13 May 2015
Peace Harbor ranked among the top in the nation
For the second time in four years, Peace Harbor Medical Center has been ranked as being in the top 100 “Critical Access” hospitals in the country. Chief Administrative Officer Rick Yecny says I-Vantage Health Analytics reviews public information about 13-hundred of the country’s smaller health facilities each year.
Rick Yecny – “It’s like 62 measures they look at. It’s quality of care, patient experience, market share, health of your population. Uh, it looks at your charge structure, your cost structure; your financial viability.”
It’s recognition, he admits, that Peace Harbor may not have always deserved.
Rick Yecny – “I mean, I’ll be very honest and say we’ve been very average in patient experience for a long long time. So to see this start moving up is really good.”
Yecny released the news during a week when health care facilities are being highlighted across the country.
Rick Yecny – “You know, it’s national hospital week, but it should be national health care week because we are so much bigger than just a hospital and that’s the way things are going to continue to be I think.”
Peace Harbor ranked in the top eight percent using criteria that included care, patient and family experience and reduced cost.
Oregon Auto Tech Competition Complete
Two students at Siuslaw High School are among the top auto tech students in the state. Jeff Anderson and Kyle Jones finished in fourth place at last week’s Triple-A/Ford Auto Skills Competition at Mt. Hood Community College.
The pair had a limited time to find and repair a series of intentional flaws in a 2015 Ford Fiesta.
A team from Vale found and fixed the most problems to win the state competition. They’ll represent Oregon in the national competition this summer in Dearborn, Michigan.
Teams from Springfield High School and McNary High School in Keizer were second and third.
Elected officials ride Rhody Express
If you want to catch the ear of a Florence city councilor while you catch a ride you’ll want to mark your calendar for the second Wednesday of each month.
Florence Mayor Joe Henry and the four city councilors have committed to riding the Rhody Express… one at a time… to hear suggestions and answer questions.
Today it’s councilor Susy Lacer. She’ll be riding the bus between 10:30 and 12:30.
It won’t be free though. You’ll have to pay the normal fare… one dollar for a single trip or two-dollars for the entire day.
The Rhody Express runs on an hourly basis between ten AM and six PM weekdays in Florence. Information on the routes and other services are available at the City of Florence website.
May is Wildfire Awareness Month
Even with this week’s rain, fire officials say it very well could be a difficult fire season.
Oregon State Fire Marshall Jim Walker passed out some tips on how to safely burn your yard debris.
The first safety tip is avoidance. Walker says if you have the alternative to chip, mulch or recycle your trimmings, that’s the best way to go. In fact, if you live inside city limits, that’s your only alternative.
Outside the city, if you do burn, Walker suggests keeping it small. Know the weather forecast: never burn on windy days. Keep a clear space around your fire; make sure you have a hose and a shovel nearby; and stay close by until it is completely out.
Fire season, along with burning restrictions, usually come to the Oregon Coast around the 1st of July… but it could come considerably earlier than that this year.
Pooper scoopers and banner carriers sought
The Davis Carnival is in town and that means the annual Rhododendron Festival is gearing up for this weekend. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cal Applebee says there are plenty of parade entries… and special vendors.
Cal Applebee – “We’ve got over 80 parade entries. We’ve got two dozen vendors down on Maple Street; almost a dozen up on Highway 101.”
They are still looking for volunteers to fill a traditional role for the Grand Floral Parade.
Cal Applebee – “We are still looking for young kids, nine to 16, to serve as volunteers for the parade on Sunday to serve as pooper scoopers and banner carriers.”
Each of those volunteers get a free pass to the Davis Carnival on Sunday following the parade. More information on how to sign up can be had at the chamber Visitor Center.
Despite price hike, fuel prices still beat last year’s
The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline hit the three dollar mark this week. But, locally, it’s still considerably less.
Drivers in Florence are paying and average cash price of $2.85 a gallon this week.
Marie Dodds with Triple-A of Oregon says even with increases over the past two weeks, Oregonians are still paying about a dollar a gallon less on average than last year at this time.
She said refinery issues in California, along with increased demand, are combining to keep prices higher on the west coast. In fact, California has the highest average price, followed by Hawaii, Nevada, Alaska and Oregon.
On the other side of the country, South Carolina has the lowest average price… $2.37 a gallon.