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MCH board approves tube system additions - Odessa American: Health

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MCH board approves tube system additions

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Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2007 12:00 am

A $415,665 project will expand service of a tube system to new areas of Medical Center Hospital.

The project, approved Tuesday night by the Ector County Hospital District Board of Directors, is expected to start in June and wrap up by Sepember. It will add 17 new stations, bringing service to all patient units, the chest pain center, the main operating room and elsewhere.

The pneumatic tube system transfers drugs through the hospital faster than a “runner” , Tony Ruiz, Medical Center chief operating officer, said.

“It will be especially beneficial during nighttime hours,” he said.

Also approved was a 100 percent 10-year exemption on property taxes for the proposed FutureGen site near Penwell. Gary Vest, director of business retention and expansion for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said such exemptions on the 600-acre site are needed if it is to be selected among the final four candidates for the $1 billion near-zero emission coal-power plant.

“As an economic developer for 30 years, I’ve never liked tax abatements,” he said. “I still don’t like it, but, if you play the game, it’s a necessary evil.”

The board also approved a $490,750 annual ProCare physicians services contract for anesthesiologist Dr. Mark Johnson. ProCare director Pat Patton said the contract differs from previous ones because it is made directly with the doctor’s professional association.

Johnson, who is filling a vacancy in the department, will be paid a flat salary for the work he provides, Patton said. He will receive no health or disability benefits, and will have to provide his own malpractice insurance.

Board member Fred Martin, who voted to approve the contract, questioned some of the on-call rates, up to $2,500 on weekends.

Patton said Johnson was looking to protect his weekends.

“The money being spent is comparable to our current contracts,” he said. “Dr. Johnson can make more money or less money depending on the calls he takes.”

The board also approved:

>> An ER Radiology Digital Portable Unit for $248,000.

>> A SonoSite MicroMax Ultrasound Unit for $72,000.

>> A network equipment upgrade for $60,192.

>> An Orthoralix 8500 Direct Digital Panoramic X-Ray Unit for $27,950.

>> A revised Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike application.

Odessa, TX

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