ARMC approves nurses contract

ALPENA -The Alpena Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees approved the Michigan Nurses Association contracts at its meeting on Tuesday while in closed session.

“We are pleased to have completed these complex negotiations with two groups of nurses covered under the Michigan Nurses Association union which include registered nurses in Home Care and the management group – consisting of about 30 nurses in total,” Diane Shields, vice president of human resources and support services, stated in a press release after the meeting. “ARMC’s top priority continues to be patient care with highly skilled staff to provide the best care for patients. With technology that rivals that of larger facilities, ARMC is committed to providing the region with high quality compassionate care from the staff, who are a part of the community.

The building and grounds committee has been pursuing the renovation of the emergency department with a cost of approximately $7.5 million. Other projects are the pain clinic and inpatient rehab, 3 Central ADA compliance update and staff lockers.

The total for all of these projects is $10 million. The building and grounds committee recommended moving forward with the emergency room project, including the additional projects, to the finance committee for review.

“The building and grounds committee recommended to finance that the emergency room project be approved, and that was presented at finance in detail,” finance committee chair James Arbuckle said

With the approval of the expenditure for the project, the certificate of need process started immediately following the meeting, with a 30 day window for the letter of intent to be submitted, and a maximum 120 day cycle to respond.

The hospital hopes to have the bids back by the end of September, with the whole project expected to take up to 2016 to finish.

“I think we’ve talked enough in many, many different meetings over the months about the need for this,” Trustee Georgene Hildebrand said. “We, on one hand, really need to be careful about our expenses, but on the other hand, have a need to update. This area is just not meeting the patients’ needs any more.”

In other business:

  • operating fund dispersements for April amounted to $8,941,568, with R and I disbursements of $117,510, and write-off of uncollectible patient accounts amounting to $414,441 with recoveries of $96,738
  • the operating budget for the 2013/2014 fiscal year was approved with a projected excess revenue over expense of $3,367,542
  • 10 members of the medical staff were re-credentialed and assigned to the department of surgery