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April 18, 2013 Issue

Art guild holds exhibit
Hospital future taking shape
Attacking poverty head on

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Art guild holds exhibit

By Faye Ellison
Staff writer

A world of painting, wood, photography, pottery and other art, will come to fruition on Friday, as the Arts Guild of Jefferson County celebrates its 10th Annual Spring Arts Show in downtown Louisville.

Beginning with an idea amongst a few area citizens, Jefferson County artists have found an annual event to show their work.

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Thirty-five artists have submitted 125 pieces to display at three locations for the annual show, including The Fire House Gallery, The Gatherings and another downtown location, the former Old Capital Café building, April 19-21. A piece from each artist will be on display at The Fire House Gallery from April 24 to April 28 during their regular operation hours.

“What an exciting and eventful 10 years this has been,” Arts Guild President Donna Borders said. “As president of the Arts Guild for the past few years, it has been a pleasure to be in the Guild. The artists and patrons who make up the group are interesting and entertaining in all of our endeavors.”

Artwork will include oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media paintings, pottery, photography, nature collages, woodwork and miniatures, with refreshments at each venue Friday night.

The show will be held on Friday, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Charter members Claire Irwin and Willena Evans will be remembered at the weekend show, with a copy of the original charter and both ladies will have a piece of artwork in the show.

“The Arts Guild has helped artists and an appreciation for art in this community flourish,” Borders said.

The Arts Guild sponsor and create several activities and events including Arts Guild monthly meetings, two major exhibits each year, art camps for kids in the summer, a Marketplace at Twisted Sisters for artists to sell their work, working in cooperation with The Fire House Gallery for exhibits and various events, the Music in the Parks series, the Photography Club and workshops for artists. The Arts Guild has also received grants from The Georgia Council for the Arts.

Also on Friday night, former local Pete Love and Jefferson County High Schools senior Bethany Kathleen will perform in downtown at The Market House.

“Working with the Arts Guild has truly been a community effort with the mission to offer art and an appreciation of art to all of our community,” Borders said. “That has been achieved as we look forward to the upcoming weekend of the Spring Exhibit with anticipation and excitement.”

“It’s truly been a privilege and honor to work with the Arts Guild as president. I look forward to growth and expansion as we go forward. Our community as a whole looks forward to the Arts Guild exhibits with excitement and anticipation. Come enjoy the fun and all of the art.”




Hospital future taking shape

By Parish Howard
Editor/Publisher

As of April 1, Jefferson Hospital is under new management and for the first time in its history, will be considered a “for-profit” hospital.

The Hospital Authority of Jefferson County and the city of Louisville recently announced that it has entered into an interim Management Agreement with Pioneer Health Services (PHS) of Magee, Miss.


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“We are thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Jefferson Hospital, and we look forward to doing the work necessary to build a bright future for healthcare in this community,” said Steven M. Fontaine, MHA, Pioneer’s vice president of hospital operations.

Pioneer Health Services is a rural healthcare company with experience in the Critical Access Hospital industry. It employees more than 2,000 people in rural communities as it owns, operates and manages nine CAH facilities in five states.

“Our mission is to provide superior and compassionate healthcare services to rural communities,” said Joseph S. McNulty, III, Pioneer’s president, founder and CEO. “That’s our vision as a company, and the same holds true for our goals here at Jefferson Hospital. This community deserves nothing less.”

For over a year the Jefferson Hospital has been reviewing its options and searching for a partner to help it manage its way to a more financially secure future while continuing to provide healthcare to the citizens of Jefferson County.

In August of last year it began formally working with Stroudwater Associates who facilitated the search process. In September, hospital executives met with community stakeholders and public leaders and told them that Stroudwater’s role was to “assess options and seek interested partners to address the uncertain future of Jefferson Hospital and healthcare in the community.”

Stroudwater determined that while performance improvement initiatives at the hospital could be helpful, given the current economic climate, they would be insufficient to secure the “future viability of the hospital.”

According to Jefferson Hospital CEO Ralph Randall, 19 potential partners were contacted, including representatives of local providers, national firms, not-for-profits and for-profit agencies.

Randall said that 10 requested confidentiality agreements to exchange information, but only three parties submitted formal proposals to the authority.

Randall said Jefferson Hospital’s authority felt PHS was a good fit for the hospital, especially considering its experience in rural communities.

“This company is for profit, but it is privately held,” Randall said. “The authority was very comfortable with these folks. Their culture is similar to ours. Because they are rural health providers they know that it is different out in rural Georgia. The recruiting issues are different. The salary issues are different. And they’re willing to do what it takes to make the hospital successful.”

In March Bill Easterlin, the hospital authority’s vice chairman, appeared before the Jefferson County commission to share information on the hospital’s financial struggles and ask for assistance.

“For the last several years it’s been clear that while we’ve been providing awfully good care there we’ve been losing money doing so. To the point where we are dangerously close to running out of money,” Easterlin said.

In calendar year 2012, declining revenues and increases in uncompensated care led the hospital to post losses of over $2.4 million.

Last month the Jefferson County commission voted unanimously to provide the hospital with $200,000 a year for the next five years to help offset its uncompensated indigent care, which the hospital reports providing around $1.2 million a year to the community.

According to Randall, there are still many details to work out over the coming months, but he feels secure that PHS will be able to work with the authority to ensure the health care needs of the community are met.

“Pioneer and the Authority will work together to develop an operating agreement and lease of the facility,” the hospital recently said in a press release. “This agreement will have to be reviewed and approved by the state Attorney General’s office since it involves a public entity.”

Randall is expected to remain with the hospital during the transition.

For more information on Pioneer Health Services, visit www.phscorporate.com




Attacking poverty head on

By Parish Howard
Editor/Publisher

Through their involvement in a local industry, a non-profit is poised to invest millions of dollars in Jefferson County in the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty.

On April 27, Community Wealth Through Forestry, created by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, will be hosting The Jefferson Opportunity Enterprise Expo. A free event, the expo will be held at Jefferson County High School from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will offer two training hours to local foresters and loggers who register.


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“The purpose of the JOE Expo, really, is to bring the community together to explore ideas on how to build a self-reliant community and to nurture self-reliant people. That’s the primary focus,” said Judy Jones, Community Wealth Through Forestry’s liason.

The endowment has pledged to reinvest its profits, some $13-$18 million over the next 20 years, into Jefferson County. Through this expo, local citizens can hear success stories from people in other communites.

“We hope that people will be exposed to the highest level of thinking about family asset creation from the speakers we’re bringing in,” Jones said. “They’re going to talk about how they were able to open their own businesses. It’s about decision making. It’s about saving for your child’s education. It’s about how individuals help a community create wealth.”

Free registration begins at 8:30 a.m. At 9:30, the first program will provide self-help strategies for pathways out of poverty.

At 10:30, a panel will discuss success stories, and opportunities for economic success for local families.

A lunch will be provided.

There will be two different classes after lunch, one on emerging forestry markets and another on family economic success.

“The day is going to be about how can we, as a community, encourage and teach financial self-reliance,” Jones said. “We are going to hear about opportunities other people have found and made use of and hopefully find ways to apply these successes to Jefferson County.” found and made use of and hopefully find ways to apply these successes to Jefferson County.”

Members of a listening committee will take the ideas voiced by presenters and the community back to the board who will be determining how best to invest the millions projected back into Jefferson County

For more information or to register for training hours, please contact Jones at (706) 832-0792 or judyrjones@gmail.com.







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