Sunday, September 10, 2006
Oak Creek Four months after South Routt County voters approved a 1-mill levy to support its medical center, officials say the facility couldn't be in better condition.
Pat Schalnus, president of the South Routt Medical Center Board of Directors, said Friday that medical center officials already have begun making improvements to the building and purchasing equipment the center desperately needed to stay open.
"Right now we're working on just keeping the doors open," she said. "One of our biggest priorities is remodeling our restrooms to make them handicap accessible."
The medical center received the loans it needed to pay doctor and staff salaries, daily bills and purchase new equipment, she said.
The center will not begin collecting on the mill levy until Jan. 1.
Dr. Bill Geserick, who staffs the medical center, said use of the medical center remains consistent. He estimated seeing between eight and nine patients on an average day.
"I don't know if it's school or what, but it does seem like we're picking up a bit," he said.
Geserick is a family practitioner who provides medical care for everyone from infants to the elderly.
Because of the funds the mill levy will provide, Geserick and Schalnus said they are looking into bringing specialists to the clinic, such as a dentist or podiatrist.
Also in the works is a plan to provide monthly lectures that would be free to the public and would cover a wide array of topics such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and menopause.
In the past, the lectures were very popular, Schalnus said.
The approval of the mill levy was the only way the medical center was going to stay open, Geserick said. Having the tax money to fund the medical center will allow the center to purchase new equipment and offer community programs, he said.
"We're on a very sound financial ground to stand on. Eventually, we'd like to get off (the mill levy) and be self-sufficient," he said. "I feel really comfortable about where the center is now."
Schalnus said the board of directors is strong and healthy and welcomes the public to attend any of its monthly meetings.
"We're doing good," she said. "People are still supportive of the center."
"We thank the residents of the community for supporting the South Routt Medical Center and for continuing to support us," he said.
Schalnus said one of the greatest things to come from the mill levy approval is not having to find alternative funding.
"We certainly don't have to hold as many bake sales to keep things going," she said with a laugh.
Geserick's days at the South Routt Medical Center will change on Oct. 2 to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Physical therapist Tom Collins is available for therapy from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail email@example.com