Apparently, the Fulton County Hospital is growing much faster than what many people know. The Salem Chamber of Commerce held their monthly meeting Nov. 19 at the hospital so they could be updated on some of the hospital's new additions.
"We have a lot of strong outpatient (programs) that local people may not be aware of," Angela Richmond, Fulton County Hospital's chief executive officer said.
Richmond passed out information to the chamber members about some of the outpatient care being offered. The hospital offers a sleep lab for those suffering from sleep apnea or insomnia, a Nuclear stress test and colonscopies.
Richmond also informed the chamber that the hospital is now a critical access hospital. A critical access hospital can only have 25 beds. Richmond said that the low number of beds is to help properly treat patients who might not get the needed attention at a larger hospital.
The emergency room is now open 24-7, according to Richmond. Patients also don't have to wait as long as they had to in the waiting room to be treated. Now, patients shouldn't have to wait longer than 30 minutes. Richmond also said there are always doctors available in case of an emergency.
Teleradiology has also improved the hospital's ability to treat patients. Richmond said once an image is taken of the patient, that image can be sent through a T-1 line and a radiologist can access the film from a computer.
"All of this technology, it just allows us to have better patient care," Richmond said.
Richmond and hospital market/financial services representative, Ashley Vanscoder, gave a small tour of the recent additions and remodeling of the hospital after the chamber adjourned their meeting.
"We're very fortunate to have a hospital here," Chamber member Carolyn Lewis said. "Most small towns have lost their hospitals, and we've been very very fortunate."
The phrase, "You've been Grinched," might sound familiar to some Salem residents who were Grinched last year. These people woke up one morning to find ugly fake Christmas trees in their yards. "We have three or four trees that are just hideous looking," Trena Spears, with Legacy Hospice of North Central Arkansas who is also working with the Senior Lock-in, said. A sign telling them that they had been Grinched along with a phone number to call was placed on the trees and the people had to pay a $5 donation to have the tree hauled off by volunteers working with the senior class.
The fundraiser was such a success, it will be held again this year. "If you have anyone you want to Grinch, keep us in mind," Spears said.
Spears said the donations from the fundraiser, set to begin Dec. 1, are used to to fund the Salem Senior Lock-in on graduation night. The seniors also had a float in last year's Christmas parade that won first place. They are planning on entering a float this year as well.
The senior class will also have a booth set up at the square during the parade for people to order deliveries to an unsuspecting person's yard. Spears said placing an order is $5.
For more information, call Gaye Passmore at 895-2917 or Shelia Eubanks at 895-5034.
A business is re-opening in Salem under a different owner and in a different place.
"I went in to buy a screw driver, the other day, and ended up buying the whole business," H.D. McCullough, who now owns the Salem Discount Tools store, which was in the Skyview Shopping Center, said. The store is now on the square in the same building as Merlina's Designer Outlet. McCullough said his store carries tools that would normally cost a lot more in other retail stores. He said these tools can last up to 20 years.
The chamber will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the business on Dec. 1, which is the day of the Christmas parade.
Spears, along with Laurie Steman and Jene Garner from Legacy Hospice of North Central Arkansas, explained a bit of what they do on a regular basis at hospice.
Hospice is a for-profit organization that deals with end of life care and terminally ill patients. With hospice, patients usually live nine to 10 days longer than expected, which gives a little bit more time for them to spend with loved ones, Spears said.
Hospice patients can have any type of health plan or no insurance. "We don't turn anyone away at hospice," Spears said.
March 3 is the Salem Chamber of Commerce Auction. Lewis said the chamber can take donations for the auction at anytime. The auction helps raise funds for the Fourth of July fireworks display and the Christmas parade. Lewis said the auction usually generates about $8,000 to $10,000.
A representative from Ozarka College in Ash Flat told the chamber that the campus is going to hold their Holiday Open House on Dec. 2 from noon to 2 p.m. According to Karla Rush, director of college advancement, the Mountain View campus' Holiday Open House is scheduled for Dec. 3 and the Melbourne campus' is on Dec. 10.
The time and date of the December Salem Chamber of Commerce meeting has yet to be announced.