DCHS holds public hearing regarding $24.6 million federal loan

Dickinson County Health System welcomed public comment Wednesday during a public hearing regarding the $24.6 million federal loan application.

Questions filled the conference room as community members were able to ask questions about the USDA Rural Development Loan.

“I think it went extremely well. I’m very pleased with the outcome,” said Jerry Worden, acting chief financial officer.

There was not an empty seat in the room.

One person asked if this loan was really necessary. Worden said it was necessary for the future of the hospital.

Half of the $24.6 million loan will be used to refinance the hospital’s current debt. The other half will be used for new technologies.

A community member said there is a need to upgrade the technology as this is what keeps the hospital moving forward. DCHS members agreed.

“I’m very pleased with the questions, the statements, the support we’ve heard from the community,” Worden said.

Another community member said DCHS needs to focus more on its care and less on the competition. Worden said that was a great statement.

“I totally agree that we need to focus more on delivering and sustaining good quality care here.”

Community member Henry Wender said he thought the public was very worried about the future of the hospital, but hoped for the best.

“We are all hopeful that the USDA loan will materialize.”

Former Congressman Bart Stupak said the meeting appeared to be a success.

“We appreciate all the support from the community, the county council, the hospital board have worked really hard on this. Yesterday State Manager Jason Allen was here and he said of all the loan applications he’s seen, it’s one of the best he’s ever seen.”

They plan to submit the loan application by August 26. The DCHS board hopes to hear from the USDA about this loan by the fall. This would allow him to be on the current exercise.

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