The Block Island Times

BIHS board discusses fundraising efforts

By Gloria S. Redlich | Sep 17, 2013

Ed. Note: The following article contains information from the Block Island Health Services Board meeting of Aug. 26. Publishing has been delayed due to space considerations.

The Block Island Health Services (BIHS) Board is seeking to ratchet up its fundraising efforts.

Sue Hagedorn, of the BIHS Fundraising Committee of Block Island Health Services, reported at its most recent board meeting that the group was exploring new efforts to raise funds for the island’s only medical facility.

“We met the day after the last board meeting and decided, with summer coming to an end, we might have smaller parties with [community] leaders and with residents who have resources they might share. [It] was a get-together of people to discuss the situation of how to move forward on fundraising and about finances,” said Hagedorn.

She added, “We recognized that we needed to increase the endowment and that we would need someone on island with significant assets to draw together others [who might help] increase the endowment.”

Board Chairman Bob Fallon felt the committee should “try to have a few more of these [parties].”

A discussion followed on how the state’s Open Meetings Laws might impact committee actions leading the group to agree to examine the BIHS bylaws.

Fallon said the new board has a commitment “to abide by transparency” and added that the group must maintain those commitments.

He felt it would be important “to look at areas of the bylaws that need review.”

Concurring, Board member Kay Lewis said, “It’s important to have a member of the Rhode Island Bar help us.” Executive Director Barbara Baldwin said that she had “already identified someone.”

Ken Lacoste suggested that an attorney look at the current bylaws. “Wouldn’t we be putting the cart before the horse? Shouldn’t the bylaws be reviewed by legal experts first? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to look at it from a legal perspective first and then revise it,” Lacoste asked.

Board member Al Casazza agreed that it was important “to work within the framework of the law,” particularly to confirm the center was in compliance for maintaining a 501(c)3 (non-profit) status. Member Bill McCombe suggested that “all board members examine the bylaws and determine what we need.”

After further discussion, the board created a subcommittee of Baldwin, Fallon, Hinthorn and McCombe to examine the bylaws. Weisbroat suggested consulting former board member Steve Davidson about the bylaws since he had been involved in these discussions in the past.

Executive Director’s report

Executive Director Barbara Baldwin reported on preparations for the transition to electronic medical record-keeping (EMR), which she said was well under way. The work largely fell, she said, on Dr. Janice Miller and Nurse Practitioner Liz Dyer. Hagedorn suggested they should be compensated for the extra time they put in gathering data.

The information being gathered on patients includes a breakdown of how many are on Medicare. Currently, Miller conceded she had been very busy documenting these figures as well as other information.

Baldwin noted that she had attended a meeting with Tracy Fredericks, case worker of the Mental Health Task Force, and with representatives from South Shore Mental Health Services, at which she learned that South Shore had the funding to provide mental health services on Block Island. They were in the process of looking for a case worker, she said, to come out to the island on alternate weeks.

In reviewing the “Fun Run,” a recent fundraiser, Baldwin said the race brought in $5,000, slightly more than last year. She was very pleased about the event, commenting, “It is a family event and promotes a healthy lifestyle.”

Stepping up outreach

“We have created a beautiful new pamphlet, the idea is that we make the services of the medical center known in an outreach to as many organizations as possible, describing what health services do; we are stepping up outreach,” said Fundraising Committee member Sue Hagedorn. She also referred to a recent gathering during which the fundraising committee reached out to realtors in an appeal for help.

Of the pamphlet, Hagedorn said, “We’ve printed just a small first batch; there’ll be another version.”

Membership committee chair Kay Lewis reported that the membership drive was “doing very, very well,” adding that “costs for this campaign were substantially reduced.”

Finance Committee chair Pete Tweedy reported that membership dues had brought in $11,400 between January and July this year. He asked Lewis if the membership committee was “planning to do a repeat membership drive,” which he thought “useful.” She said there were no plans to do so at the time.

According to Tweedy, “The audit was dragging along much more slowly than I would like. The auditing firm is moving along too slowly.” He added that he was in the process of interviewing auditors in consideration of making a change next year.

The next meeting is set for Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. at Town Hall.

This article has been amended from the version that appeared in print Friday, Aug. 13. A paragraph containing incorrect information about Nurse Practitioner liz Dyer's MediCare reimbursement has been omitted.

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