Larry Lane Boone
63, of Bruce Road

Lonnie Richard Bothwell
69, of Summersville

Blendine Martin Kessler
95, of Summersville

Eula Naomi Weese Lamb
87, of Cowen

Virgil Lee Moore
58, of Sutton

Elizabeth Ellen (Kelley) O’Quinn
88, of Summersville

John Edgel Payne
72, of Webster Springs

Woodrow W. (Junior) Pullen Jr.

Ethel Sylvia Richmond
95, of Calvin

Nolan Craig Thomas








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SRMC administrators weather storm,

look to bright future

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Dan Ayres and Mark Lovell arrived at Summersville Regional Medical Center in the autumn of 2014 as the new chief executive officer and chief financial officer, respectively.

Ayres, a Weirton native, had arrived after serving as CEO of O’Connor Hospital in Delhi, N.Y., and Tri-Town Regional Hospital in Sidney, N.Y., both affiliates of the Bassett Health Care Network.

Lovell, a lifelong southerner, had come to Summersville from Alabama.

It wasn’t long before they became aware of the gravity of challenges facing them.

“We arrived at a pretty tumultuous time,” Ayres said in a recent interview.

In his first week on the job, he received a telephone call from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

“We were in danger of losing our accreditation,” Ayres said. “That was a pretty big deal.

“That was followed by a phone call telling us we had to have our budget by Oct. 18.

“Here we were, two guys trying to find where the bathroom was, and we had two challenges facing us. We were on track for a substantial loss at the end of the year. We were trying to keep a lid on things, trying to get through the year and get ready for the new year.
“There were a lot of things we had to do.”

Ayres said one option was to convert SRMC to a critical access hospital, like facilities in Webster Springs, Gassaway and Oak Hill, but that idea was shot down.

“We felt Summersville had to fulfill the role of a regional hospital,” he said. “This is a natural geographic hub, so we had to figure out how to strengthen referral relationships.

“We’re starting to see signals of relationships developing. We had to drive volumes to the hospital so we can partner with larger facilities and provide more services in return.”

After finishing 2014 with a $2.7 million loss, the new administration, with support from the SRMC Board of Trustees, began putting plans and programs in place.




Local youth attend YL Fall Weekend

Over 350 high school kids from southern West Virginia converged on Camp Caesar in Upper Glade, Webster County, for the annual Young Life Fall Weekend. Among those attending were over 80 kids from Nicholas, Webster and Pocahontas counties (pictured above). The kids spent the weekend singing, playing games, watching skits, and as with any Young Life event, learning about Jesus Christ. As one attendee from Richwood put it, the weekend was the “most life-changing weekend” she’d ever experienced.





Commission hears Libraries’ Request

The Nicholas County Commission on Tuesday, Nov. 17, heard a financial request from the three public libraries in the county.

The Commission also heard a financial update, which included some discouraging news for the current fiscal year budget, granted a personnel request from the sheriff and appointed an individual to the Central Appalachian Empowerment Zone Board of Directors.

Present for the meeting were Commission President Ken Altizer, Commissioner John Miller and Commissioner Lyle Neal.

Libraries request
Summersville Public Library Director Sarah Palfrey and Craigsville Public Library Director JoAnn Flynn came before the Commission to make a financial request for the current 2015-16 fiscal year in order to avoid a loss in state funds for the Summersville, Craigsville and Richwood libraries.

Palfrey explained that in order for the libraries to receive state funds, three requirements must be met. The first is services. The libraries must be open 30 hours per week including six hours per week outside of Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The libraries must also participate in an inter-library loan program; staff must complete eight hours of Continuing Education hours a year, and the library must be audited yearly.

The second requirement concerns local tax dollars. The local libraries must match 100 percent of state funding with 50 percent of the match coming from local tax dollars, such as the County Commission, municipality and Board of Education, with the other 50 percent coming from any other source.




Richwood Council OKs matching

funds for armory grant

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

The City of Richwood is moving forward on a grant application that, if approved, will fund a building utilization assessment of the former National Guard armory.

During a regular meeting on Nov. 19, Richwood Common Council unanimously approved a resolution committing $2,000 in matching funds toward a $10,000 grant to assess structural and other conditions at the armory, now known as Fitzpatrick Memorial Industrial Park and owned by the city.

The grant is being submitted by Ray Moeller, West Virginia State University Extension Agent in Nicholas County, on behalf of the city, with the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority serving as fiscal agent.

Council had tabled the resolution at its last meeting after some members expressed concern about spending $2,000 for an assessment they fear could reveal problems the city couldn’t afford to address.

It was revealed at the Nov. 5 meeting that, among other things, a complete overhaul of the building’s plumbing was needed.

Moeller told Council members on Nov. 19 that the deadline to submit the grant was the next day.

Moeller also said the grant was similar to one that was awarded last year to study the old BF Goodrich building in Richwood, owned by the Richwood City Building Commission.

“Last year’s grant parlayed $2,000 into about $15,000 worth of work,” he said.

Because of that, he said, three entities, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are considering releasing $400,000 in liens that were placed against the building when it was occupied by now-defunct Cherry Valley Furniture Co.

“The reason that was a good investment is because they need to know you’re doing something, that you’re putting a good-faith effort toward it,” Moeller said.




SRMC Board hears update on EmCare

The Summersville Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees on Thursday evening, Nov. 19, heard an update from the company the hospital has contracted with to operate the emergency room.

The Board also heard updates from the hospital Chief Executive Officer and Board Chairman, nominated a new member to serve on the Board and approved a list of officers for 2016.

Present for the meeting were Board Chairman Brian Johnson, Vice-Chairman Bruce Tallamy and members Mike Steadham, Gary Withee, Jim Marsh, Kenny Baker, Saundra Kinser, Elizabeth Anderson, Jim Epling and Bandy Mullins, MD.

EmCare Update
Shane Middleton, Clinical Services Director for EmCare, came before the Board to present an update.

EmCare is a Texas-based company that contracted with the hospital to operate the emergency room. Middleton gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Lean Process, which details how the emergency room has become more streamlined and efficient in its operations.

It was noted that the number of emergency room patients seen in the past few months has shown a steady increase under EmCare’s management.




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