Pahrump Valley Times

5/14/99

PMC Eyes Federal Impact Funds For YMP

By HENRY BREAN

If the federal government decides to turn Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain into the nation's radioactive dumping ground, Nye County isn't the only local government entity that expects to be compensated for it.

Pahrump Medical Center Administrator Roy Barralough said last week that the Pahrump Community Hospital District can make a strong case for impact money, and Les Bradshaw, manager of the county's Department of Natural Resources and Federal Facilities, apparently agrees.

Barraclough told hospital board members that Bradshaw was "supportive" of the district's position when the two met recently, "His message to us was, 'let's do this as concerted, coordinated effort.

Bradshaw reasons that if a slew of individual proposals are submitted to federal officials it will "weaken the county's position as a whole," Barraclough said. He added that securing impact money will not be "as easy as some people might think." It is not simply a mater of asking for the U.S. Department of Energy to set side a few million dollars. "We'll be dealing directly with Congress, not. DOE." he said.

And the county should not expect any help from Nevada's congressional delegation, which has been fighting plans to ship high-level and low-level radioactive waste to he state for years. "The delegation still hopes to kill all waste bills in general,'' Barraclough said.

He encouraged the board to work with the county on be impact money issue. To that end, he pledged to stay in regular contact with Bradshaw.

In other news from the May 6 meeting:

  • Barraclough reported that the operational transition of local ambulance service from the county to the town 'Vent very smoothly." The first weekend under the new Pahrump Fire and Rescue system saw several transfers from PMC. to hospitals in Las Vegas. "It was nice to have transport ambulances at PMC for that purpose," Barralough said

  • In his facility report, Barraclough told the board that PMC's new mammography machine has been delivered and is duo to be set up and calibrated this week. To accommodate the arrival of the new machine, PMC will not be administering any mammograms this week, although he said the facility would not have been anyway because "the mammography tech is not available anyway."

    The certification on PMC's old mammogram machine expires on May 27, and cannot be renewed because of changes in federal licensing standards. That could pose a problem since it is expected to take three to six months for the new machine to receive its permanent certification. But Barraclough is confident that PMC will be issued a provisional certificate. "There should not be any down time," he said.

    The change in equipment is not expected to impact the low-cost mammography clinic the Pahrump Valley Republican Women will be sponsoring at PMC later this month.

  • Barraclough announced that the steering committee has been formed for the tentatively named Pahrump Health Care Foundation, a fund-raising entity created separately of the hospital board to help generate support and funding for the construction of Pahrump's first hospital.

    The committee, which held its first meeting on. Thursday, is chaired by former PMC clerk of the works Syd McGill and features former board member Pat Mankins. PMC medical director Dr. Dennis Campton, and residents Hank Bond, Pat Burnley and Susan McRae. Barraclough will play a supporting role with the committee.

    Among the items its members will tackle in the coming weeks arc organizational issues, such as establishing bylaws and listing candidates for the foundation's board of directors, and general information gathering on different types of fund-raising and resources available in the area.

  • Eager to get to the strategic plan due to be presented by Barraclough, board members quickly and unanimously approved two item that have been on their agenda for the past three meetings.

    The board voted to accept the letter of intent from CPA Dan McArthur to continue conducting an annual audit of the district's finances, as required by law. That vote was delayed several weeks while the board waited for McArthur to send them information on how much his services would cost now that the district is directly involved in financing PMC's operations, thus creating significantly more information that needs to be audited.

    "He's doing the same thing he's done all these years," said board member George Adams.

    "Just a lot more of it," added Ken Richens, chief financial officer for Rural Health Management Corp.

    McArthur's fee is expected to increase from about S7,000 to $10,000. The letter of intent was approved after Richens explained that the new price was "pretty reasonable" for what McArthur would be doing. "An audit of a medical facility is usually a bit more than that."

    The other item approved by the board was the mission and values statement drawn up by Barraclough, who was asked to add language reflecting the board's goal of building *hospital. Barraclough said the final product is a bit More Specific than most other mission statements, but "I think it is appropriate for what you arc trying to do

  • After a lengthy and somewhat bewildering discussions of bylaws and board officers, board members did something unusual and essentially unnecessary: They voted 6-1 to leave things the way they are.

    At issue was whether board positions such as secretary treasurer and financial adviser should be outlined in the bylaws or simply left to the discretion of the board. Board attorney Len Smith explained that since such offices do not carry any real authority - no more authority than anyone else on the board anyway - there was no reason to memorialize" them in the bylaws.

    In other words, if the board wants to name member John McDonald as the financial liaison to RHMC, they can simply do so, Smith said.