Medical Center ends successful first year

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By Alice Du Pont

  News from the Gadsden Campus of Capital Regional Medical Center is good, according to CEO Bud Wethington.
    "We've just completed one year. We've seen 18,000 patients in the ER and 11,000 for diagnostics. We see a lot of patients that don't have funds and we give them the care they need. We have a loss but it's within the plan that we projected. It's proven to be a good, viable, arrangement. I think we're doing a good thing and we've enjoyed being here in Gadsden County." Wethington said.
    Commissioner Gene Morgan said he had used the ER as a patient as was pleased with the treatment and the service.
    "My wife used the ER and she was also pleased. The facility was clean and the staff was courteous and knowledgeable," said Commissioner Eugene Lamb.
    The helicopter pad that was paid for by the county has been a great help, Wethington said. Still, they would like for more local citizens to stop at the Gadsden Campus first.
    "We still need bigger support from the community. some people are still going to Tallahassee. We have sent out mailers and we're doing some other things," he said.
    Craig McMillan, chairman of Gadsden Hospital, Inc. Board of Directors said the Gadsden Campus is a great facility and praised CRMC for partnering with the county to open the health care facility.
    In other matters:
    • Commissioners voted to approve a solid waste services transition with Waste Pro. The company would provide curbside service, recycling weekly and large item pick-up monthly for $14.75 per month to county residents that currently take their waste to one of 6 dump sites in the county. But those sites are losing money and the fee would have to go from $100 to $400 per month to break even. The agreement with Waste Pro would cost $177 per month but that, commissioners agreed, is cheaper than $400 or more.
    • Interim County Administrator Arthur Lawson informed the Board that Paul Myers, assistant director of the Alachua County Department, will become the interim director of the Gadsden County Health Department. Marlon Hunter, the GHD director for the past seven years has taken a position as Director of Public Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. Hunter's last day is Aug. 19.
    • Commissioners denied a request to turn citizens over to a collection agency for past due books. Non-returned books have cost the county $49,000.
    • Commissioners decided to move forward with an ordinance that would give senior citizens who met the qualifications (65 years of age and below poverty level) an additional 25 percent Homestead Exemption.