SBL had operational ownership of Fayette County HospitalSarah Bush Lincoln is no stranger to Fayette County Hospital, according to SBL President and CEO Jerry Esker. “We’ve had operational ownership of Fayette County Hospital for almost three years,” Esker said. “In that time, we have become very familiar with the community and understand its medical needs.” Esker alludes to investments that have already been made, as well as other capital projects set for the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years. The investments relate to both the hospital and the long-term care facility. Several improvements on deck include the construction of a medical office building and renovation of the medical-surgical nursing unit. Technical improvements include the replacement of generators, computer systems, and medical equipment upgrades. Additional improvements will also include enhanced employee wages and benefits. “Employees will receive a general wage increase,” Esker explains. “A significant number of employees will also receive market wage increases to bring their salaries in line with like hospitals.”
Investment for the futureAs a part of the agreement, SBL is investing $15 million in a trust fund. The hospital district’s board would also put in roughly $4.8 million in the same fund. With nearly $20 million in funds set aside, improvements can be made within the next two to three years. In addition, SBL will make additional investments over a five-year period, according to SBL CFO Dennis Pluard. Pluard specifies that SBL will invest at least $1 million per year within that period for additional capital improvements.
Appreciation for prior oversight of Fayette County HospitalEsker also adds that SBL appreciates the work and dedication of the Fayette County Hospital District Board. “The board members really care about what is in the best interest of the community and its health,” Esker said. “Their job was not an easy job. They all took it very seriously and showed great ownership and stewardship of the organization. “We have worked with Sarah Bush Lincoln for three years. It has done everything it promised to do and more for our hospital and long-term care. I know that our local healthcare is in good hands,” states district board chair Doug Knebel. “The entire board is excited for this change of ownership and what it means for our community.”
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