Northfield Hospital Board Meeting: May 2019


Steve O’Neill called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. The Agenda was approved.

An item was removed from the Consent Agenda, and then it was passed.   The Agenda included Minutes for the  April Board Meeting, and aGovernance & Planning Committee Meetin;, Revisions to the Expedited Credentialing Policy, Revisions to the Medical Staff Bylaws, and an Asphalt Replacement Project.  Board members sought more information on the MN Pay Equity Compliance Report that had been removed from the Consent Agenda.  After some questions, the Administration offered to provide a more detailed description at a future Board meeting.  The MN Pay Equity report was then passed.



  1. Hospital Chief of Staff—Dr. Tom Holt. The Chief Medical Officer will be added as a voting member to the Medical Executive Committee. Holt presented the applications for Medical Staff Membership/Privileges. Applications approved.
  2. CMO Report—Dr. Jeff Meland. No report.
  3. City Report—Council Person Brad Ness. The 2020 budget process is underway. There will be a second reading of the Auxiliary Building Unit ordinance next week. Bridgewater Township is considering an application to incorporate.


Strategic Discussion

Strategic Plan Refresh Summary –Steve Underdahl.  Underdahl reviewed the primary areas of focus covered at the retreat: Surviving and Thriving, Social Determinants of Health, & Customer-facing Technologies.  The group decided that the focus of the 3-year Strategic Plan were still relevant and:

a) No money, no mission.

b) We need to take chances, but minimize the risks.  

c) The core competencies at NH&C are surgery and OB/GYN

A weakness, mental health and addiction, was cited in addressing the social determinants of health. The issue of customer-facing-technology must be addressed now rather than waiting for a resolution of the electronic health records problems.  What new technologies do our customers want?  What do they need?   A variety of ways to make Board meetings more effective (and shorter) were discussed.


Presentations/Discussion/Action Items

Long Term Care Center Update—Tammy Hayes.  The quality of care in the LTC Center is very good!  The Center received 4 or 5 stars, out of 5 possible, in all categories.  The facility is above the state average in all categories on the Quality of Life Survey.  The facility ranked 2ndout of 352 MN Nursing Homes in 2018 and above average in all categories in the Family Satisfaction Survey.  The LTCC has found it difficult to hire LPNs in this market, and so is staffed with a higher ratio of RNs than the national and state average.


Executive and Committee Reports

  1. CEO Report—Steve Underdahl. a) Strategic—Stanford Medical has responded to the concerns expressed earlier by NH&C regarding the electronic health records software. Discussion continues. The Northfield City Council has approved the orthopedic office project in Faribault.  The Women’s Health Fair on May 9thwas well attended.  b) Operations—The low-volume/low revenue months experienced by NH&C are repeated statewide, according to an article in the Minneapolis StarTrib.  The expense-rebasing project has resulted in 7 layoffs; further staff reduction was done by attrition and FTE reductions.  A revenue recapture effort is underway in some medical departments.   c) Policy—The MN Provider Tax was extended, as hoped, but the rate was cut from 2% to 1.8%.
  2. Financial Report—Scott Edin. April was a tough month, and May is not looking any better. Inpatient days were 21% under budget and Operating Income was a negative $111,000, that was $363,000 under budget for the month.  Income From Operations is almost one million dollars below budget thus far in 2019.
  3. Community Relations Committee Report—CC Linstroth. The committee meeting was brief due to conflicts with other committee meetings.The committee plans to change its meeting time.
  4. Budget and Finance Committee Report—Fred Rogers.The committee discussed changes in internal controls recommended by the auditors, and reviewed the financial situation.


The Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. and the Board went into closed session to discuss the annual evaluation of NH&C President/CEO Steve Underdahl.

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