow afternoon.

    *  White County Schools Closed Due to the severe weather forecast, White County Schools are closed for students and staff Monday, September 11, 2017. Please be safe!

    *  Murray County Schools Closed Murray County Schools will be closed Monday September 11 and Tuesday September 12, due to the possible impact of Hurricane Irma.   We have made this decision after consultation with local emergency management authorities and careful consideration of safety factors, such as the probability of severe winds, debris, dangerous road conditions, and downed power lines.  We understand that weather predictions are often incorrect, but the size of this storm cannot be ignored. It is our hope that Murray County is spared from any of this storm’s impact, but we will always choose to error on the side of caution.  All events planned for Monday and Tuesday evenings are also cancelled.  This includes the September 11 MCPS Board meeting.  This meeting will be rescheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 6:15 p.m.  All maintenance, grounds crew, and transportation employees will meet at the transportation office.

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