Absent Minded Me

I was just getting my camera set for the CMU Closing Party this evening and discovered that I'd taken a few aerial photos of the island when I flew to Charlevoix this past Tuesday.  Although the peak color was ending, you can still see the spectrum of colors that Mother Nature gave us this autumn.  It wasn't the greatest day for taking pictures as it was very gray and cloudy, but you get the idea.  Perhaps next year I'll manage to get above things when the colors are the brightest and the sky is not as dark.

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Approved Minutes  from BIRHC Board Meeting

Beaver Island Rural Health Center

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

St. James Township Hall

PRESENT -   Board Members -  Anne Glendon , Gerald LaFreniere, Pete LoDico, Barb Murphy, Paul Nelson , Joe Reed , Rick Speck , Connie Wojan ; Arlene Brennan , Transition Manager

ABSENT Board Members - Don Spencer

GUESTS – Many attendees from the community

I.  Call to Order, Welcome and Announcements:  President Connie Wojan called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. and welcomed all in attendance. To facilitate public comments, all persons who wished to speak were asked to sign up on the paper which was distributed.

II. Review, revisions to agenda

There will be one addition. Update on the truck raffle added as item V. E.

III. Minutes of the Special August 5, 2003 Meeting

Motion to approve minutes of the July 15, 2003 , meeting as distributed (Murphy/LaFreniere); approved. No discussion.

IV. Financial Report:  Rick Speck

A. A copy of the budget as of July 2003 was distributed. For the year, the operating loss is $13,286. Reminder that this budget does not include any grant money from the state. Projected loss for the year is slightly less than projected last month, and expenses were slightly under. Motion to accept and approve the treasurer’s report as submitted (Reed/Wojan); approved.  Report of the Special Project Fund and the Endowment Fund from CCCF was distributed and reviewed. Special Project Fund has $35,662.33 as of June 30, 2003 ; Endowment has $96,302.60 as of the same date. These reports are prepared by CCCF.

B. Requests were submitted to both townships for assessing the full allowable millage prior to August 1, 2003 , as per contract. The townships make their decisions as to the amount they will allocate at their respective September meetings.

C. A summary sheet was presented with details of the amounts of money held by BIRHC for the Lansing Delegation, the Housing Committee (soon to be the Beaver Island Community Development Corporation when they receive 501C3 status), and the Beaver Island Partnership. Pete LoDico provided an update regarding the work that is being done for housing and the efforts to raise money. There will be another benefit dinner on September 18th, and everyone is encouraged to attend. Nothing was available on the Medial Auxiliary at this time, however, recognition and thanks were given to the auxiliary for providing $2,000 in early winter for improvements to the condo, as well as funding the cost of printing raffle tickets and promotional flyers.


V. Resource Development Report:  Anne Glendon

A. Ms. Glendon provided a brief recap of the meeting on July 15, 2003 , at which Mr. Tambellini spoke regarding capital campaigns. The financial reports on the two funds at CCCF were reviewed by Mr. Speck (above).

B. Ms. Glendon completely reviewed the Preliminary BIRHC Capital Campaign Proposal which was distributed. All points of the document were explained and discussed. There was discussion about whether a reserve fund or the endowment fund should be repository for this money. With an endowment fund, the principal cannot be invaded; with a reserve fund, the principal can be used. Long term, the intent is that the endowment fund will be sufficient to provide the needed extra operating funds.  Because there are so many current uncertainties regarding state funding and operating costs for the new facility, it was recommended that monies raised during the proposed campaign be held in a special reserve fund. Although there was discussion about it, the issue of which type of fund (endowment vs. reserve) does not need to be decided immediately. What does need decision is how to move forward with the campaign. Motion to adopt the Preliminary BIRHC Capital Campaign Proposal (Speck/Reed); approved with a vote of 7 for and one (1), Paul Nelson , opposed. 

C. Ms. Glendon recognized many individuals and organizations who have provided contributions for the new facility. Included are the Traudt and Gill families, in-kind contributions from Ed Wojan, Jim Wojan, Parker Motor Freight, Munson Medical Center , Providence Hospital and Dr. Brad Grassmick, and Mike Penkovich with Universal Sign. This is a start to the list of donors which will be compiled. Both cash and in-kind contributions will be recognized appropriately.  Board members also expressed appreciation for the many kindnesses and donations received to date.

D. Ms. Glendon stated that there may be $15,000 available from the state for the health center. That possibility is actively being pursued.

E. Joe Reed announced that 236 truck raffle tickets have been sold. 36 have been purchased by board members. Special thank you to Kirk McBride, Dave Roop and Leonor Jacobson (all non-board members) for assisting with ticket sales. Mr. Reed thanked everyone for their efforts and for purchasing. He is recruiting more volunteers to assist.  

Special thanks were expressed by President Wojan to many Board members for their tireless work over the past several months.  She recognized Joe Reed for all the time and effort he has contributed coordinating ticket sales. She acknowledged Anne Glendon for all the work she has done for Resource Development, including the Contributions Policies, work on the capital campaign, as well as drafting Board member policies. Additionally, thanks were given to Pete LoDico, Barb Murphy, Don Spencer and Anne Glendon for going to Lansing in May at their own personal expense and for the help BIRHC has received as a result. President Wojan commented that the Board as a whole and individually give up a significant amount of personal time to fulfill the many tasks that must be done to support the Health Center .

VI. Operations Report:  Arlene Brennan

A. The two utilization reports were distributed and reviewed. Of note, the number of encounters for July 2003 compared to 2002 was down 12%; for the year to date, encounters are down 6%. With the number of visitors and the economy as it is, these decreases are not unexpected.

B. The Transition Manager’s Report was distributed and reviewed. As regards staffing, Chris VanLooy has worked during the week and the health center has had relief coverage for the weekends. That has worked well. The process to hire a second practitioner is proceeding well, and the process approved by the board is being followed. The arrangement with BIEMS to utilize their staff during the day to provide clinical assistance has worked well. Not only has the arrangement provided assistance, but it has strengthened the collaboration and relationship between the two organizations. Billing progress continues. The plan is to continue efforts on clean up activities and evaluate progress and status in September. Information regarding billing will be presented at a meeting where adequate time can be devoted to explaining it. The relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is developing. They have been asked to consider payments on labs and x-rays that will take into account all transportation costs, talk with EMS about reimbursement, and provide health information to the residents, as well as several other items.

C. The status report on operational objectives was distributed. It will be reviewed at the next meeting.

VII. Process and Timelines for Board Development:  Connie Wojan

A. President Wojan asked Pete LoDico and Anne Glendon to take the responsibility for interviewing applicants and ensuring the process approved by the board is followed. Ms. Glendon indicated she sent a letter to Kirk McBride with details of the process. Copies of that letter were distributed, and she reviewed the contents.

B. To date, there are 5 applicants. They are Dr. Mark Folkening, Dr. Brad Grassmick, Eula Thomas, Nancy Tritsch and Angel Welke; Jeff powers has withdrawn his name. Announcement was made that any other interested persons are welcome and encouraged to apply. All names are to be submitted by August 25, 2003 , to President Connie Wojan .

VIII.  Construction Committee Report: 

A. Rick Speck – Reviewed the Construction Account Invoice Log. To date, $472,996.34 has been paid out. The committee is still anticipating the cost to be $1.3 M; it is on budget and on schedule as of now.

B. Barb Murphy – Construction is on schedule. As of September 1, the building will be 48% done. Everything seems to be progressing well. On August 22nd, a shipment of donated furniture will arrive and be stored at Welter’s storage facility. Universal Sign in Grand Rapids is providing signage for the exterior. A “wish list” of equipment has been created.

IX. Old Business:  Connie Wojan

A. Dental Space

i. President Wojan presented a history of dental services on Beaver Island . It began in the early 1980s, when Joan Petrak suggested that a dentist should visit and provide services. BIRHC has never had a written agreement with any dentist, most of whom have come once a month. Ever since Dr. White began practicing on the island, BIRHC has paid the cost of utilities, regular maintenance and supplies, and some cleaning services for her growing practice. She also has use of the health center’s copy machine, paper, the fax machine and the associated long distance charges. Minutes of the Construction Committee of July 29, 2003 were distributed. The BIRHC Board remains very committed to having dental care on the island, but since they will own the facility (not the townships) they will soon have to pay all insurance costs for the building.  As a result of this and other expenses, they have discussed having an agreement/lease with Dr. White. These discussions actually began in earnest in late 2002, with several meetings in early 2003. To date, the Board has not insisted on any stipulations and remains willing to discuss the many issues that need to be resolved.

ii. A piece of paper with a draft list of considerations for a lease agreement was distributed. President Wojan asked members of the board to think about all the issues with an open mind so that we can discuss the entire matter at the next meeting.  We need to decide whether Dr. White should sign an agreement/lease prior to moving into the new dental space, and, if so, what should be included in that agreement.

B. Other – Pete LoDico invited all to attend the fund raising dinner for BI Housing Committee – soon to be known as the Beaver Island Community Development Corporation – on September 18, 2003 at the Beaver Island Lodge.  All proceeds will go to BICDC, thanks to the generosity of Nina Simpson -Jones and Ray Cole..

X. Public Comments – There is a great deal of interest in learning more about billing; the public will be invited to the staff presentation. Dr. White spoke about her concerns regarding the cost of practicing dentistry in a rural community, and her need for financial assistance.  She does not feel it is fair for her to pay the $5,000 estimated cost of a separate meter for the dental space in the new facility.  Dr. White reminded the community that they have gained a lot from her services. Several persons from the community and Board spoke in support of Dr. White, and many Board members affirmed the Board’s long term commitment to the importance of dental care as a component of overall health and wellness services.  

After all who wished to speak did so, President Wojan thanked everyone for attending and participating. She also invited the public to attend all BIRHC meetings in the future.

XI. Next Meeting:  September 16, 2003 at St. James Township Hall.

XII. 8:45 p.m. Motion to adjourn (Reed/LoDico); approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Glendon , Secretary BIRHC Board of Directors

Arlene Brennan , Transition Manager

Writing Class Submission

Jim Stambaugh teaches writing at the Beaver Island Community School.  One of the assignments he gave a few weeks ago involved writing about heroes.  I'll admit it, I'm a proud mom, but I thought my daughter Andrea did an excellent job with her project, so good that I decided to share it:

My Hero, Uncle Ron

Have you actually killed a person before?  That is what my Uncle Ron does as a soldier in the 101st Airborne Division in the 2nd Battalion.  When he comes home, I forget about the fact he has been with dying people and seen the horror of battle.  He definitely  has all the qualities for being a hero.

My Uncle Ron is married to my Aunt Ann and has two kids, Tommy and Kayleigh.  Kayleigh does ballet and Tommy does katate.  Since they travel a lot Tommy and Kayleigh are home schooled by Aunt Ann, and when Uncle Ron isn't fighting he works at Fort Campbell.  Their life is so much different than the life Uncle Ron has during the war.  When war comes, and it does come, Ron gets shipped into a battle scarred country full of hate to do what he is trained to do.

Underneath this Airborne fighter is my friendly family member, Ron.  Even though he is trained to kill people, he is a really nice man.  He is like any other uncle; he just goes to war.

One memory of his he shared with his family.  It was he and my brother, who was only seven years old, sailing in Lake Michigan.  They were sailing to Garden Island on a boat called the Sweet Pea along with my Grandpa, Phil Gregg.  It was a rough day and they had just sailed out of the harbor on Garden Island when the storm struck.  They were no more than three hundred feet off the coast when it hit.  The storm clouds were thicker than a bucket of paper-mâché.  Due to the clouds they lost contact with Grandpa, who was on another boat.  The storm was getting so horrible that Uncle Ron told my brother, Mike, to go below.  The wind was so fierce that it made the boat crash down on its side.  Closer and closer the boat crept its way to the coast while Uncle Ron tried to straighten the boat back.  All of a sudden Mike yelled out, as he looked through the windows now under water, "Look, Uncle Ron, I can see the bottom!"  Uncle Ron, now realized how important it was to flip the boat back, seeing himself and the boat smashing into the shore, crushing the hull.  He flipped the boat back somehow and saved his and Mike's lives.  They docked at Garden Island to await the clear morning so they could sail back to Beaver Island.

That was before he left for war.  That was before he risked his life to try and kill the ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein.

Uncle Ron was shipped to Iraq just after the War on Terrorism started.  When he was shipped out, my mother and the rest of the family immediately turned on the television to FOX News.  Every time there was a bombing or grenade attack, my mother would yell at everyone to be quiet and turn the volume up so that we could hear what happened.  We prayed for him to come home safe.

When I think of him, I imagine something like Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan with him seeing bodies and parts of them scattered and piled around on the shore, half a body or even just an arm sitting there on the ground in front of him with torn muscles hanging out, dripping with blood.  Can you see him, dropping down to avoid getting shot and seeing what's left of his friend, is only an arm from the elbow down?  I can't even begin to understand who would want to be in such a position, but I respect Uncle Ron and his men for doing what they do.

Before school started he went home to Tennessee.  We were all so happy he wasn't hurt.  He and Aunt Ann are going to visit the island sometime.  I can't wait to see my hero, standing there in his uniform, wearing that proud look upon his face.

I believe that President Bush had no right sending those men/women over, but then again you can't change it.  Since he sent them, I'm beginning to believe that it is helping the people of Iraq.  I respect Uncle Ron for going to war and risking his life for people he didn't even know.  I'm glad they will soon be free of Saddam and his followers

I have a hero, but I never really knew what a hero was.  I believe that being a hero is to save people, help people, or even be kind to people.  To respect another as a hero, as they are kind to others; that is the best thing you can give another, and Uncle Ron deserves that.


Andrea Moore, 8th grade

September 26, 2003.

Letter to the Editor

BIRHC Board Gets the Gas but will They Take the Heat?

At the BIRHC Board meeting, October 21, the board reviewed several propane bid options.  It appeared to me that they made a motion to accept the highest bid as presented by Great Lakes Energy.  Great Lakes was obviously the preferred choice in Don Spencer's presentation to the board.  After lengthy discussion, several board members felt that options presented by Island Energies would be more cost effective over time.  It appeared that Rick Speck agreed that the other options were financially advantageous but not feasible because of initial capital outlay.  In short, the board does not have the cash to invest in the better financial decision.  I question if decisions like this are in the best interest of the public.  This appears to be yet another bad decision that the BIRHC Board has made.  I am even more concerned that a shortage of cash needed to operate a Health Center ten times larger than our needs may cause us all to lose in the end.

Since the board continues to ignore the public's concerns, are they willing to "take the heat" for mistakes they make?

Kirk D. McBride

Dee Gallagher

Just received word that while visiting in North Carolina, Dee Gallagher did a swan dive in the tub.  Judges rated it a 4.3 as she broke her ankle and now has three pins in it.  To make matters worse, her son Jim is being married this Saturday in Grand Rapids.  Hopefully Dee will be well enough to attend.  Our thoughts and prayers are will Dee for a swift recovery.  If you'd like to send her a card, the address is:

Dee Gallagher

941 Ariebelle SW

Wyoming, Michigan 49504

As you can tell from the banner above, October 25th from 1 until 4 at the Brothers' Place is the McCullough Benefit.  McCullough?  You don't recognize the name?  If you've flown to or from the island, you've probably met Shelley McCullough at the Charlevoix Airport.  She's the bubbly, smiling, brunette who works at the desk there handling your tickets and such. Shelley's husband is very ill with cancer.  With young children at home, they need a little help right now and the islanders are known for helping those in need.  Jean Kingsley is organizing the benefit with the help of Dody Bedford.  Keith Pintler and John Fiegen are providing homemade pizza.  There's going to be games and drawings with prizes donated by local businesses and individuals.  Plan on stopping by the Brothers' Place before heading out to the CMU Closing Party.  Call Jean for more information or if you'd like to help.  Let's show Shelley, Tim and their kids how much we care! 

Page Two of the News on the 'Net