The Salem Memorial District Hospital board met Feb. 16 via Zoom.

Jason Edwards reported for the SMDH foundation that the 2021 fundraising golf tournament is still scheduled for June 4 and that the first phase of sponsorship letters have been sent out. Another phase will be sent in about a month. “We have actually been seeing some sponsorships already, so it’s a good thing coming in.” Edwards also reported that Wings and Strings is currently scheduled for Sep. 11 at the Dent County Commons.

Wings and Strings is a fundraising concert and wing-cooking contest that was started in 2019 at the Dent County Commons. Planning got underway shortly thereafter and the search for musical talent continued through the winter. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. “We do have one band already booked. That’s ChristiAna, a good band with a good following in the local area.”

Financially, the hospital starts the year off with a January that comes in just over the monthly budget. Chief Financial Officer Doug Hoban reported that total January hospital operating expenses were $2,582,660 compared to a budget of $2,338,391.

Additionally, the acute care percentage of occupancy of 42.1% is down compared to the 48.6% allocated for in the monthly budget, and is still down by more than 5% from the 47.9% in January, 2020.

SMDH continues to perform above average as far as days of cash on hand is concerned. Year-to-date the hospital has 121 days, which is still significantly better when compared to the Missouri rural hospital average of 79 days and 70 days for city hospitals.

Administrator and chief executive officer Kasey Lucas announced that they have revised the visitor policy. “We are allowing one visitor in the ER, they cannot switch out, they cannot leave. When they leave, they are gone. Same thing goes for acute care and outpatient services. We are going to allow that unless someone is admitted to isolation. If they are admitted to isolation, they will not be allowed a visitor,” said Lucas. “Of course we’ll make exceptions for end of life and other extenuating circumstances.”

Lucas also mentioned that the COVID-19 positivity rate is way down.

The final remaining item on the agenda was for the board to review the conflict of interest policy. That discussion was postponed until the March meeting.