Written by Lynn Artz Tuesday, 09 May 2006 16:47
Wakulla Health Care Task Force
April 18, 2006
Members Present: Lynn Artz, Jo Barksdale, Regina Compton, Cheryl Daniel, Bob Frable, JoAnn Green, Judy Greenwald, Lisa Hamilton, Richard Huth, Warren Jones, Rob Moss, Quin Noles, Lat Penland, Annette Phelps, Jody Smith, William Tully, Mary Westbrook, Bryan Workman
I. Welcome and Introductions
Lynn Artz welcomed everyone. The thank you note from Cathy Price (thanking the task force for the fruit basket she received) was passed around.
II. Approval of Minutes
Jo Barksdale requested a careful review of the minutes. The March 21st meeting minutes were approved.
A. Healthy Start – Mary Westbrook informed members of the child birth classes given at
the Health Department by Healthy Start. The next class will be April 25th – May 16th.
Parenting classes are also given on a monthly basis with the next one on April 27th.
Both the parenting classes and the child birth classes are free and run from 9 - 11am.
B. Option Care – Lisa Hamilton reviewed the services offered by her company which
include respiratory services, durable medical equipment, infusion pharmacy, and
home oxygen. These services are very cost effective and helpful to patients who can
be treated at home.
C. Low Income Pool Funding – Lynn Artz stated that Commissioner Brimner had done a
great job of getting money set aside for rural counties. However, the money set aside
will likely be available through a grant program rather than as a match.
D. Wakulla County Health Department – The health department has been gearing up for
hurricane season and an influenza pandemic. Education programs are available to
whoever would be interested..
E. TMH – A new physician has been found. She is a 2004 graduate and will work one
day a week at the health department. The new x-ray services should be functional by
F. TDI – Medicare approval is almost complete for the new MRI services. Very Close.
G. Wakulla Urgent Care – Dr. Keen’s new facility in Panacea is open and functioning. He
provides after hours care and diagnostic services.
H. Wakulla Medical Center – Quin Noles reported that Dr. Gene soon would be working
full-time at the medical center. He has been working part-time in Franklin County but
East Point has finally hired a physician. Within a week or two, Wakulla Medical Center
will be functioning close to planned capacity.
IV. Presentation on New Facility -- Richard Huth, Capital Regional Medical
The new office complex will be “one stop shopping for healthcare in Wakulla County.” It will include:
• Office for Dr. Frable (~2500 sq. ft.)
• Walk-in Clinic (~2500 sq. ft.; open 10 am – 8 pm, Mon.- Fri., 8 am - 4 pm Sat.)
• Imaging Center (~ 6000 sq. ft.; MRI, CT, X-ray, ultrasound) + woman’s imaging center
• Time-share office for specialists (4-hour blocks). The following groups have indicated
interest: Cardiology, Orthopedics, ENT, General Surgery, Oncology, Podiatry). Others
such as Pulmonary will be approached.
The facility will to be located near Bridal Gate subdivision. The building will encompass 13,000 square feet and will be a southern, Florida Beach design with a wrap around porch and a metal roof. May 12th is the projected date for the site plan. December is the projected opening date.
Mr. Huth was asked if same day surgery had been considered or might be offered. Mr. Huth said the county could not support such a service at this time. A question was asked related to services that will benefit the medically indigent. Mr. Huth stated that this issue has not been addressed.
Mr. Huth complimented the group for their work. He said this type of group has been very instrumental in other communities that he has been working in. Lynn Artz encouraged Mr. Huth and Dr. Frable to attend Task Force meetings and join the efforts of the group.
V. Strategic Planning
A. Vision, Mission, & Goals (Annette Phelps)
Annette Phelps reviewed with the group the second draft of the strategic plan. She
incorporated last month’s ideas into the mission, vision, motto and goals. The group
thought the new versions reflected their input.
B. Discussion Groups
The members of the task force then divided into four small groups – one group for
each goal in the strategic plan – to review and brainstorm the proposed strategies.
1. Primary Care – This group stated that the Wakulla Medical Center was providing a
great service in Panacea for getting healthcare to the uninsured and underinsured.
This one facility cannot do it all, however. It was suggested that the County should
support We Care. The other area affecting primary care physicians is
transportation. Medicaid patients, the uninsured and underinsured often cannot get
transportation to appointments. If they do get transportation, it is usually late, or
they have to pay $25.00 just to get to the doctor.
2. Urgent and Emergency Medical Services - This group discussed the needs and
strategies for addressing urgent and emergency medical services in the county.
There has been progress towards meeting the urgent care needs. We now have
one urgent care facility operating and another opening in the near future. We need
to publicize the availability of these services and location of these facilities to
residents and visitors through realtors, businesses, and tourist sites and services.
Expanding the capacity of our EMS and improving response time remains a top
priority. New emergency equipment is being acquired with grant funds. More grant
funding and county funding should be pursued to add a third EMS station in Wakulla
Station and a second ambulance and crew in Crawfordville. More education and
training for EMS workers will soon be available through TMH related to their
becoming a Regional Trauma Center.
3. Diagnostic Services - This group felt that this goal had been met with all the new
diagnostic services opening in the community. They recommended setting a goal to
address transportation for medical services instead. There are many issues related
to transportation. For example, it is very difficult to plan around the one or two buses
that travel to Tallahassee, for primary, specialist and diagnostic appointments. It is
the hope of this group that the people in charge of transportation will begin to work
with local businesses in planning transportation.
4. Health Outcomes – It is the desire of this group to make this county a healthy
county. We want to look at more than CHARTS data. Education is needed related to
injuries (hunting, ATVs, drowning) and underage drinking. We need to partner with
civic and other community groups and use social marketing. We should build on
what’s in place (e.g., Step Up Florida, Wakulla Walks), offer simulations at schools,
create a speaker’s bureau, and pursue other opportunities to educate community
members to change unhealthy behaviors and live healthily.
Following the presentations from each group, Annette said she would incorporate these ideas into the next draft of the strategic plan. She said she appreciated everyone’s ideas, that this is truly a work in progress.
VI. By Laws (Debbie Reich)
Members were asked to also review the draft of the bylaws and either email suggestions to Lynn or bring ideas to the next meeting.
VII. Other Business
Lynn Artz asked if members wanted to meet during the summer. Some members were hoping for a summer break. Others thought we should continue to meet. We will decide this in May.
VIII. Next Meeting
The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 16, at 6:00 pm. at the Wakulla County Library.
This article originally published on May 9, 2006.
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