Funding closer on hospital surgical expansion

San Juan Hospital is finalizing a funding package that may result in a new surgical suite and a new roof at the facility in Monticello. It is anticipated that the Utah Community Impact Board will make a $1 million funding commitment for the projects on October 1.

The CIB has previously signaled that it would provide $1 million in funding, including $500,000 in a grant and $500,000 in an interest-free loan. The loan will be repaid through revenue bonds.

Health District Administrator Phil Lowe said that the new construction is part of the strategic plan for the hospital. Health care services in the area are in a state of flux related to the June 11, 2009 death of Dr. James Redd and to the July opening of the Blue Mountain Hospital in Blanding.

“We knew that our inpatient admissions would drop with the opening of the new hospital,” said Lowe. “Expanding our surgical suite is a way for us to stay viable in the new market conditions.”

The construction project will double the size and the capacity of the current surgical suite at the hospital. Dr. Kris Hayes has performed surgeries at San Juan Hospital one day a week for the past year. Lowe said that Dr. Hayes could come more often if the demand for his services increases.

Dr. Hayes performs a wife variety of surgical procedures and is in the process of receiving training for more procedures.

San Juan County Commissioners have discussed having the county help pay for the new roof portion of the construction projects at the hospital. Commissioner Bruce Adams reasoned that the county owns the facility and could be involved in the new roof. The core of the hospital was built in the early 1960s. The revenue bonds will be the only long term financial obligation held by the hospital.

The county may pay for a new roof. The commission said that the county owns the building and may pay for a new roof on the building. The core of the building was constructed in the early 1960s.

Lowe said that the $1 million in CIB funding should help pay for the majority of the construction projects.

Lowe stated that the death of Dr. Redd and opening of the new hospital has impacted inpatient admissions at San Juan Hospital, but the full impact is not yet known. Lowe said that the inpatient drop has been less than the 55 percent that was anticipated. In addition, he added that the emergency room at the hospital has not noticed a decrease in the past two months.

Lowe said that there could be additional changes at San Juan Hospital. The hospital has greatly expanded the availability of ultrasound services with the arrival of a full time technician, Heather McKellips.

In addition, Lowe said that a doctor of internal medicine may join the staff. This could allow the hospital to reopen its intensive care unit, which was constructed several years ago and closed when Dr. Jay Reddi left the area.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday