March 12, the board of trustees for the Lincoln County hospitals met at the fire hall in Caliente.
After approving a few small policy changes and adding some new people as fund signers, the board heard a presentation concerning a new electrical vehicle (EV) charging station located in Alamo. Since the Volkswagen settlement, where the European car company was forced to pay out billions due to falsified mileage reports on its newest cars, each state received a considerable amount of money to create, as Governor Brian Sandoval put it, an “electrical highway” through the state. This means that the construction and maintenance for this site would be completely paid for, but the only suitable locations near the highway in Alamo are located on hospital property.
Currently there are two options, both of which would put the charging station near the road. But while one would be directly connected to the highway, the other would put the station closer to the nearby mini-mart. While the board agreed that this would be a beneficial idea, there were concerns about liability should something happen at the station. Due to this and other missing pieces of information, the board tabled the discussion until certain questions are answered.
Next up was the director’s report from Dr. William Katschke, starting with the possibility of hiring a new doctor. While nothing is confirmed, there have been conversations about available houses and how to fit the prospective medical expert into the existing hospital rounds.
After quick reports on a possible wellness program and a new schedule for physical therapy, Katschke went on to discuss Desert Pain Specialists, who began seeing patients on March 18. According to the director, this is a welcome and necessary change due to the current opioid crisis. These pain experts have the capability to help those suffering from chronic pain in a way that doesn’t involve prescriptions.
Following this was a report from the administration, which mentioned that due to having to pay back Medicare this past month, the hospital is going to have to revise its budget. The administration cited times where machinery was left running while not in use, which wastes money that could be used on much more important things. Due to these oversights, the administration will be having meetings with each of the departments to help them properly manage their resources, hoping that the information shared there will be disseminated.
With that, the meeting came to a close.