Archive for Wednesday, September 18, 2002

LMH board to review Tonganoxie clinic

September 18, 2002

During a meeting today, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital board is expected to discuss development of an outreach medical clinic in Tonganoxie.

More than two years ago, the hospital began exploring the possibility of constructing a clinic in Tonganoxie. LMH officials have said that initially one physician would staff the clinic, which is planned north of First State Bank and Trust's offices at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Laming Road.

Tonganoxie currently is served by two physicians, Dr. Deborah Gammill and Dr. Philip Stevens, both of whom practice on Fourth Street in downtown Tonganoxie.

This afternoon, Gene Meyer, president and CEO of the city-owned hospital, is expected to ask the board to give him the green light to negotiate purchase of land from the bank. The land, north of the bank, is priced at $75,000, according to a memo Meyer wrote to board members.

Meyer envisions a 2,500-square-foot building, which would allow for the addition of a second physician in the future.

If the board agrees, Meyer said he would begin searching for a new physician for Tonganoxie from the graduating residents in 2003. If land were acquired soon, he said, it's possible the building could be ready in August 2003.

"We believe that the recruitment for an area as attractive as Tonganoxie would not be difficult, and we would be able to be selective on the physician," Meyer said in his memo.

In addition, Tonganoxie is considered a medically under-served area, which means graduating physicians moving here would qualify for loan forgiveness programs, the hospital executive said.

LMH serves from 16 to 18 percent of the Tonganoxie market, a number hospital officials would like to increase.

Meyer is recommending that the board give him the authority to negotiate for land acquisition and to finalize financial details about the clinic's operation, which the board then would be asked to approve at its Oct. 15 meeting.

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