GMH invites city council to informational meeting

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital hosted an informational meeting regarding their strategy for integration on Tuesday, Jan. 21. City Council members Jane Parker, Fred Schaub, and David Schlueter were in attendance, as were hospital board members Mary Eulberg, Penny Hansel (via telephone), Sue Osterhaus, and chairman Doug Reimer.  Also in attendance were Mayor Russ Loven, GMH Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Hoffmann and various GMH employees, as well as members of the community.

“The board is trying to be proactive,” said Reimer. “We want to keep our healthcare the best it can be.” CEO Kim Gau gave a presentation that covered the reasons for integration and described the options available for alignment, especially focusing on UnityPoint Health. 

Hoffmann explained his vision for integration, one of more independence for primary care physicians. “It is proven that when a system is driven by primary care, patients do better and live longer,” he said. “When one looks at alignment, one has to look at trying to maintain primary care.”

Last summer, the hospital board began visiting other boards and researching integration. A public position paper was given to the city council on Dec. 2. Along with continued research, next steps include meetings with the city council, city manager, and city attorney, and open community meetings.

“Sitting here today, we have more questions than answers,” Gau said, listing questions of ownership, employee benefits, and relationships with insurance vendors, community philanthropy, and community business among those that remain unanswered. 

Look for a more detailed report on this topic in an upcoming issue of The Guttenberg Press.

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