Hospital authority honors Dr. Jewell

Hospital Authority Board Chair Harold Wyatt presents Dr. Richard Jewell (right) with a proclamation honoring his years of service.

Photo contributed by Larry Kuglar

A longtime member of the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority board will soon take on the first emeritus position at the start of the coming year.

The Hospital Authority bosrd honored Dr. Richard Jewell during their latest session and it was announced that he'll be retiring from his voting position to take on an advisory role.

Jewell, who has served on the board for more than four decades, is an optometrist who has served the community for more than 50 years and seen the medical community in Polk County change drastically during his time on the hospital authority.

That includes two different organizations managing the hospital and a brand new facility completed in 2014, moving from downtown Cedartown to Highway 278.

Board members voted unanimously for a proclamation be entered into the meeting record for future generations on the board to remember his contributions to Polk County's hospital.

Included in that was his role in the hospital's contract with Floyd Healthcare Management, Inc. and the building of a new hospital. He was also part of the vote to approve the turnover of Cedartown's old hospital building over to the city.

The city of Cedartown subsequently turned the hospital facility into One Door Polk. Those were just some of his recent accomplishments through decades of practice in vision and eyecare and on the board itself. Board chair Harold Wyatt made through announcement of Dr. Jewell's pending move from voting member to one of the new board emeritus positions established in past months during their Nov. 28 meeting.

Jewell said he was appreciative of the recognition for his service.

Cardiac care recognition for Polk Medical Center

Polk Medical Center was given a distinction in November that is good news for those locally who feel a twinge in their chest and find themselves in need of a trip to the emergency room.

The hospital was awarded a recognition as a certified chest pain care center by the American College of Cardiology, joining one of hundreds of healthcare facilities around the country with the distinction of taking heart health seriously.

Chief Nursing Officer Tifani Kinard explained to the board the recognition comes from both data provided by the hospital about previous heart-related visits by patients and through a look over on-site best practices by representatives for the American College of Cardiology, who then decide by committee if the hospital should receive the distinction.

Hospital numbers

The figures for the month of October showing that after their first quarter of business, numbers of patients are fluctuating based on the seasons still and that profits are still up despite lagging income. Floyd Medical Center's Clarice Cable presented the latest profit and loss statements during the board meeting, and had mixed news to report.

Gross revenue between inpatient and outpatient services through Oct. 31 totaled more than $36.5 million, some $2.8 million off their budget for the year. With deductions of more than $26 million off the top, the actual revenue stands at more than $10 million. Expenses for operations were just under $8.2 million, giving the hospital around $2 million in profit heading into the second quarter of their fiscal year. Despite the budgeted income being off from hospital operations, non-operating revenue added more than $200,000 to the hospital's coffers, and the budgeted profit for the year to date remains off only by $34,000. October's patient numbers also saw some increases month to month and over the past year.

Among those to see some month and yearly increases was in emergency room visits, with 2,376 visits reported in October compared to 2,266 in September. Visits were also up over the year by 20, with the 2016 monthly figure previously reported at 2,356. Surgical cases are on the rise again as Dr. Stephen Lapointe is back to providing podiatry care in the Polk Medical Center operating suites, Hospital Administrator Matt Gorman reported. There were 13 during the month of October compared to just 3 in September.