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Business continues to pick up at Artesia General Hospital

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Artesia General Hospital CEO Bob Tyk listens during Monday’s meeting of the Artesia Special Hospital District Board of Directors. (Mike Smith Photo)

ARTESIA — Business continues to pick up for Artesia General Hospital.

AGH’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Tyk gave an update on January happenings during Monday afternoon’s monthly meeting of the Artesia Special Hospital District Board of Directors.

“January was a very busy month for the hospital, especiallly on the inpatient side,” Tyk said.

Last month they had 103 acute care admissions. During the same time frame last year they had 66 and for the seven month period that ended on Jan. 31 they had 525 acute care admissions. During the same period last year, they had 437.

“On a year-to-date basis, we’re 20 percent ahead of last year,” he said.

He said admissions to AGH’s pyschatric unit are flat when comparing the same time frame however the total number of admissions is up.

“For the month (there’s a) 48 percent increase in admissions (and) year-to-date, (there’s a) 16 percent increase,” he said.

Tyk added that the emergency room has been busy for the past couple of months.

“Last month (there were) 297 more ER visits, 1,300 (for January of this year), for the last couple of years we have averaged around 1,000,” he said.

“The ER has been very busy lately and so 9 percent above last year,” he said.

Mike Deans, board member, asked Tyk what he attributed to the increase in the ER.

“Part of that is the flu,” he said. “I think people are unhappy with the other places and they’re coming to us.”

Tyk added that the Memorial Family Practice Clinic is also busy.

“They have been seeing a lot of patients,” he said.

“Memorial Family Practice has been extremley busy ever since Dr. (Joe) Salgado moved back in there,” Tyk added.

He said January was slow, however things have been picking up this month.

Tyk told the board that the hospital has also recruited a new general surgeon and a new hospitalist.

Tyk was asked by Dennis Maupin, the board’s chair, when more family practioners would be hired.

Tyk deferred to Chief Operating Officer Kai Mcswain.

“We’re actively trying to recruit family practice and pulmonology, those are heavy on our to do list,” he said.

“I don’t want to make excuses, they’re just harder to fill,” he added.

McSwain told the board he would try and have to an update during the March 26 meeting.

“When people in the community say, ‘hey I hear my family practiconer is no longer there.’ What do we tell them in terms of who they should seek out?” Maupin asked.

“They definitely can go to MFP,” Tyk said. “The nurse practioners and the PA’s(physicians assitants) at this point in time, that’s all we’ve got.”

Tyk said another hospitalist has been interviewed, however he has commitments that he has to meet in another part of New Mexico, “for the rest of this calendar year,” Tyk said.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.