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GRH sets public hearing date for county budget

Greater Regional Health Board of Trustees set a date for a public hearing over county budget for 6:05 p.m. Feb. 24 during its regularly scheduled board meeting Monday night at Greater Regional Medical Center.

The board also set the slate of officers for 2020 during the meeting. The positions were retained by the members who held them last year, with Dave Driskell as chairman, Jack Davis as vice-chairman, Sherry McKie as secretary and Tom Dunphy as treasurer.

“Also, there have been no changes in committee structure,” said Monte Neitzel, chief executive officer of Greater Regional Health. “It’s as we’ve had it the last few years.”

During the meeting, Greater Regional audiologist Ryan Denny gave a report on the status of the audiology department, highlighting the increase in hearing aid accessibility and patient satisfaction with the equipment. Denny said in the last three months, only one patient returned their hearing aid.

“I don’t fit anyone or recommend hearing aids to anyone that I don’t feel like is going to benefit,” said Denny. “Too many times you hear about people with $5,000 hearing aids and they’re sitting in a drawer not being used.”

Denny said the hospital had done a giveaway with a pair of hearing aids by selecting a name at random from the list of audiology patients in need.

“One of the things discussed when Ryan and I talked about creating an audiology service line is that we wanted to put patients first,” said Neitzel. “I didn’t want (Denny) to just sell hearing aids, I want to build relationships with patients and their families and develop a level of trust so we can have repeat business and everyone can talk about the good experience they had. I believe we’ve knocked it out of the park.”

In other hospital board business:

• Matt Buck and Austin Smith presented their plan for hospital parking lot and water main renovations this spring. The board discussed it and a decision will be made at a later date.

• Amy Rieck delivered the human resources report, noting the changes in employee healthcare and payroll systems and quoting good feedback from staff and faculty. Rieck also shared that Greater Regional Medical Center was selected as one of the top 50 places to work in Iowa by a Energage survey.

•Monte Neitzel announced that a new podiatrist will be joining the staff by April 1.

• Chief Financial Officer Matt McCutchan gave the financial report, explaining expenses are growing faster than revenues due to the addition of new service lines.

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