Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
May 7, 1998
Lubbock Methodist will manage hospital
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - Ward Memorial Hospital Board
Managers chose Lubbock Methodist Hospital System to take
over operations of the financially troubled hospital during
a meeting of the board Friday.
The board had put off the decision of whether Lubbock
Methodist or Community Health Corp. would assume management
responsibilities for Ward Memorial until new board members
Loredia Potts and Alan Stockton officially joined the board.
"I think this is going to be a win-win situation for
everyone involved," said Jim Bullard, Lubbock Methodist
Hospital System vice president of regional services.
Exactly when Lubbock Methodist will take over operations at
Ward Memorial is expected to be addressed during the meeting
of the board at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7, at the hospital's
Family Health and Wellness Center at 813 East Fourth. In the
meantime, Ray Mason has agreed to continue as interim
hospital administrator through May.
Under the approved management agreement, the following are
some of the services offered by Lubbock Methodist to Ward
- JCAHO or Medicare survey preparation, educational programs
on survey preparation and "dry run surveys."
- Technical assistance concerning quality assurance and
total quality management.
- Technical assistance with risk management including the
completion of risk management surveys.
- Assistance with marketing - access to quarterly marketing
packages with advertising campaigns geared to rural health
care and assistance with community marketing surveys.
- Operational audits of the hospital and selected
departments to improve efficiency, productivity and
- Assistance with the formulation of policy and procedure
manuals, access to stock manuals that can be modified to
meet the unique needs of the facility.
- Technical assistance in finance including accounts
receivable, coding training, consultation in computer
- Feasibility studies relating to diversification strategies
including long-term care, home health and rural health
clinic and assistance in the implementation of these
- Assistance in the formulation of managed care strategies.
- Assisting the medical staff with practice management
issues including conversion of practices to rural health
- Assistance with community health needs assessment and
- Management development training for department managers.
- Staff education including access to audio visual
materials, programs presented through the Knipling Education
Center, providing staff with clinical experiences at Lubbock
Methodist Hospital, and bringing programs to the hospital.
These educational efforts would be geared to both hospital
staff members and physicians. Participants would be granted
continuing education credit.
- Assistance in procuring reference lab services, radiology
support including teleradiology and other specialized
- Assistance with equipment acquisition strategies.
- Guest relations training for staff members.
- Human relation and personnel consulting service including
assistance with job descriptions, evaluations, compensation
issues and recruitment strategies.
- Technical assistance in infection control and employee
- Participation in cardiac acute intervention including
placing TPA at the hospital.
- Physician peer review assistance.
- Access to hospital group purchasing system.
- Assignment of senior members of regional services to
provide both oversight of the administrator and a means of
direct interaction between Lubbock Methodist Hospital System
and the client hospital.
- Interim administer services, should the permanent
administrator become incapacitated or otherwise unable to
perform his duties.
- Experts from the system will be available to consult with
the hospital as requested. Areas of which consultation may
be obtained include, but are not limited to: financial
management, purchasing and contracting, personnel
management, accounting, budgeting, reimbursement, accounts
receivable management, nursing, quality assurance, risk
management, dietary, supervision, construction management,
general management and home health services.
- The hospital can enjoy access to various specialized
marketing programs provided by Methodist including the
Valucare seniors membership program, Tender Touch maternity,
- Physicians at Ward Memorial can enjoy numerous benefits of
the system including CME, continuing education for office
staff, toll free referral/consultation telephone numbers,
visiting staff privileges at Methodist Hospital, etc.
New administrators look to board for direction
By RICK L. SMITH
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - Officials of the Lubbock Methodist
Hospital System hope to find out when they will take over
the reigns of Ward Memorial Hospital at a meeting of the
board of managers Thursday night, according to the vice
president of regional services for Lubbock Methodist.
"We are looking forward to the opportunity of working with
the hospital in Monahans and the residents of Ward County,"
Jim Bullard said. "We are honored to be there."
Bullard said he understood that interim hospital director
Ray Mason had agreed to stay on until the end of May, at
which time Lubbock Methodist would probably step in. But
Bullard emphasized that the timing for that was up to the
hospital board of managers.
Bullard said it is too early in the process to speculate
about any changes Lubbock Methodist officials would make at
Ward Memorial. However, he did say they would follow steps
the company used when it took over Reeves County Hospital in
"We went to Pecos for two or three days and performed an
operations review," Bullard said. "We will do the same thing
in Monahans, according to the timing of the hospital board.
"Then we will report our findings to the board and work with
them and let them guide us to implement any changes, if
there are any."
After Lubbock Methodist officials perform the operations
review it will probably take them a week to 10 days to
report back to the Ward Memorial hospital board, according
The Lubbock Methodist Hospital System is in the process of a
merger with Saint Mary's of the Plains Hospital that Bullard
believes will benefit Ward Memorial.
"The merger will enlarge our network and resources by the
five or six hospitals Saint Mary's has an agreement with
now," he said. "We believe the more minds and facilities we
have working together the more support and creativity we
have and the better off we are."
Bullard expects the merger between Lubbock Methodist and
Saint Mary's to be completed early in June.
Voter turnout "huge" in Grandfalls
By RICK L. SMITH
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - With better than a 50 percent voter
turnout, Grandfalls City Administrator Joy Chew said they
had "a huge turnout" for the mayoral and city council
elections Saturday. Out of 284 registered voters in the city
145 cast ballots.
In the mayoral election it appears Joyce Wilhem won with 62
votes, Leo Bookmiller received 47 votes and Jim Everett 36.
Although Wilhem did not receive a clear majority of votes
Chew said she believed Wilhem won by plurality but would not
know for sure until Wednesday after she checked with state
In the Grandfalls City Council election the winners of the
three at large seats were Sue Mullins with 84 votes, Thomas
Ed Kuhn with 82 and Jessie Heard with 55.
The other city council candidates and the votes they
received were Donald Howell with 48, Lawana Johnston with
44, Jeannie Crawford with 42 and Jim Calhill Jr. with 15.
In the Grandfalls-Royalty ISD School Board election Jim
Pulis won the Place 1 seat with 78 votes, Jeff Kester won
the Place 2 seat with 82 votes and Otho Lee Pierce won Place
3 with 49 votes.
Other candidates, the place they sought and the votes they
received are: Place 1 - Randy R. Brandenburg, 26, and Ray
Bookmiller, 40; Place 2 - Mary Everett, 61; and Place 3 -
Mark Kuhn, 46, Raquel Mull, 19, and Randy Mitchell
Patsy Carrasco received 108 votes to win the District 2
Monahans school board election. Her opponent, Jessie
Aguilar, received 40 votes. John Sconiers was unopposed for
District 4 and an election was not held.
The question as to whether the public wanted the county to
have the option of leasing Ward Memorial Hospital was
answered with a resounding No as the measure was defeated
364 to 255 Saturday.
The vote was rather an non-issue since the only company
seeking to lease the hospital withdrew its offer and the
hospital board entered into an agreement Friday to allow
Lubbock Methodist Hospital to manage Ward Memorial. Lubbock
Methodist already manages Reeves County Hospital in Pecos.
When county commissioners canvassed the vote Tuesday
Monahans County Judge Sam Massey said another Tennessee
company interested in leasing the hospital had contacted him
wanting to know how the vote turned out. Massey said he told
them they would not be talking.
Commissioner Larry Hunt pointed out that the Grandfalls
precinct was the only precinct that voted to lease out the
Barstow did not hold elections as the two incumbent city
councilmen Robert Ortega and Benny Avila were unopposed as
was Salvador Villalobos who was the sole candidate for mayor.
City-wide garage sale goes over big
By RICK L. SMITH
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - Organizers of the first City-Wide
Garage Sale held at Ward County Coliseum Saturday couldn't
be happier with the turnout.
"It was absolutely great," said Tammy Swiegert, Monahans
Chamber of Commerce Director.
To begin with, the 20 16'x12' booth spaces sold out fast at
$30 apiece and many people who wanted a booth were turned
away due to of lack of space.
The event opened to the public at 8 a.m. and by 8:45 people
were lined up outside the coliseum door waiting for others
to leave so they could get in, Swiegert said.
Monahans Senior Health Center sold out of its products by
9:30 a.m. Heavenly Scents sold candles at $15 each as fast
as they could serve them up.
"Profit margins were between $200 and $800 per booth,"
according to Swiegert.
The sale was scheduled to run through 6 p.m. but by 3 p.m.
almost all the booths had sold out of merchandise.
"We were so happy with it, and the people who had booths
were very excited," she said.
Swiegert said the sale was planned as an event that would
help keep shoppers in Monahans and generate more dollars
into the local economy. She estimated that at least 2,500
walked through the coliseum buying merchandise.
"And I think almost everyone walked out with some kind of
purchase," she said.
In fact, the event was such a success there are plans to
make the event even bigger and better. Instead of being an
annual event as it was originally conceived, the City-Wide
Garage Sale may become a County-Wide Garage Sale held at
least twice a year.
"We may hold the next sale just before school starts in
August," she said. "We might make that sale county-wide
because we would like all the cities of the county to feel
more a part of the chamber and its events," Swiegert said.
"We want the event to become well known throughout all of
The next events the chamber will participate in are the May
16 Fajita Cook-Off and Freedom Fest July 3 and 4. The
chamber will sponsor a motorcycle parade and show for the
Freedom Fest, Swiegert said. There are generally 100 to 150
booths of merchandise, games, food and promotions as part of
the annual Freedom Fest event, she said.
MHS exit level TAAS scores "outstanding"
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - Monahans High School 10th-grade
students taking the exit level Texas Assessment of Academic
Skills (TAAS) test have shown steady improvement the last
four years, recording the best scores this year, according
to information released by the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD.
"The results at Monahans High School, and the TAAS scores,
are no less than outstanding for this year's 10th-grade exit
level students," said Thomas Johnson, MWP ISD Assistant
In order to graduate high school, all Texas students must
meet minimum expectations of at least 70 percent in math,
reading and writing on the TAAS test. The exit level exam is
first given to all 10th-grade students in the spring of each
This year, 90 percent of Monahans students taking the exit
level TAAS test met the minimum standards. That compares
with 71 percent in 1997, 60 percent in 1996 and 51 percent
In reading, 94 percent of the test takers met minimum
standards this year, compared to 86 percent in 1997, 81
percent in 1996 and 68 percent in 1995.
In the writing portion of the exit level TAAS test 98
percent met minimum standards this year compared to 87
percent in 1997, 85 percent in 1996 and 91 percent in 1995.
"These are excellent scores by anyone's standards," Johnson
Several conditions have contributed to MHS student
improvement on the exit level TAAS, according to Johnson.
"First of all, this year's 10th graders took the tests very
seriously and did a fine job on test day," he said. "These
10th graders took the instructional preparation they have
received, from not only this year's instructors but also the
instructors from the last several years, to heart and the
improved scores demonstrate the hard work by both the
students and teachers.
"A new attitude the last several years from students,
teachers, administrators, counselors, parents and all school
personnel to work as a team to not only improve our TAAS
scores but to also improve student success and achievement
in all areas of school life is a major factor as well."
Johnson said improved text materials were also a
contributing factor in student improvement on the exit level
"We applaud these great scores and strive to maintain
quality student achievement and school life in all Monahans
schools," Johnson said.
Hospital Board trustee loses lawsuit
By RICK L. SMITH
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - A charge that Ward County Hospital
Board Trustee Glenn Vance altered the odometer reading on a
vehicle he sold in 1996 cost Vance $17,887 last month.
In a civil suit brought against Vance by Michael and Karen
Jones in Ward County 143rd District Court, Judge Bob Parks
ruled that the Joneses be awarded $13,500 in damages plus
attorney's fees and court costs after he heard their case
The Joneses claimed that in September 1996 they purchased a
1994 Ford Mustang from Vance for $9,500. According to court
documents, at the time of purchase the Mustang had an
odometer reading of 42,927 miles. The Joneses claimed that
after purchasing the vehicle they determined that the
odometer had been rolled back by 100,000 miles.
Because of the miles on the Mustang the Joneses determined
the car to be worth only about $4,000. According to court
documents, Vance had apparently purchased the vehicle from
Smithers Scientific Services, Inc. for $6,800.
Last month William Bowden, attorney representing the
Joneses, questioned Vance in an oral deposition about the
documents for the Mustang.
Bowden: "Let me show what has been marked as Plaintiff's
Exhibit No. 1 and does that show the number of miles that
vehicle had on it?"
Vance: "It is not very clear, it looks like 42,989 or
something like that."
Bowden: "And is that the actual miles the vehicle had on it
when you purchased that from Smithers Scientific Services,
Bowden: "Did you alter that document?"
Bowden: "And you showed it to have less miles than it
Bowden: "And you showed it to be 100,000 less than the
vehicle actually had, didn't you sir?"
After Bowden pointed out to Vance that it is a felony to
alter odometer mileage on auto titles and asked Vance if he
wanted to talk to his lawyer about his criminal exposure in
the case Vance's lawyer, Sidney Lyle, requested a break.
After talking to his lawyer Vance returned to questioning
and began to take the Fifth Amendment when asked about his
Bowden: "What was the actual amount on the odometer reading
on this document when you originally signed it after you
received it from Smithers Scientific Services, Inc.?"
Vance: "I take the Fifth Amendment."
Bowden: "Okay, the question is, Mr. Vance, that in
Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 1 it contains your signature, that
you previously testified about that was your signature, and
it indicates that you are swearing to the information in
Vance: "I plead the Fifth Amendment."
Bowden: "Okay, now you previously testified that you altered
that document. My question is what was the mileage indicated
on that document when you received it from Smithers
Scientific Services, Inc.?"
Vance: "I take the Fifth Amendment."
Bowden: "This document contains a statement that says
"Transferees or Buyers Acknowledgment of Above Odometer
Certification" and you signed that, did you not?"
Vance: "I take the Fifth Amendment."
On April 21 Judge Parks ruled in favor of the Joneses
Students advance to state competition
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - Four Monahans High School students
will attend the UIL State Academic Meet in Austin May 8-9.
The students earned the right to compete at state level by
placing in the top three at the AAA Regional Meet at Odessa
College April 25.
Lanny Hayes took first place in Lincoln-Douglas Debate,
Jeremy Sanchez placed second in Persuasive Speaking and
Audrey Cox placed second in Feature Writing.
Mark Murray placed fourth in Headline Writing and will
attend as an alternate.
Sanchez has competed at the state level four times. He
advanced to the State Cross Ex Debate Meet the last three
years and this year he and his partner Liz Henry advanced to
the octofinal round of competition.
This is the second trip to state academic competition for
Hayes and Murray. Hayes placed third in Lincoln-Douglas
Debate at the state meet last year. Murray competed in
Headline Writing at state last year.
Other students from Monahans High also competed well at the
Regional Meet. In addition to those placing, Shawn Hill and
Hayes advanced to the final round of Informative Speaking.
Two other MHS students, Jeromie Oney and Melanie Covensky,
were selected to the Honor Crew for the State Speech and
Debate Meet where they will assist the directors of the
UTPB moves into its 25th year
Monahans, May 7, 1998 - Monahans has 52 students enrolled at
the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, a group of
local business and civic leaders were told during a luncheon
Thursday at the Spotlight.
The luncheon arranged by the Monahans Chamber of Commerce
and hosted by Samann Vest Watkins, a UTPB board member,
dealt with information regarding the fact this is UTPB's
Dr. Kathie Tinney, Dr. Steve Aicinena and N. Kay Bivens
represented UTPB and provided information on the many
programs available and future plans for UTPB.
Tinney spoke of the new student dormitories and other
construction planned in the near future for UTPB. She noted
that the enrollment for the institution is about 2,300 and
the average student age is 30.
One-third of the enrollment is graduate students while the
most used program is for students involved in education. The
next most popular is business while the new criminal justice
program is very popular.
She also noted that UTPB is expanding the continuous
A main concern is that most students need some kind of
economic assistance with 70 percent of the students getting
some type of aid. She pointed out that students should know
many types of scholarships are available plus there is a no
fee application process.
Aicinena spoke of the athletic program now in place for its
third year at the university, featuring ladies volleyball
and softball and soccer for men.
The athletic program has three purposes: 1. Enhance student
life; 2. Get recognition; and 3. Help recruit students.
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.