On Monday, August 19, 2019, U.S. Representative, Adam Kinzinger (R-IL 16), toured Perry Memorial Hospital with Perry’s CEO/President, Annette Schnabel. Rep. Kinzinger promised a visit to Perry during a June meeting with Annette and Deb May-Rickard, VP Nurse Administration in Washington D.C. He was interested in seeing Perry’s facilities and initiatives, and learning more about challenges facing rural healthcare.
While on tour, he visited the Family Health Clinic to view the new building construction, to be completed in February 2020, and the ICU department. Much of the discussion centered around the growing need for telehealth services as a way to meet rural community health needs and the need for funding to establish and maintain these services.
While visiting the Ambulatory Care Department, they discussed the growing outpatient focus of healthcare. Annette said, “Outpatient services are growing, and 86% of Perry services include surgery, emergency, observation and diagnostic testing performed on an outpatient basis. Perry is challenged with limited space to deliver this care in a facility that was built for inpatient care.”
Lastly, Annette and Rep. Kinzinger stopped in the “60’s building,” the only Perry facility remaining untouched since it was built. The building cannot be used for patient care as it does not meet current life safety codes. The financial cost of demolition prevents the hospital from repurposing the space.
After the tour, Rep. Kinzinger stated that he would look into what grants are available to help support some of Perry's needs, as well as continuing to learn about and fight for policies that make it easier for rural hospitals to adapt and grow.
Dr. Mark Williams and Rep. Adam Kinzinger discuss how changes in insurance policies are affecting elective general surgery.