EOMC to host health care needs meetings

Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center will hold four community meetings in October through December to assess health care needs in the area, EOMC officials announced.The assessment is required every three years under new health care legislation, according to an EOMC press release.Community input is needed to ensure the success of the project, which will run from October into December, the release said.The meetings will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the dates listed below. The first meeting will provide a more in-depth overview of what will occur during the process.• Oct. 3: Overview of community health needs assessment process, economic impact of health sector, and distribute surveys.• Nov. 7: Community survey results and primary care physician demand analysis presentation.• Dec. 5: Discussion of local health indicators and outcomes and identify health priorities.• Dec. 12: Further discuss health priorities along with action items to address priorities and wrap up process.Materials presented along with the final report and implementation plan will be available on the Oklahoma Rural Health Works website, www.okruralhealthworks.org, after each meeting.The steering committee will include about 20 community leaders selected due to their effective relationships with important demographic groups. For more information, please visit www.eomchospital.com or www.okruralhealthworks.org.   EOMC has partnered with the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to facilitate the assessment and is working with the Chamber of Commerce, LeFlore County EMS and LeFlore County Health Department.Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center is licensed to operate 82 acute care beds and has an average daily census of 28 patients. Dr. William Willis serves as chief of staff. LeFlore County Commissioners Ceb Scott, Lance Smith and Derwin Gis appoint the board of trustees to the Hospital Authority. Members of the Board are Aud Balentine, chairman, Wister; Wayne Hoffman, treasurer, Cameron; Mary Helen Lucas, secretary, Poteau; Dr. Ken Hammond, member, Poteau; Mike Andrews, member, Heavener; Jeff Baker, member, Heavener; and Danielle Dedmon, Spiro. Dean Warren and Ranada Adams serve as legal counsel to the board of trustees.