Kettering Health and the Greene Medical Foundation have made nearly $2 million in improvements into Greene Memorial Hospital in the past year, giving the hospital a better chance to compete with other area hospitals, officials said.
Approximately $225,000 in emergency department upgrades were completed in March. Operating room renovations were finished in April for $80,000. And a new $225,000 digital mammography suite was completed in fall 2012, adding high-end imaging equipment for more precise mammograms, according to Kettering Health Network officials.
Greene Memorial, previously an independent hospital, became affiliated with Kettering Health in 2008.
Underway now is a $1.2 million project to install a permanent MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanning machine — currently the hospital leases an MRI housed in an outdoor trailer. Also Greene Memorial is in the midst of a $250,000 renovation of the Ruth McMillan Cancer Center to be finished mid-October. Crews working on the existing cancer center are creating more patient privacy space, expanding infusion space and enhancing patient waiting rooms, hospital president Terry Burns said.
“The network has actually made very sizeable investments here at Greene in information technology and equipment and remodeling costs” aided by the foundation’s support, Burns said.
“We had to catch Greene up with where health care had moved to,” Burns said.
The emergency department remodel was the department’s first major renovation in about 15 years, Burns said. Renovations to the emergency room, which had 25,484 visits in 2012, touched everything from countertops, wall surfaces and doors to furniture, Burns said.
“The second thing where the network has helped Greene is in our computer systems. We have today an absolutely state-of-the-art electronic medical records system here. That wouldn’t happen in a standalone facility,” Burns said. “The network invested I would say $15 to $20 million in technology we’re using at Greene.”
At the time the nonprofit Xenia hospital joined Kettering Health, it was running a deficit, Burns said. Greene Memorial serves Eaton, Yellow Springs, Xenia and surrounding communities, a more rural area than Kettering Health’s other hospitals, he said.
“Greene is essentially paying its ongoing bills today and that wasn’t the case five years ago. (It) certainly probably wasn’t the case six years ago and over the intervening years,” Burns said.
“As a practical matter, we’re paying our operating expenses today and I think we’re providing a fabulous service,” he said.
But there have been service cuts at Greene Memorial over the years as well.
The maternity department was closed. Kettering Health also consolidated inpatient psychiatric services to its hospitals Grandview Medical Center and Kettering Behavioral Hospital, closing an inpatient psychiatric unit at Greene Memorial in 2012, Burns said.
Kettering Health also built the $135 million Indu and Raj Soin Medical Center in nearby Beavercreek, which opened in 2012. Greene Memorial and Soin Medical share management and staff.
A levy renewal for the hospital will appear on Greene County ballots in November. If passed, it is expected to generate $1.6 million a year to fund the hospital operations. The .50-mill, five-year levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $13.71 per year.
The levy currently provides $1.3 million a year to Greene Memorial, according to Greene Memorial Foundation President Jeff Brock.
“These opportunities, like in the case of digital mammography, the hospital has wanted to do that for two years. The foundation had the opportunity to make it happen,” Brock said.
The improvements poise “the hospital to serve the residents even better … and adds to its opportunity to sustain itself,” Brock said.
In speaking about the importance of the levy to the hospital, Burns said, “This facility is needed in Greene County and the levy is vital to continuing to have the hospital here.”
“Kettering Health Network cannot just write checks to support Greene Memorial,” Burns said.
Greene Memorial Hospital
What: General acute care hospital in Greene County, opened in 1951. Affiliated with Kettering Health Network in 2008
Where: 1141 N. Monroe Dr., Xenia
President: Terry Burns
Inpatient admissions: 2011-4,220; 2012-3,155 (Decling inpatient admissions is a trend across most hospitals)
Emergency room visits: 2011- 29,257; 2012-25,484
Employees: 472, as of end of 2012