Members of the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees and a couple of physicians Wednesday night indicated a willingness to spend their own money to promote a positive vote for a quarter-cent sales tax that would raise money for The Centre and parks.

Members of the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees and a couple of physicians Wednesday night indicated a willingness to spend their own money to promote a positive vote for a quarter-cent sales tax that would raise money for The Centre and parks.
“I’m very concerned about the status of Proposition A,” board chairman Dr. John T. Park said as soon as he called the meeting to order in the Phelps Room at the hospital.
Park said there are a great number of signs encouraging a vote against the tax. These signs are the work of private recreation companies, he noted, and the signs characterize the tax as a bailout for The Centre.
Park said the public needs to know the tax is far more than a Centre tax; it will help raise money for the entire parks system as well, he said. In the parks, there is “something for everybody,” he said, mentioning walking trails, ballfields and playgrounds.
“Our responsibility is health,” Park said, and getting people to get into the parks or The Centre could make even a very small change in obesity that will result in a large difference in the community’s health.
Promoting a positive vote to counteract the opposition will cost some money, he said.
“This is not something we should spend hospital money on,” he cautioned, but added “I’d be willing to pay for an ad.” The ad would be the message carried in a prepared statement he distributed to board members (See complete message below)
Park noted anyone who contributed to help pay for the ad would have the opportunity to include their name and show support.
“This would be an ad from us as individuals, expressing our concerns,” Park said. “We see this as a health issue.”
Dr. Mary Bruns, who is not a board member but attended the meeting, said she would be willing to contribute for she is a longtime member and supporter of The Centre. Dr. Don James, chief medical officer, said he would also support the advertising campaign and would encourage other physicians to join in.
Park said it could be possible enough support could be garnered that more than one ad could be published to show depth of support.
The indoor pool is the key point for Park.
“That water is a real resource,” he said, adding that private recreation centers “don’t have anything like that for people our age.”
With the water access for therapy and aerobics, “we are supporting the exercise program for the elderly,” he said. “We contribute to them by providing staffing.”
PCRMC Chief Executive Officer John Denbo added that the hospital has provided funding for pumps and heaters to raise the water temperature for therapy. “We spent a fairly substantial amount,” Denbo said.
Board Finance Committee Chairwoman Jo Ann Brand-Hoertel said several people have talked to her about the water therapy and “the suggestion has been that we build our own.”
Denbo also said The Centre has other uses for the hospital.
“It is an important asset to be shown when we are recruiting physicians and their families, The Centre and parks are right on the top of the list,” Denbo said.
Physicians and their families come to Rolla from metropolitan areas and are concerned about the lack of social activity for them in a community where they believe “the sidewalks roll up at 5 o’clock,” Denbo said.
When those sophisticated people see what Rolla has to offer in the form of The Centre they are impressed and say, “Wow!” Denbo said.
The vocal support of the hospital board and administration for The Centre is a different picture from that portrayed by members of the Rolla City Council and city administration.
At council meetings and in the ward meetings held in the parks last summer, the city officials repeatedly drove home the point that lack of support by the hospital for The Centre is one reason for the recreation center’s inability to “recapture” 100 percent of its costs through memberships and fees.
City officials have alluded to an agreement between the city and PCRMC that would have benefited The Centre financially. But, they have said, PCRMC pulled out of that agreement.
That rhetoric could change if the hospital and the physicians carry through with their supportive campaign.
In the finance committee meeting, Chief Financial Officer Ed Clayton said February was a good month financially, bringing the figures for the year to date up, although the net income for the year is about $216,000 behind budget expectations.
Clayton also offered the capital budget for the year, and it was later approved by the full board during the meeting of the trustees.
“A replacement capital budget” is the way Clayton described the list of equipment purchases and building repairs. “There is not a lot of growth in it,” he added.
The board approved the consent agenda, heard a report about the low rate of readmissions and then adjourned into closed session.


PCRMC stresses diversity of the parks

Here is the prepared statement from Dr. John T. Park, chairman of the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, that was distributed at Wednesday night’s monthly board meeting:
“Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is committed to providing world-class health care to the communities it serves and is concerned about the health and wellness of the local population. PCRMC is more than just diagnosing and treating disease—it is about creating and endorsing a culture of healthy living—an environment that supports access and education for all people to maintain and achieve healthy lifestyles.
A healthy community requires collaboration between diverse groups and stakeholders to promote health and wellness initiatives for the overall civic good. PCRMC recognizes that one of the primary resources of health and wellness in the Rolla community is the high-quality parks and recreational system, which includes The Centre, 13 miles of walking and biking trails, sports complexes, playgrounds and picnic facilities.
PCRMC supports the Rolla Parks and Recreation Department in its endeavor to inspire people of all ages to engage in physical fitness and wellness activities. The parks and recreational initiatives to encourage healthy living opportunities are closely aligned with PCRMC’s vision to provide world-class, patient-centered health care that promotes wellness and restores health.
Parks and recreational facilities increase the quality of life for community residents of all ages; provide a place for social and wellness gatherings; promote a sense of public pride and communal identity; and are vital to the overall health of people living in and around the community.
Please consider this important public health issue that increases the quality of life for our families, friends and neighbors at the polls ... Tuesday (April 8).”