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10/11/2012 5:00:00 PM
HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Carney believes hospital on right path

Marty Bachman


BLYTHE - Jim Carney has served as president of the Palo Verde Valley Healthcare District Board for the last four years. He is currently running for a second four-year term, stating that Carney said that board has made numerous improvements to the hospital since he joined the board and that his only motive in running for re-election is to continue the progress.

"I don't own anything and I'm not getting any money for it," Carney said about his role on the board. "I'm concerned because the community of Blythe needs a hospital and it needs to be an up-to-date hospital. Where does anyone in the valley go if we don't have a hospital here? They can travel to Parker, the Coachella Valley or Imperial County and they're all 90 miles away."

Carney said the board has spent quite a bit of money on equipment and has worked steadily on a master plan for the buildings, many of which have to be torn down and replaced by 2020 due to having to meet state seismic standards requirements.

"We have to tear down three buildings," Carney said.

He said that the plan is to build a new area for medical records, where all records will be digitized and state of the art. The emergency room will be expanded and a new X-ray area will be built the administration will be moved to the north of the property and in the end the hospital will be completely redone, with a new entrance, improvements to surgery, new patient rooms and a new eating area.

"This will all be done in stages," Carney said. "In eight years they'll have a facility that is seismically safe and you'll have a more modern facility. Total patient care will be raised and it will be more of a full service hospital."

Carney said that one of his missions as a board member was to attract more doctors and specialists to the area, but, for reasons he didn't want to discuss, the task has turned out to be harder than he thought. Still he felt that with new and more modern facilities, the hospital will be more attractive to medical staff looking to move here.

He acknowledged the board has received criticism for the pay of the hospital's CEO, Pete Klune, but that prior to Klune's arrival the hospital had a history of turnover in the CEO position.

"He has spent 25 years in hospital management," Carney said. "He's seen all the different style of hospitals and the knowledge he has benefits us. You can get someone cheaper but it; like driving a big truck or driving a little tiny truck - both will get you there but you'll feel better with the bigger model."

Carney said that since Klune's arrival, the turnover rate in upper management positions has also leveled off and the hospital has become more stable than it had been in the past.

Because the hospital business is seasonal (It's busier in the winter with the influx of snowbirds), Carney said that he wanted to do more to keep local nurses working in the slower months and that a plan was in place to cross-train nurses so they can work in different areas, which will alleviate the need for traveling nurses.

Carney also hopes to keep working to improve the hospital's revenue stream, which has rolled up and down relative to the fortune of the state of California and their budget maneuvers. Keeping the hospital open, he said, is his number one priority.

"The people of Blythe deserve their own facility," he said.



Related Stories:
• TIMES ENDORSEMENT: The community needs to unite behind Jim Carney and Rosalie Carlton
• Four candidates vie for two Healthcare District Board seats
• HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Carlton cares about community
• HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Hudson claims hospital is losing millions
• HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Sartin driven by patient care


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Article comment by: Cheryl S

Don't look like they will post anything on Mr Carney, Go home please for all of us. You screwed up the school district and now the hospital too

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Article comment by: @ Peace Be Still

Put some specifics to your words "open your eyes" "obvious". Hudson accuses the Hospital of losing money, but leaves out all the new equipment (Cat Scan, beds, monitors etc.) that have been added. What did she do to help with patient care when she was there for two years?

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Article comment by: Peace Be Still

Looks like we would benefit also from a new president...open your eyes people of Blythe....open your eyes and open your ears, don't be oblivious to what is really transpiring here...pay attention!

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012
Article comment by: M Sanchez

Mr Carney
I was attempting to listen and make sense of some of this and I seen ms Carlton had a web site for the hospital. I was wondering if you could clear up the amount for Mr Kluns raise at 80% of 25 it makes no sense and how do you know what and how much money of our taxpayer dollars you have approved. this seems like a (deleted) way of approving taxpayer dollars and not responsibile. You need to clearify so it's clear to us as taxpayers what is gping on. Just my input as a taxpayor.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012
Article comment by: M Sanchez

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012
Article comment by: A Navaro

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Article comment by: Hot tin Buckle up

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Need Botox

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012
Article comment by: Gabby Hays

As the Captain of the Titanic probably once said, "We are on the right path". Lots of nice talk and promises (it is a campaign), but where is this infusion of cash going to come from? As I understand it the hospital is losing money monthly hand-over-fist, and most of the time it resembles more of a morgue than a busy, bustling facility. There are only a handful of individuals benefitting at present, while the citizens of the district will suffer in the long run.


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