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Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 1993

CITY, COUNTY BACK PLANS FOR STUDYING HEALTH-CARE NEEDS

June 22, 1993

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Members of both the city and county commissions agreed to support a study of the future health-care needs of the area.

In a study session on Monday, Mayor John Nalbandian requested the city and county commissions create a resolution supporting the Interagency Board for Health Facilities Review. Both commissions would then appoint members to serve on the interagency committee.

The interagency committee currently consists of people from the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, the Douglas County Visiting Nurses Assn. and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

"We believe there is something very fundamental about planning for the future of these agencies," said Chris McKenzie, member of the Bert Nash board of directors.

McKenzie said the committee began the study last February in a search for a solution to the parking problem around 336 Mo., where three of the agencies are located.

"But what began with being focused on the parking problem then became a search for the way to fix the parking problem along with LMH's master facilities plan," McKenzie said. "What we ultimately concluded was this was a very involved problem. We wanted to satisfy our curiosity to see what the future has in store."

The committee presented to the commission a report discussing the future space needs of each of the agencies except for LMH and the ways the four agencies are linked.

The report concluded that a common facility with or facilities in the health-care campus planned by LMH would be ideal, but the committee is willing to look into other options.

Nalbandian also requested that administrators at LMH draft a letter to the commissions in support of the study.

"If the hospital is not committed to this planning process then I'm going to be very reluctant to commit to the process."

Robert Johnson, chairman of the LMH Board of Trustees said he didn't think there would be a problem providing that support.

The commissions probably will vote on the resolution within the next couple of weeks, said Craig Weinaug, county administrator.

McKenzie said he hoped the committee would have a more comprehensive report by Jan. 1, 1994.

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