Back To The Future…….#223 (the 90’s)

Kiowa District Hospital

Kiowa District Hospital

Amidst the Anthony Hospital turmoil,  a short two weeks into the realm of the unemployed,  Gary  discovering vocational employment from an unexpected authorship,  the Kiowa District Hospital. Both Jan and Gary having serviced the Hospital, Jan functioning as a Nurse’s Aide and EMT during her college internship and Gary’s as a driver with the hospital directed Barber County Ambulance Service during his employment at the school.   The ex-Anthony Hospital employee according a message of appreciation to his brother-in-law Shawn Johnson for conveying the possibility of an opening at the hospital,  conveying an ongoing dissolution between the current maintenance man Mile Pavlu and the Hospital Administrator.  Gary discovering that Mike,  the son-in-law of Sharon Ragan, the DON,  having unexpectedly  resigned in pursuit of another avocation.   Gary placing a call to Buck McKinney the Administrator expressing an interest in applying for the maintenance position, arranging for an interview having some apprehension about  residing in Anthony.  The interview with  McKinney was brief, the administrator having  no consequence about his Anthony residency and to Gary’s surprise afforded little interest in the prevailing occurrences at the Anthony Hospital.   The financial compensation for a maintenance man was as anticipated,  substantially less than his previous multi-department Plant Service Manager position at the Anthony Hospital.  Gary bringing to light his participation in the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association,  currently serving the organization as secretary, treasurer and editor of the KHEA monthly newsletter,  his concern was whether the Kiowa  hospital would continue to endorse his participation, the administrator assuring  the hospital’s commitment would be extended.

Shop, O2, Incinerator area.

Shop, O2 and incinerator area

The 24 bed critical access hospital was a monument to longevity in comparison to the Anthony facility,  the Kiowa Facility an upgraded hodgepodge consortium  of add-on’s initiated in 1952  with a clinic addition constructed in 1978.    Gary initiating an assessment of the plant equipment,  the HVAC system an aggregate of a small compressor and condenser plus added rooftop units and assorted assembly’s,  including window mounted air conditioners abiding the patient rooms.   Gary finding the clinical oxygen system a relic from the past still employing the old 9 x 60 inch cast iron K cylinders,  6 cylinders accessible online at a time, questioning why the hospital hadn’t converted to the LT Liquid Oxygen tanks,  their larger volume not requiring a continuous online changing.   Furthering his  investigation discovering a plus the patient rooms and surgery vacuum outlets  having all been updated and supplied by pair of  Ingersoll Rand vacuum pumps stationed in the basement.   The most surprising revelation, the discovery of a stand-alone outdoor incinerator still in operation, able to accommodate 90% of the hospitals disposable refuse.  Gary aware of the new Federal Clean Air Act requiring all commercial open air incinerators to have scrubbers installed for smoke pollution control, noting that the Kiowa incinerator was  in violation.   The maintenance shop living up to its name, the 16 x 32 Ft. work benched clutter building was the recipient of the maintenance tools and yard care equipment and a storage home for every used part acquired through a millennium of time.

Buck McKinney Hospital Administrator

Gail Lindley

During his initial interview with Buck,  Gary summarized his past hospital related responsibilities and experience, indicated  that  in addition to his normal maintenance duties, he initiated a written  maintenance and safety policy and procedure programs with documentation to comply with the ever-increasing number of  state and federal  regulations. Gary suggesting that a job description title of Maintenance and Safety Director be inaugurated to be in compliance,  the new employee given license to search for a  small suitable office space, discovering a vacant room across the hall from Gail Lindley, the long-established purchasing director from the past John McGee Administrative era.  The small office accommodation fulfilling a homestead for his computer plus its edict and once situated Gary began to research for past written documentation.   An investigation soon realized that there was no recorded written records for past inspections or even mandated monthly fire drills and on inquiry discovering the hospital staff never having participating in regularly scheduled  fire drills as required.   The contrivance days of the past were of a by-gone epoch, the day of  written documentation and compliance with State and Federal regulations having arrived.

Housekeeper Ona Hunter

Dietary Supervisor Arvetta Starzyk

Gary experiencing the maintenance requirements contrary to those of the Anthony Hospital,  the smaller Kiowa facility with its diminished numbered of acute and swing-bed patients having to provide limited care.  His morning walk-thru of the building provided a daily agenda of impending task,  the daily incineration and clinical systems inspection followed by the regiment of grounds keeping.  The facilities housekeeping duties being provided by Judy Reed and a staff of two, Ona Hunter and Vicki Rugg.  Judy in a supervisory role except when asked to participate in a disinfecting of the surgery room.   Gary having been acquainted with Dick Reed when he was a sales representative with the Bogner Chevrolet, but not Judy,  readily noticing that her stately working apparel and jewelry more suitable for a hostess than a housekeeping supervisor.  The Dietary Department consisted of one person,  Arvetta Starzyk, her culinary domain absolute, dominantly ruled,  more than adequate for the sparse patience influxes.  Arvetta  a working mother, her son William an enrollee of the California Highway Patrol Academy and younger daughter Anna still in Grade School.

Sharon Ragan Director of Nursing

The hospital nursing contingency directed by R.N. Sharon Ragan, her patient concern and advocacy reflected by the diligent attention and caring atmosphere the healthcare facility espoused..   Her community presence displayed by her voluntary commitment to the Ambulance Service,  fulfilling almost all R.N. transporting runs and dispatching herself on the monthly ambulance schedule as needed.   Gary very much acquainted with the Ragans having worked with Sharon’s school custodian employed husband Craig and  commemorating how Sharon covered Gary’s ambulance on-call duty when embarking his morning and afternoon bus route during his Grade School vocation.

Kiowa Clinic

The clinic,  a separate financial  entity from the hospital,  Dr. Sidney Stranathan D.O. and Dr. Marion D. Christianson M.D.  leasing the expanse, providing two nursing assistants and office staff.   Dr. Christianson better known as Dr. Chris, having graduated from the Oklahoma School of Medicine in 1952, followed by an internship at Wesley Hospital in Oklahoma City then moving directly to Kiowa , setting up his practice on July 4th 1953.   Dr. Sidney W Stranathan graduated from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 1979,  Dr. Stranathan specializes in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.   The hospital and clinic staff  pretty much acquaintances from Gary’s past,  conjecturing  his ten years of residency in the Township.  In all honesty he missed the challenge and learning experience of Anthony but realized his Kiowa Hospital employment as a literal transformation of  Back to the Future.

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