The Cherokee Regional Medical Center, formerly known as Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital, today continues to play a significant role not only in enhancing regional health care, but also in the economic development of Cherokee and the surrounding communities.
The Cherokee hospital's new name and logo were unveiled at Monday night's annual SVMH Association meeting, after hospital officials, board members, and staff worked towards that goal for the past eight months.
As the fourth largest employer in Cherokee County, the Cherokee Regional Medical Center today employs 240 individuals in the hospital, four area medical clinics, The Beck senior housing, Wellness Center, and Hospice.
Tyson Retail Deli, Hy-Vee, and the Cherokee School District remain Cherokee's three largest employers.
Total payroll and benefits for the former SVMH in 2004 exceeded $9.2 million, with a significant amount of this spent to support the local economies through the purchase of homes, utilities, food, clothing, and supplies. Similar to the employment multiplier, the Iowa Hospital Association estimates that the $6 million distributed as payroll actually has a total income impact of more than $10 million.
According to the IHA, retail sales generated by the health care sector in the Cherokee area will reach an estimated $7 million each year. With a 5-cent sales tax collection, this will generate more than $350,000 annually in revenue for the county.
Beyond providing economic support to the community, the Cherokee Regional Medical Center has established medical clinics in Aurelia, Holstein, and Marcus, each a valuable health care link in their community offering primary care services locally.
It also is known that the presence of a strong and reliable health care system helps attract and retain businesses and industry to the area.
Cherokee Regional Medical Center also provides more than $312,000 a year in community benefits to Cherokee and surrounding communities, including about $262,000 in uncompensated care, and more than $50,000 in free and discounted benefits specifically implemented to help Cherokee area residents.
Such benefits are designed to improve health status and increase access to quality health care. Along with uncompensated care (both charity care and bad debt), these benefits include such things as health care screenings, support groups, immunizations, nutritional services, health fairs, and injury assessment for area athletes.
In 2004, the former SVMH logged 1,674 inpatient admissions, 5,129 inpatient days, 103 births, 3,621 ER visits, and 36,791 outpatient visits. The average length of stay for inpatient admissions was 2.9 days.
Also in 2004, there were 771 ambulance calls, 659 wound care visits, and 1,546 surgical procedures, including 1,355 outpatient procedures, and 191 inpatient procedures.
There was a total of 42,369 laboratory tests, including 31,874 outpatient tests, and 10,495 inpatient tests. Physical therapy outpatient visits totaled 5,929, and inpatient visits were 2,013. In occupational therapy, there were 2,068 inpatient treatments, and 2,082 outpatient treatments.
Also in 2004, there were a total of 12,109 radiology exams, including 6,080 general, 2,219 ultrasounds, 1,549 mammograms, 1,326 CT scans, 489 MRI, 295 fluoroscopy, and 151 nuclear imaging.
Inpatient treatments for respiratory therapy totaled 4,376, and 311 outpatient treatments. There were 976 outpatient EKGs, and 295 inpatient EKGs.
Total visits for HomeChoice were 4,168, and for Hospice 2,023. The Cosmetic Laser center performed 121 outpatient procedures.
Sioux Valley Medical Associates, the Cherokee hospital clinic, totaled 16,041 patient visits, and the specialty clinics totaled 8,948 patients seen.
Daily visits to the Wellness Center numbered 7,895, with total use in 2004 totaling 81,795 visits. There were 533 family memberships, and 309 single memberships for the Wellness Center.
At the conclusion of the annual meeting Monday, a special Donor Wall in honor of past and present financial support from local businesses and individuals was unveiled in the lobby near the entrance of the Cherokee Regional Medical Center.
The impressive display board recognizes donations of $1,000 and greater and will be updated annually. Those interested in making a donation can contact Marketing Director Karmen Vanfossan at 225-3368, ext. 209.
It also was announced that the Cherokee Regional Medical Center is currently in the process of establishing a website (www.cherokeermc.org) that will provide information about services available, facilities, medical staff, new babies, and the latest news, among other things. The CRMC site will be updated regularly and is expected to be fully operational by June 1.
"Health care is always changing, with new technology, new equipment, and new procedures," said CRMC CEO John Comstock. "We take pride in our accomplishments as a community hospital and our ability to provide such great health care services to the area."
The CRMC Campus is located at 300 Sioux Valley Drive.