Audrain County Commissioners, the City of Mexico and the Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) will hold a special meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Kevin Farnen Community Room …
Audrain County Commissioners, the City of Mexico and the Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) will hold a special meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Kevin Farnen Community Room in the basement of the Audrain County Courthouse to release a healthcare needs assessment study.
The three public bodies formed the Audrain County Health Care Needs Assessment Study committee (ACHCNAS) in early 2023 to assess the needs of Audrain County. This comes on the heels of Noble Health shutting down the hospital in Mexico last year.
“Findings from the study were based on community needs and market demand for sustainable healthcare services,” ACHD Administrator Craig Brace said in a statement released to the public.
Mexico City Manager Bruce Slage discussed the study at a work session for the city council last month and hinted that the study could be released soon. Slagle said at that meeting there will be three phases to the study. The first phase is gathering data.
“We know by zip code where people go and what services they get and how long they have stayed somewhere,” Slagle said at the August meeting. “We’ve drilled down a lot of these numbers.”
The next phase of the plan will be taking the information and putting it all into a financial context. Slagle said the numbers also look at the service area and projects what types of needs the city has combined with what’s sustainable.
“They have determined what was happening before is not sustainable,” Slagle said.
Slagle said at the very least the city needs a rural emergency hospital with just overnight stays at best.
“It would be much more of a downscaled type of situation,” Slagle said at the August meeting. “But at minimum, you should have that.”
Slagle said the entire process has been transparent and the goal is to get to the right answer and not favor one idea over the other. A group called Ziva Medical has purchased the old hospital and has plans of opening limited operations by the end of 2023 or early 2024. There is also a private group led by Joe and Donna Corrado looking at options.
“This is information Ziva can work with, this is information the Corrados can work with. Whoever and whatever wants to do whatever. We have some inquiries from some other providers about a new place,” Slage said at the August meeting. “We’re not trying to pigeonhole one thing or the other or chose one side or the other. Our whole side of this was to get the information. Here’s what works, here’s what’s sustainable.”
Slagle said information from the study will be provided to the public after the meeting.
“PDF copies of both the needs assessment report and the community survey will be made available on each member of the committee’s websites,” Slagle said in a released statement. “It’s our hope the public will see we took this task very seriously and have been transparent with our process and findings.”
Brace said to be patient and that the information will be posted as soon as possible.
“We hope to have the information loaded onto the individual websites shortly after the meeting’s conclusion,” Brace said. “It probably will not be the night of the meeting but the next day for the reports and information to appear.”
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