Council hears hospital report, renews city manager contract

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Immediate and future plans for improving overall operations at Pawhuska Hospital were discussed last week during the July Pawhuska City Council meeting.

Interim Hospital Administrator Shaun Beggs presented the first status report since his company, Carter Professional Care, took over management of the local facility in June.

The Carter group was called upon after Bartlesville’s Jane Phillips Medical Center terminated the agreement under which it had managed Pawhuska Hospital for the past 28 years.

An audit on the hospital for last fiscal year should be complete by the middle of August, with the current audit report expected in late July, according to Beggs. He said the management team has also been working on insurance contracts and agreements with medical suppliers.

According to Beggs, the Pawhuska Hospital is in a significantly stronger cash position than most of the other “rural” medical facilities with which he has been involved.

Council members Cyndy Tillman and Roger Taylor inquired about hospital services which might be expanded to better serve the needs in the community.

Lori Banker, who serves as the co-administrator for the Edmond-based Rogers group, suggested ultrasound and cardiology as areas deserving of study.

Beggs said the Carter group is optimistic about the future of the local hospital and will be looking forward to seeing the Pawhuska facility increase its services.

Among the additional services which Beggs suggested might be added were cardiology and ultrasound. Also discussed were mammograms and dialysis care.

Other discussions during the meeting involved Osage County’s multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan and emergency action which needs to be undertaken on the dams at Lake Pawhuska. City Manager Mike McCartney recommended getting started on the initial phases of the project.

“The studies were done a couple of years ago and I think we now need to plan for moving forward,” McCartney said. “It’s going to be costly, but if we start doing it parts-at-a-time, maybe it won’t be quite as painful.”

Barbara Albritton from INCOG helped the council through several procedural areas involving grants and government contracts. An executive session was conducted toward the end of the meeting in connection with the city manager’s annual contract.