Skemp To Close Arcadia Hospital
Franciscan Skemp Healthcare plans to expand its family medicine practice and long-term care facilities while discontinuing hospital-based services at its Arcadia campus, effective the end of the first quarter, 2011. Hospital services include acute care admissions, obstetrics and emergency services.
This decision does not include clinic services, behavioral health, specialty outreach, or nursing home services, which will be continued and are slated for enhancement or expansion.
Vice President for Regional Practices John Nemec said Franciscan Skemp leaders researched the situation to ensure that the service it provides continues to meet the needs of the community and can be sustainable long term, both financially and from a safety and quality perspective. Maintenance requirements for the aging hospital, low patient volumes and limited population growth all contributed to the decision to discontinue hospital-based services at the Arcadia campus.
On this campus, Franciscan Skemp employees 215 individuals. This change will affect fewer than 20 positions.
The family medicine clinic and nursing home in Arcadia will remain fully staffed to provide service to area residents. Franciscan Skemp’s plans to expand its current family medicine practice in Arcadia include a new clinic building, which will be reviewed for approval in the 2011 budget.
Long-term care is a demonstrated need for the Arcadia community that will be maintained going forward, including swing bed services for those patients who have recovered from the acute phase of an illness, but continue to require skilled nursing care and/or skilled rehabilitation services. A gap in the services currently being provided is that of assisted living. Franciscan Skemp is in the process of seeking a partner who could potentially add this service.
Many emergency services and acute care needs will be provided in the clinic urgent care setting where patients can be treated and discharged or stabilized and transferred. Major trauma and after hours emergencies will be managed by rapid transport to major hospitals in the area.
Homicide Charge Results From Drug Overdose
A La Crosse man could be charged today with reckless homicide, because of a drug death last month.
Ian Lutz was arrested last month after the apparent overdose death of Garrett Hall. Before he died, Hall claimed that he had bought heroin from Lutz, and Lutz admitted to police that he had sold the drug to Hall. Until now, Lutz had been charged with making and delivering heroin, but not with homicide.
Red Wing Mayor Likes Nuke Plant, Not its Waste
Officially, the city of Red Wing has no problem with the nuclear power plant that sits next door. Red Wing mayor John Howe tells us, even though the city sued to keep Xcel from making upgrades at the plant, he doesn't want to send the message that the Prairie Island nuclear facility has been anything but a great city partner. No, Howe's real problem is with nuclear waste at the plant that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. He says the plant is becoming a "de facto" waste storage site because of the fed decision to shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. A Minnesota appeals court this week says it won't block Xcel from making upgrades at the Prairie Island or from storing additional nuclear waste there.
City of La Crosse, Land of the Tax Freeze
When you list the inevitabilities in life, taxes are probably in the top five. Ever increasing taxes. Unless you live in the city of La Crosse, that is. Property taxes overall will go up in the city this year, just like they have every year probably since there were property taxes. But this year, for the second consecutive year, the city council has approved an operating budget for the coming year that includes no property tax rate increase. The owner of a 120 thousand home will still write a check to the city for about $1470. Same as last year. Same as the year before. Tax rates for county government, school district and tech system all are increasing.
Great American Smoke Out
On Wednesday and Thursday, Gundersen Lutheran will participate in the 35th Annual Great American Smoke Out. Gundersen Lutheran staff will be on hand offering education for those who would like to quit smoking or those who would like to help someone they know to quit.
Today they will be in the Education Center on the lower level of the Gundersen Lutheran – Onalaska Clinic, and on Thursday in the cafeteria of the Gundersen Lutheran La Crosse Campus.
Tables will be set up providing useful information on quitting smoking and resources on where to receive help. There will also be free carbon monoxide screenings available.