January 2, 2017 Minutes
Meeting began at 6:30 PM. Members present: Cynthia Shumpert, Paul Shumpert, Sylvia Washington, George Faile, Lee Jennings, Willie Ree Howell. Tommy Harrison present as a guest.
Paul presented that Dr.’s Tim & Lori Cahill plan to stay at BMC for 3 years and possibly more, if GFF can support them. Lori plans to work part time starting in 2017. Their family will take a short furlough January 9, 2017-March 2017. They has been asked to work on mentoring and discipleship at BMC, particularly with the Ghanaian physicians. They both have asked that they can take a day a week to undergo language study in Ghana.
Tommy Harrison was recently in Nalerigu, assisting in installing the 2 autoclaves that were donated to BMC 2+ years ago. He sees a great need to have the hospital find equipment in Ghana that is of lower technology, and easier to maintain. He is willing to go to Ghana and visit several hospitals in Accra and Kumasi, to find out how they manage systems such as IV fluids and oxygen, as well as where they purchase items such as commercial washing machines. The Board members agreed this was a good thing for Tommy to do. He will report back to us with his findings.
Tommy also feels BMC needs a better water system, as the nearest well is close to the river, and piping is often cut out and stolen. He recommends a new well be drilled close to House 6, and a large black water tank be installed to store water. An estimate of $15,000-$20,000 was given No decision was made on this at this time.
Problems and cost of generator transfer switch were not determined. Attempts will be made again to see if the issue has been resolved, and /or the cost to fix it. Tommy ran the new generator while he was there, and it appeared to be working fine.
Individual electric lines are being strung to the individual houses on the compound, as the Ghana Health Service will only pay for electricity to the hospital. Concern was voiced about the houses losing power when VRA is not operational. Theoretically, the houses will be connected to the generator; Paul and Cindy will check on this with Francis Ackom while in Ghana later this month.
According to Tommy, most of the houses are not currently occupied; many need work done on them. A housing agreement needs to be put in place before any repairs/construction/additions will be paid for by GFF.
Other issues brought up by Tommy include: there is a need for a high pressure washer, but he states when there was one there, it was often used for personal use; a planing machine is needed by maintenance-same issue; the roof is leaking in the Theatre, needs repair.
When money is sent to BMC for specifics such as funding for the Nutrition Center, fuel for generator and public health vehicles-little or no documentation is ever sent to GFF about how the funds are spent. It was discussed that possibly the money would be sent to our housing administrator, Francis Ackom, who would distribute it. It was agreed to discuss this with Francis while Paul and Cindy are in Ghana this month.
Reimbursement to the Ghanaian physicians was instituted, but it was difficult to determine which doctors received the money, as the number of doctors present has changed. One doctor left without notice to fulfill military commitment. One doctor is on extended maternity leave, and is hoping to enter an OB/GYN fellowship when leave is completed. The question of whether to reimburse other personnel was discussed. It was agreed that at this time only physicians and medical assistants be given a stipend, with the physicians receiving $2000/month to be divided among them, and the medical assistants to receive ½ that amount. It will be determined how many Mas there are at this time.
In other business:
$1000 was given to INMED for medical students to attend the annual conference in Kansas City, MO.
Samaritan’s Purse sent a representative to all facilities where they place doctors and students. It was determined that there were some security issues at BMC which need to be fixed in order for them to continue to send support. Most of these were minor, such as uniforms for guards, flashlights for guards, and more security at the entrances to the hospital compound in the form of gate repair/installation. Attempts have been made to obtain an estimate for this work from BMC administration, with no response up to this time. Francis Ackom will be asked to see if he can get this estimate; it was agreed that GFF would help fund this.
GFF is financing a container of medical supplies being sent from Texas by Dr. Jim Howard. $6200 has been sent to the shipping company; Johnny Owusu in Ghana will assure the container going through customs, and will be reimbursed by GFF for this. Francis Ackom will be responsible for seeing that the equipment and supplies go to the proper departments.
In 2016, the Charity Fund spent $40,000 providing care for patients from BMC who needed more specialized surgery in Kumasi. Specific reports about each trip are available, if requested.
A Nissan 4WD truck was purchased for use on the compound and to transport patients to Kumasi, as well as to transport volunteers to and from Tamale airport; cost was approximately $20,000. BMC vehicles are not consistently available for this.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.