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DCHS seeks construction manager for office project

August 31, 2012
By JIM ANDERSON - News Editor , The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Dickinson County Healthcare System hopes to enlist the services of a local construction firm to help oversee a proposed $9 million medical office building project.

The hospital board on Thursday directed the administration to negotiate a construction management contract with Gundlach Champion of Iron Mountain.

DCHS announced the project a year ago and expects to secure $6.9 million in low-interest financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency. The remaining $2.1 million would come from local banks.

If leases and financing are approved, construction on the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital campus would begin later this year or in 2013. The contract with Gundlach Champion is contingent on approval from Rural Development, said John Schon, DCHS administrator.

The Dickinson County Board of Commissioners authorized the $9 million debt in June. No county funds or property tax revenues are pledged.

The facility - measuring up to 40,000 square feet - would house family practice physicians, orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation services (including a resistance pool) and obstetricians/gynecologists, among other entities. It would be located just east of the hospital.

The loans are to be paid through hospital revenues. Besides financing the new facility, the borrowing would enable DCHS to acquire and convert some suites in the existing medical office building west of Dickinson Memorial.

In other action Thursday, the hospital board:

- Reviewed a financial report showing July as a break-even month. Operating income was reported at $661. When interest expenses and other net non-operating items are included, the bottom line gain for the month was $10,054. Year-to-date, DCHS is showing operating income of $732,989 and bottom line income of $285,861. That compares to a loss of $1.56 million at the end of July 2011. Total revenues are about 2.5 percent ahead of budget this year, said Trustee Susan Tracy, who chairs the finance committee.

- Received information and menus from Dickinson Memorial's Food and Nutritional Services Department for the newly implemented "Room Service Program." Patients may call in their food preferences to the department and expect delivery within 45 minutes. Nutrition counseling is provided for patients on restricted diets.

- Received a quality management report noting that a group is being formed to review the patient discharge process at Dickinson Memorial. The group will look for ways to improve efficiency and increase patient satisfaction.

- Heard Schon salute retiring Chaplain David Anderson as "an extremely dedicated employee." Anderson has served DCHS for 25 years. Although no replacement chaplain will be hired, many of the programs and initiatives Anderson implemented will continue. Notably, Elizabeth Mrozinski, hospital social worker, and Don LaLonde will co-facilitate the Loss and Grief Support Group.

- Learned that the reporting of three new quality measures will be required by Medicare beginning in January: venous thrombolytic embolism; stroke; and outpatient cardiac rehab. DCHS will be implementing ways to report clinical care results in these three areas.

- Learned that Gov. Rick Snyder has re-established the Governor's Award for Quality. DCHS qualifies and has applied for two of the awards: the Inpatient Clinical Performance Award and the Hospital Acquired Infection Prevention Award.

- Discussed progress towards making Dickinson Memorial a tobacco-free campus.

Jim Anderson's email address is



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