A “passing of the key ceremony” will take place at 11 a.m. today at Bladen County Hospital in recognition of its merger with Cape Fear Valley Health System. The merger officially takes place on Sunday, June 1.
BCH CEO David Masterson told the board of trustees in a meeting on Tuesday night that employees of BCH are invited to attend the ceremony. The festivities will include a barbecue luncheon following the ceremony. Dr. Pearly Graham-Hoskins is expected to speak on the importance of the hospital in the community and there will be a briefing by CFV CEO Mike Nagowski. Members of the Bladen County Commissioners are also invited to attend.
The terms of the five-year lease include a $1 million a year lease payment and $500,000 per year to invest in equipment and improvements. CFV also has the option to purchase the hospital’s assets. The lease can be terminated by either party with six months notice.
“Initially there will be no changes evident to patients at Bladen County Hospital, other then the new sign along Highway 701. Over time, we plan to bring more specialists and primary care physicians to the community to better serve the county’s health care needs,” said CFV spokesman Clinton Weaver in a statement on Wednesday.
BCH Board of Trustees member Faye Hardin asked if the recent news of staff cuts at CFV will affect BCH.
“There are no plans for any changes right now, but I can’t guarantee that. There is no plan to lay anyone off,” said Masterson. “What is happening in Fayetteville won’t be extended to BCH.”
CFV recently cut 24 jobs and 25 vacant positions due to a restructuring of their system.
“There will be no impact of the restructuring on Bladen County Hospital, as all employees of BCH are being offered employment with Cape Fear Valley, nor will there be any changes in services available at BCH,” said Weaver.
Masterson briefed the board that Carl Grycynski has seen his position eliminated as a result of the transition. His last day will be Friday, May 30.
“That was not a Cape Fear Valley decision, it was my decision,” said Masterson. “Carl knew about it and he was okay with it.”
In other business, the board presented two checks to Bladen County Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson to repay two loans received from the county by the hospital. One check was in the amount of $361,000 to repay the loan received in February and another in the amount of $500,000 to repay a loan from last year. The funds came from reimbursements the hospital recently received.
The board voted to approve changes to the BCH Hospital Foundation articles to make the foundation a self-governing board.
Masterson told the board the amendment to the articles will make the foundation self-perpetuating. He reminded the board members that the foundation did not transfer in the lease agreement to CFV. BCH attorney Leslie Johnson told the board the articles needed to be amended to reflect the change in the status of the foundation.
“It will continue to exist and to raise money for the hospital,” said Masterson.
“It will not be controlled by the trustees nor Cape Fear Valley,” said Johnson.
Johnson explained to the board that the second amendment clarifies the number of members of the board. The foundation board currently consists of 14 members. The by-laws of the foundation were amended to reflect that change, but the articles were not, according to Johnson.
The board voted unanimously to approve the changes.
The board also voted to approve the purchase of a car for use as a courier service. Masterson and CFO Jay Leatherman said CFV had agreed to the purchase of a car for use by BCH to travel to Fayetteville and outlying areas of Bladen to pick up supplies, prescriptions, lab results and correspondence, to name a few things.
According to Leatherman, CFV received two bids from dealerships in Fayetteville for a lease of a Toyota Prius and a Chevrolet HHR. Leatherman told the board when the costs such as fuel, maintenance and the payments were calculated, the two bids were prohibitive.
“So we went to Dorman,” said Leatherman.
The bid from Dorman of $16,283 for the HHR was the best of the three bids when all the costs of operating the car were calculated, according to Leatherman.