The Starke County Council recently passed a $2 million capital spending request by administrators from IU Health Starke Hospital for 2012.
A discussion was held on hospital administrators reporting on the use of discretionary funds, which CEO Linda Satkoski said was acceptable.
“They did pass the capital for 2012 with the stipulation that we report, on a quarterly basis, what we call contingency dollars and what we spend that on,” said Satkoski. “We absolutely have no problem with that. We are more than willing to submit, on a quarterly basis, what we spend those dollars on.”
Some dollars in the capital budget called for “first impression needs.”
“We have heard from the community, we know from our employees, that if we could do just some face lift things to improve, if nothing more than paint, in some of the areas. That’s what those dollars will be used for. We do agree that we’d like to, if nothing else, replace some of the chairs in the front lobby are giving out. We feel like we need to do some of those things to improve the looks of the building.”
IU Health LaPorte Hospital has proposed a sale of the hospital to them, with hopefully a decision time line that would not pass April of 2012. Satkoski talked about the difficulty in knowing what to do with the existing hospital, before knowing if IU Health LaPorte Hospital would own it.
“If you rent a house, is it your responsibility to put dollars into fixing the roof or is it, in fact, the landlord’s responsibility? Obviously we’re here, we want to deliver the best care and some things we know we can’t put off. Therefore, we are spending our dollars to make sure that those improvements are made. Again, we’re not asking the county for any dollars to put toward these improvements that we’re making. We’re just asking for approval.”
In the proposal to the county officials, it was mentioned that IU Health LaPorte Hospital would consider building a new hospital if they were owners of IU Health Starke Hospital.
“Until the lease is actually settled and we’ve got that settled with the county, we can’t make any sort of plans for the future, but that is one of the discussions. Is it a new facility? Are we going to add on or making improvements to the present facility? There are many areas that we’ve talked about and I think we did talk about those things with the county officials. A new facility is one of the options.”