GCH

The front entrance of Geary Community Hospital.

Geary Community Hospital is in a bind, financially, and has been for a while.

The Geary County Commission heard an update on some of the hospital’s most recent monetary struggles at its Monday meeting.

According to Commission Chair Charles Stimatze, the hospital currently has about one day of cash on hand available. This is down from a previous update stating GCH had two days of cash on hand. It’s far from what Interim CEO Don Smithburg has said the hospital ought to have on hand — at least 60 days worth, which is GCH’s ultimate goal.

Compounding issues, problems continue to spring up with GCH’s building.

The most dire of these was the breakdown of a boiler responsible for the sterilization of surgical tools at the hospital. The boiler broke down Monday, according to Stimatze.

The boiler is more than 20 years old and is part of a list of long-neglected maintenence issues at GCH.

At this time, GCH has partnered with Irwin Army Community Hospital to have surgical instruments sterilized and safely transported back to GCH, so surgeries have not been put on hold at GCH, he said.

“Surgery could not be done today because of the boiler,” Stimatze said.

This will continue until the boiler can be repaired, he said, “until they can get some money.”

This is not the first time the hospital building has had boiler problems, according to Stimatze.

Stimatze said the roof of GCH’s Women’s Health Center has begun leaking, as well.

At this time, GCH does not have enough money to take care of these repairs.

Smithburg did not specify to the county the amount needed to do the repairs, but said they would be costly, according to Stimatze.

Though October was a good month for the hospital — its first profitable month in many months, according to a recent financial report — GCH still has a long way to come in terms of becoming sustainable.

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