UVMC president discusses renovation projects, COVID impact with Miami County Commissioners

By Haylee Pence

[email protected]

TROY – The Miami County Commissioners met Tuesday, Dec. 18, and heard three presentations, including a presentation from Kevin Harlan, president of Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC).

During 2021, the UVMC saw several upgrades and reconstruction. One of which was the roofing throughout the hospital, which Harlan said “came in under budget.” Another project completed was the renovation of the ICU. Also in 2021, UVMC received accreditation for their Level II Cath Lab along with full accreditation for a Level III Trauma Center.

According to Harlan, “2022 will be another big year with a multi-year operating room renovation.” Two operating rooms will be out of service at a time during the renovation for a period of “approximately six months.” UVMC will also be purchasing a new cardiac catherization lab (cath lab), which will be moved from the second floor to the first floor. The special care nursery is also set for renovation during 2022, which “hasn’t been renovated in the 23-year history” of the hospital.

The commissioners asked Harlan about the turnover of workers within the hospital. Harlan said, “The turnover for physicians is the same as any other year, while the turnover for nurses and other staff is much higher than they would like.”

On the topic of COVID, Harlan said that as of 8 a.m. Dec. 18, “There was only one available bed, which has been consistent for about two months.”

UVMC “currently has 24 patients with COVID, with six of those in the emergency room,” according to Harlan.

Joel Smith with the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) provided the commissioners with a COVID update for the county. There has been a total of 22,806 confirmed cases in Miami County with 389 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The current case rate is 1,669.1 cases per 100,000 residents, which has doubled since the last update three weeks ago but is lower than the state’s current case rate. In one week’s time, there was 2,032 cases and 1,285 hospitalizations. Approximately 78% of confirmed cases are the omicron variant, 22% of cases are the delta variant, and the remainder is other variants. Approximately 83% of the hospitalizations are of unvaccinated individuals while 84% of the deaths are of unvaccinated individuals. The estimate of vaccinated population within Miami County is 45%.

Also on Tuesday, the commissioners approved two amendments to two different resolutions, including an amendment to assign Commissioner Gregory Simmons to the Central Communication Board. The other is to amend the source of funding for the WDC Group LLC for the reconstruction of the grand stand at the Miami County Fairgrounds. They authorized the bid date for the 2022 Miami County Bridge Package for Jan. 20 for the reconstruction of the Sugar Grove Circle Hill Bridge and the Hill Road Bridge.