Hospital CEO sees many growth opportunities for Medina Memorial

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 11 May 2021 at 7:15 am

Marc Shurtz speaks at annual Twig banquet; Twigs donate $8k for new oven

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Georgia Thomas of Medina,, a member of Laurel Twig, holds a hanging basket she won at the Twig banquet Monday night at Zambistro’s.

MEDINA – The 29 members who attended Medina Memorial Hospital’s Association of Twigs banquet Monday night was by far the smallest number in the organization’s 68-year history.

News, however, shared by Orleans Community Health CEO Marc Shurtz and Foundation director Heather Smith reflect a much bigger picture.

Shurtz and Smith were guests at the annual banquet which used to highlight the dedication of Twig members in supporting the hospital. Due to Covid, however, and many programs and services being cut back, there were no achievement awards to be announced this year.

Twig president Jeanne Crane welcomed members and guests, saying that although their numbers were sparse, they still managed to get together.

Orleans Community Health CEO Marc Shurtz is introduced by Association of Twigs president Jeanne Crane at the Twig banquet Monday night at Zambistro’s. Shurtz announced several areas of growth at the hospital.

Crane, who retired in 2003 as Risk manager and Infection Control manager at the hospital, was called back to work during Covid, to assist the Orleans County Health Department in administering vaccine at its clinics.

She praised the members for their past dedication, saying, “Service to humanity is the greatest form of art.”

Shurtz told the members he was nearing the end of his first year as CEO, a year he called “an exciting one.”

He announced the culture inside the hospital is shifting.

“The hospital has shrunk for a lot years, but now we are working on growth,” Shurtz said.

He said patient satisfaction is a big focus, but to make it work, they first have to make sure their employees are satisfied.

The recently announced closing of Lockport hospital opens up new opportunity for Medina, Shurtz said.

“Lockport is planning to build an ER with 10 rooms behind Home Depot on Transit Road, and any patient needing hospitalization will be shipped to Mount St. Mary’s in Lewiston,” he said. “That opens the door for us to be the community hospital. We will now be the closest by mileage and time for EMS responders from Barker and Newfane. Our focus now is to be ready for this growth.”

Editor’s Note: Catholic Health said the 10 in-patient beds will allow people to be admitted for care. If patients need surgery or a higher-level care they would be transferred to another hospital.

Shurtz said Medina is already seeing Lockport care providers sending patients to them for lab work and tests. Medina has had a daily census of about eight patients per day, with a goal to expand to 18 to 20 a day.

“The sky’s the limit for us,” Shurtz said.

Medina Memorial Hospital opened a Wound Care Center a year ago, whose operator has one of highest healing rates in the nation.

Orleans Community Health is expecting to bring cardiology back into the area, starting in June or July.

Shurtz said Medina surgeon Dr. Misiti had donated his practice to the hospital and they plan to expand general surgery by including Dr. DiBenedetto.

Two empty wings on the south side of the hospital will be turned into a patient waiting area, as part of the hospital’s $350,000 improvement project. This includes installation of an elevator going up to the first floor.

“We are excited to get Medina Memorial Hospital back to growing again,” Shurtz said.

Smith added a list of projects for which the Foundation has been trying to raise money.

“We were working on the money for late nurse Nancy Albanese’s memorial, when Covid hit and we had to stop,” Smith said. “We have the money totally raised and hope to start work again.”

The $350,000 in renovations and improvements is spread across the entire Orleans Community Health, Smith said. Some of the money will be raised by the golf tournament, Treasure Island and a mega drawing.  Projects include $10,000 for privacy walls for the registration area; $8,000 for a new oven in dietary; $40,000 for new signage for the hospital and dialysis; three new patient care beds at a cost of $10,000 each; and a bariatric bed at a cost of $25,000.

The Pharmacy Department is in need of new monitor system for temperature control, which can alert personnel at home on their cell phones. They can also regulate the device from home, eliminating the need to drive from the city in the middle of the night.

Smith said the Pharmacy hasn’t had new cabinetry since the 1960s, and it is in need of new windows, all at a cost of $95,000.

The hospital also needs new IV pumps, for which they are looking for a grant.

As was customary for Twig when it was fully operational, the membership Monday night voted on a donation to the hospital. They chose to donate the $8,000 for the new oven in dietary, as that is something which would benefit patients and employees.

The evening concluded with a drawing for six hanging plants. Winners were Jean Benson, Ethel Valentine, Pat Rizzo, June Bush, Georgia Thomas and Janet Blount.