Townsend presented his program about healthcare observations he has made in our local environment and nationally. First observation: Obamacare has accomplished to whom Medicare/Medicaid can write a check for payment of services. Account Care has been set up to decide who gets paid for all medical services provided.
Second observation: Christus Spohn is a group of 350 entities, from specialty clinics to hospitals, in many regions. Beeville’s hospital is the smallest acute care unit. Christus Spohn is managed by professionals who know it is faith-based and can get reimbursements from government for charity cases and receive the balance on those charity bills.
Third observation: Houston’s downtown hospital has closed primarily because it was a “charity” hospital and could not make a profit; it wasn’t set up as a public entity. Our government now tells the hospitals how to set up as a “charity,” and the states are trying to take control of those. Santa Rosa Hospital of San Antonio is 100 years old and no longer offers adult services in the downtown area – only child medical services are offered. We, as Beeville citizens, should be asking as a faith-based hospital: “Does Christus Spohn here need to be profitable?”
Beeville’s hospital relationship is different from Alice and Kingsville. Our health care funds can be used to make renovations to the property, and we can spread those costs over 10-15 years. Our hospital needs to stay profitable and stay under the Spohn umbrella, so our funds won’t remain idle and will be ready to pay for indigent care from surrounding counties that are transported here.
Behr presented an update on increased traffic on Bee County roads due to the impact of the Eagle Ford Shale projects. North of Beeville is the major traffic congestion. The oil/trucking industry is also aware of the travel congestion. The oil clienteles are not the roughnecks of the ’80s. The companies will fire you in a heartbeat if you don’t abide by their rules or if you hurt the company name. Federal money from Operation Morning Star is used to help pay overtime for the deputies. His biggest concern is also the safety of his officers, since there has been more traffic and more people. The sheriff’’s department has not had an increase in deputy hiring in relation to the increase of traffic and people in Bee County.
Ralph McMullen, on his last day as Rotary president, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and then introduced the new president, “Trace” George Morrill III.
Morrill announced one of the highest honors for a Rotarian – to become a Paul Harris Fellow, which began in 1957 in appreciation of contributions of $1,000 a year to the Rotary Foundation. Recipients of the award were: Domingo Paloma, Libby Spires, Jim Crumrine, Viola Salazar and Trace Morrill. They also received a lapel pin and certificate for their contributions in 2011-12. Morrill thanked McMullen and the board for the opportunity to become the new president and presented McMullen with the past president badge and commemorative plaque for his service.
New officers for the 2012-13 year include President-elect Kevin Behr, Sergeant-at-Arms Ralph McMullen, Sectretary Brenda Treviño, Treasurer Jon Fischer and Editor Paul Cude. Board of directors includes Blant Miller, Kelly McNeese, Leticia Muñoz, Diane Self and Libby Spires.