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LCO Health Center Director's Report to the Membership

The following report was presented at the General Membership Meeting of Nov. 2 at the Sevenwinds Event Center

By Dr. Gary Girard

LCOHC Interim Director


The LCO Health Center Finance department is working on the 2020 budget approval process with TGB. We have recently been granted access to the MOMS financial recording system and have contracted with a financial consultant to complete the FY2014 FQHC reimbursement report by the deadline of December 31, 2019. The consultant has also agreed to complete the FY2015 FQHC report by the end of March of 2020. The consultant will be training Marcus Carley in this process so Marcus will be able to complete FQHC reports going forward. These reports are critical to our budget process as they represent about 15% of our total budget. We have promoted Billy Jo Taylor to the position of Interim Finance Director with the expectation that she will be able to be promoted to the finance director position with adequate training and consult support.


The clinic employees are excited about the plans for the new clinic. We look forward to expanded services including a possible urgent care and detox/ & residential facilities. Ideas for improvement include improved work flow, promoting the home medical model, and reduced patient turnaround time.

We are in the process of adding a Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT) Coordinator/Director. The person will work closely with our providers to develop a plan for the position regarding policies and procedures. This position is in part a result of the Tribal Action Plan response to the Opioid Crisis.

We are currently advertising and looking for two more medical providers. One will be a WALK-IN provider who will handle walk in patients. We currently triage Walk-In patients based on the level of care needed. The other will be a full time provider with regularly scheduled patients.

We have just recently applied for ‘The Division of Care and Treatment Services… NARCAN® Direct Program. This program provides NARCAN® at no cost to participating agencies through an order on demand system. NARCAN® is the nasal spray formulation of naloxone, a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. The application deadline is November 15, 2019. Visit the DHS website for more information on program requirements and to submit an application.’ We will be getting Narcan kits at no cost which are vital to saving lives and have already done so on a number of occasions within our community. Our pharmacist Mr. James Strunk will be trained in this process.


The Dental department has agreed to spend the next 3 months working on the ‘waiting list’. These patients are in need of major dental work, are often in pain, and have been waiting for care for several months. In order to address this concern, we are in the process of hiring a dentist to add to our clinic. We have a dental chair and equipment which is not currently being used and we have been referring out dental patients to other clinics. Our goal is to provide that service here at our own clinic.


Our chiropractic departments schedule is full and I am getting reports of happy patients especially in chronic pain management.


We have engaged in ‘OPrevent,’ an approach to healthy eating which will be in our store. Kay Searfoss is providing this support. She will be teaching about managing diabetes through healthy eating habits.

This is just a start but we are striving to improve community health in all areas.

Tribal Consultation:

As Interim Health Director, I attended the End of the Year DHS Tribal Consultation last Tuesday in Wabeno, Wisconsin. Areas for discussion included TGB taking a stand against E-Cigarettes and Vaping by banning the sale and use of in our tribal entities. Also discussed, was providing counseling support in Sawyer County Jail, which is currently not billable to become a billable support service to reduce recidivisms. Finally, we discussed the problem of lack of support for tribal programs north of highway 8, i.e. Shamsha Retry Grant, a 5 year, $450,000 per year grant to address opioid crisis.


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