Thursday, December 31, 2009

2008 Side-by-Side Comparison Winchester Med'l Center / Lewis-Gale Med'l Center

Winchester Lewis-Gale

Medical Center Medical Center

Winchester, VA   Salem, VA 

2008 2008
Licensed beds: 411 521
Staffed Beds: 411 216
Licensed NISU bassinets: 24 0
Staffed NISU bassinets: 24 0
Staffed normal newborn bassinets: 12 5
Patient Days: 110,475 75,525
Admissions: 25,040 14,548
Full-Time Equivalents - Payroll: 2,293 1,281
Full-Time Equivalents - Contract: 127 75

Gross Inpatient Revenue: 432,444,823 417,369,963
Gross Outpatient Revenue: 306,941,444 312,411,315
Gross Patient Revenue: 739,386,267 729,781,278
Contractual Allowance: 274,805,640 486,372,120
Charity Care: 32,784,775 8,324,335
Indigent Care Trust: -150,000 73,484
Net Patient Revenue: 431,795,852 235,084,823
Other Operating Revenue: 12,202,410 2,626,320

Current Assets: 163,881,986 37,181,175
Net Fixed Assets: 310,687,613 108,487,069
Other Assets: 193,139,219 101,488,072
Total Assets: 667,708,818 247,156,316
Current Liabilities: 40,451,147 23,642,463
Long Term Liabilities: 264,403,642 38,394,875
Total Liabilities: 304,944,789 62,037,338
Fund Balance: 362,764,029 185,118,978

Labor Expense: 180,957,635 87,265,649
Non-Labor Expense: 155,439,049 93,801,134
Capital Expense: 42,785,264 22,936,839
Taxes: $59,183 $10,963,392
Bad-Debt Expense: 21,253,614 13,761,420
Total Operating Expense: 400,494,746 228,728,434
Operating Income: 43,503,516 8,982,709
Net Non-Operating gains: -34,002,605 68,841

Revenue & Gains

in excess of expenses (profits): $9,500,910 $9,051,550
Tax Status: Not-For-Profit For-Profit

Also, review the 2007 comparison ...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

2007 Winchester Medical Center / Lewis-Gale Medical Center side-by-side comparison

To give the citizenry a better understanding of the differences between a "not-for-profit" and "for-profit" hospital, THE PIBBSTER's PUB wants to share with all a side-by-side comparison between Winchester Medical Center and Lewis-Gale Medical Center.

VHS's Regional hospitals 2007 and 2008 comparison

IRS990's for 2008 have NOT been posted yet for a more detailed review of the negative profit variance for Winchester Medical Center.

VHI - From #'s to Knowledge

Warren Mem'l

Winchester Medical Center

Winchester Surgi-Center

Shenandoah Mem'l

Page Memorial

Total Excess of Revenue (Profits) :

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2007 / 2008 Side-By-Side financial comparison of Winchester Medical Center

VHI - From #'s to Knowledge

2007 2008
Licensed beds: 411 411
Staffed Beds: 411 411
Licensed NISU bassinets: 24 24
Staffed NISU bassinets: 24 24
Staffed normal newborn bassinets: 12 12
Patient Days: 110,115 110,475
Admissions: 25,318 25,040
Full-Time Equivalents - Payroll: 2,297 2,293
Full-Time Equivalents - Contract: 140 127

Gross Inpatient Revenue: 409,766,805 432,444,823
Gross Outpatient Revenue: 263,761,298 306,941,444
Gross Patient Revenue: 673,528,103 739,386,267
Contractual Allowance: 234,014,441 274,805,640
Charity Care: 25,752,576 32,784,775
Indigent Care Trust: 0 -150,000
Net Patient Revenue: 413,761,086 431,795,852
Other Operating Revenue: 13,788,825 12,202,410

Current Assets: 207,181,874 163,881,986
Net Fixed Assets: 276,623,250 310,687,613
Other Assets: 220,606,786 193,139,219
Total Assets: 704,411,910 667,708,818
Current Liabilities: 43,025,848 40,451,147
Long Term Liabilities: 207,765,314 264,403,642
Total Liabilities: 250,792,162 304,944,789
Fund Balance: 453,619,748 362,764,029

Labor Expense: 180,988,686 180,957,635
Non-Labor Expense: 145,327,697 155,439,049
Capital Expense: 37,317,267 42,785,264
Taxes: $162,362 $59,184
Bad-Debt Expense: 23,331,159 21,253,614
Total Operating Expense: 387,127,171 400,494,746
Operating Income: 40,422,740 43,503,516
Net Non-Operating gains: 26,195,223 -34,002,605

Revenue & Gains

in excess of expenses (profits): $66,617,963 $9,500,911

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Did this led to the former City Mgr's unexpected departure?

Memo may shed light on money
Did city of Winchester release SAAA from $250,000 pledge?

By Vic Bradshaw
The Winchester Star
December 26, 2009

Winchester — City officials provided and executed a document that may have released a local nonprofit agency from a $250,000 donation pledge.

The document, a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, lists a $550 monthly fee for utility expenses as the agency’s only financial obligation for use of the Active Living and Recreation Center.

2009 Board of Directors
John Hudson, Berryville
Anthony Roper, Berryville
Cheryl Swartz, Winchester
John Graves, Luray
Bruce Arnold, Shenandoah
Fred Hughes, Woodstock
Shelby DePriest, Fort Valley
Ann Crim, Front Royal
Violet Carter, Front Royal
Rebecca Allen, Winchester
Lois Wismer, Winchester
Teresa Strohmeyer, Clear Brook
Walter Quinn, Stephens City
Don H. Shirley, Stephenson
Kenneth Alger III, Stanley
Mary T. Price, Strasburg
Ronald King, Strasburg
Robert Kendall, Winchester

The agency’s $250,000 pledge toward construction of the center is not mentioned in the agreement, which was filed as an exhibit in SAAA’s response to the $500,000 lawsuit the city filed against it on Dec. 3.

“Any prior verbal agreement or other written agreement that is not expressly incorporated into this document is hereby declared null and void,” the agreement states.

It was signed by Helen Cockrell, SAAA’s president and CEO, on Jan. 12, and by J. Brannon Godfrey, then Winchester’s city manager, on Jan. 30.

City offices were closed for the holidays Thursday and Friday, and officials could not be reached for comment.

The filing confirms that the dispute arose when Winchester said the agency would have to pay fees to use the center. The response states that SAAA “clearly believed” that the $250,000 payment up front would be its only financial obligation for the center’s use.

An earlier, unexecuted memorandum of understanding for the project that was submitted as an exhibit, contains no mention of money to be paid by SAAA — except the donation.

The agency’s board of directors rejected a Nov. 18, 2008, agreement that would have required SAAA to pay $550 monthly rent and honor its $250,000 construction contribution pledge, the response states.

But after the city claimed it could not accept the contribution without jeopardizing the tax-free status of construction bonds for the center, it produced an agreement that dropped all references to the construction pledge.

That document was signed by Cockrell and Godfrey.

The lawsuit states that on May 6, city officials told the agency they had determined a way to use the $250,000 without jeopardizing the tax issue on the bonds. SAAA told the city it could turn over $40,000 it has in a building fund, but $100,000 in federal funds secured for the project no longer were available.

For remaining portion of the article, please click on the link below:

The perception is that SAAA is in the right after reading this article and makes you wonder, did this situation led to the former City Manager's premature departure?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fact or Fiction : Berkeley Springs, WV will get a "by-pass" only if ???

Berkeley Springs, WV will get a "by-pass" constructed only if WVU-Healthcare System gets to build the new hospital to replace War Memorial in Morgan County.

[Fact or Fiction]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Youth baseball event backed - Council set to spend $273,000;

Youth baseball event backed

Council set to spend $273,000;
economic impact — $515,000-plus

By Vic Bradshaw
The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Play ball!

That seems to be the message Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth League International officials are likely to get from the City Council next month.

At its monthly work session, the council advanced a resolution to provide funding for the 2011 Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth League International 10-Year-Old World Series.

The event would be held at Yost Field in Jim Barnett Park.

The resolution calls for the city government to spend $40,000 to secure the contract for the event.

It also allocates up to $158,000 for necessary facility improvements, as well as $75,000 from the Department of Parks and Recreation’s fund balance toward operational costs for the event.

The operational costs will be offset at least partly by vendor fees and money from souvenir sales, event-related banquets, and other revenue streams.

The city government has applied for a grant that could pay the $100,000 cost of lighting improvements.

Brad Veach, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said some of the improvements required to acquire the event need to be made soon regardless.

The event should have an economic impact of between $515,000 and $895,000 locally, he said. The city also could be in line to host future events at various levels.

“It’s my understanding that Babe Ruth [officials] really enjoyed what Winchester has to offer when they’ve visited here,” Veach told the council.

For the remainder of the article, follow the link below:

This is great that Winchester is going to host such event BUT I have a few questions:

- What is the breakdown of the kids playing in the Winchester Baseball league for ages 8-12?

    * - How many kids are actually WinchesterCity residents?
    * - How many kids are from FrederickCounty?
    * - How many kids are from ClarkeCounty?
    * - How many kids are from ShenandoahCounty?
    * - How many kids are from WarrenCounty?
    * - How many kids are from the state of WV?

- How many City residents' kids out of the 12-15 team members will be on this World Series team?  From years past, the perception has always been that the All-Stars teams are pre-selected because the All-Star coaches are always hitting indoors at the Armory or other venues which allows indoor hitting.

- Will these other counties be assisting with the money that is needed from City to host such event?

- Who will foot the bill IF that $100,000 grant for the lights if that does not go through?

- What happened to the $250,000 that was allocated with within the last 12-24 months for Bridgeforth Field lights which are terrible and way below standard?

I have much concern about funding a project were more than 75% (educated guess) are non-city residents.  If my educated guess is realistic, then I feel that the County of Frederick and other counties need to support help this project in my honest opinion.

The Winchester Baseball league, is it operated in a way for the masses or just for a "select" few ... example: "All-Star" teams?  It's ridiculous that the regular season is OVER and COMPLETED basically by the time school is over at the beginning of the summer.

Bottom-line ... "All-Star" teams are ruining local high school baseball because they are going overboard with these teams that start at the age of 8yr, 9yr, 10yr, 11yr and 12yr old and the kids are getting burnt out.

Look at the Handley High School which had just 25 kids for both JV and VARSITY teams last year and 7 or 8 of those kids were 8th graders.  Folks, something is seriously wrong here, what is the problem?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Questions in regards to 2011-10yr old World Series that City of Winchester will host?

Please reference pages 34-41 in regards to 2011 10yr old World Series.


City of Winchester Common Council

December 22, 2009
Council Chambers, Rouss City Hall
5:30 PM


Call to Order

Items for Discussion:

Presentation: People Inc.

Discussion: CU-09-198 – Conditional Use Permit - Milano's, LLC for nightclub use
at 107 West Boscawen Street (Tabled at the September 22, 2009 meeting for 6 months
– brought back early at request of President Buettner)

O-2009-37: Ordinance – To amend Section 14-68 of the Winchester City Code for the
operation of parking meters to coincide with State holidays. Parking Authority
recommends approval. (pages 3-5)

O-2009-38: Ordinance – An ordinance to amend article 8 of the Winchester Zoning
Ordinance pertaining to special provisions for side and rear yards for commercial
centers within the Highway Commercial (B-2) District. TA-09-359 (pages 6-9)

O-2009-39: Ordinance – An ordinance to vacate and convey portions of Spring Street.
(pages 10-15)

CU-09-267: Conditional Use Permit – Nightclub request for Mi Salvador Restaurant at
930 Berryville Avenue. – Planning Commission recommends approval. (pages 16-20)

CU-09-360: Conditional Use Permit – Operation of extended stay lodging facility at
1347 Berryville Avenue. – Planning Commission recommends denial. (pages 21-25)

CU-04-06: Conditional Use Permit – Five year review of CUP issued to New Life
Center, Inc. for an addition to a recovery center at 315 East Cork Street. (pages 26-29)

R-2009-57: Resolution – Authorization for Police Youth Drop-In Center at 305 E.
Piccadilly Street using Federal COPS funds. No additional funds required in FY10.
(tabled at November Work Session) (pages 30-32)

R-2009-64: Resolution – Approval to host the 2011 Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth League
International 10 Year Old World Series. (pages 33-41)

R-2009-65: Resolution – Authorization to exceed the original contract value by more
than 25% for completion of the Northeast Infrastructure Improvements Project.
(project will complete within $7.5 million total budget) (pages 42-48)

R-2009-66: Resolution – Re-installation of Parking Meters on Boscawen Street
between Braddock Street and Indian Alley. (pages 49-52)

R-2009-67: Resolution – Change Section 7.4.E of the CEMS - Matters Deemed Not
Grievable. (pages 53-57)

R-2009-68: Resolution – Establishing a fund to benefit abused and neglected children
from a contribution of approximately $200,000 from the McCrory estate. (pages 58-61)

R-2009-69: Resolution – Authorization for the Police Department to apply for a
Department of Justice Byrne Grant to support the fitness initiative for an amount of
$75,000 over three years. Requires a 5% match or $3750 maximum. (pages 62-65)

R-2009-70: Resolution – Approval of the 2008 & 2009 Annual Action Plan
Substantial Amendments. (pages 66-69)

Discussion: To authorize an audit of the Winchester Transit System pursuant to the
possibility to contracting with Virginia Regional Transit. (pages 70-71)


City of Winchester
(540) 667-1815
(540) 722-0782 TDD
15 North Cameron Street
Winchester, VA  22601


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 2:20 PM
Subject: ??? about 2011 10yr old World Series
To:, Bradley Veach ,,,,,,,
Cc:, Jack MacDonald , Adrian O'Connor , Vic Bradshaw , Alex Bridges , Robert Noe , Anne Lewis ,

Dear Mr. Veach, Mr. White and Mr. McInturff and other CC members,

this is great that Winchester is going to host such event BUT I have a few questions:

- What is the breakdown of the kids playing in the Winchester Baseball league for ages 8-12? 
- How many kids are actually Winchester City residents?
- How many kids are from Frederick County?
- How many kids are from Clarke County?
- How many kids are from Shenandoah County?
- How many kids are from Warren County?
- How many kids are from the state of WV?
- How many City residents' kids out of the 12-15 team members will be on this World Series team?  From years past, the perception has always been that the All-Stars teams are pre-selected because the All-Star coaches are always hitting indoors at the Armory or other venues which allows indoor hitting.

- Will these other counties be assisting with the money that is needed from City to host such event?

I have much concern about funding a project were more than 75% (educated guess) are non-city residents.  If my educated guess is realistic, then I feel that the County of Frederick and other counties need to support help this project in my honest opinion.

- Last question, what is the total money that is being requested from the City to host such event for the bid and improvements to the facility?

Others that I have BCC'd, if you agree or disagree, please reply ALL to include share your thoughts on this matter.  Please review attached document.

Any questions or concerns, please give me a call.

Thank You,
Coach Milburn

Other information related to this matter :

Friday, October 9, 2009

What are Economic multipliers?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Economic Impact on the City if Winchester Baseball is able to host the 2011 10yr World Series

Wanted to share with the local community that the perception taken from this e-mail sent on October 8, 2009 sent from WPRD official [Mike White, Operations Superintendent] is that they are finally admitting that the previous numbers presented by [Brad Veach, WPRD Director] to City Council back in February of $1.2-$2million were skewed and not researched thoroughly.  These numbers of $1.2-$2million were disputed back in late February after they were presented to City Council for consideration for requesting money by WPRD for improvements to the Rotary Field.  The concern was meant by WPRD resistance in the failure to acknowledge the twisted figures until this October 8th e-mail.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael White

Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 10:04 AM
Subject: economic impact study

I read your blog…pretty interesting information.

I’d be interested in looking at your figures on the economic impact of having the Babe Ruth World Series come to Winchester.  We’ve seen different studies and different methods of calculating the impact on these tournaments and events.  What we’ve found is the impact numbers are approximate figures and that it’s tough to determine the exact impact.  I’d be interested in taking a look at your numbers and see what you used for a dollar turnover multiplier, etc.  I’ve run the numbers myself using different formulas than what was initially provided.  I used an average daily spending amount recommended by a national expert in parks & recreation from Texas A&M University.  What I came up with was in between your figures [$337k-$472k] and the $1.2 million figure previously mentioned in the newspaper.

Also, if you’re interested in an update on Bridgeforth field and where the renovations stand, feel free to swing by or give me a call.  Kevin Sine and John gave you accurate information on the current project but I can let you know where the committee currently stands and what our plans are moving forward.



Michael White, CPRP

Operations Superintendent

Winchester Parks & Recreation Department

1001 East Cork Street

Winchester, VA  22601

(540) 667-1573 - phone

(540) 678-8791 - fax

For the record, these numbers of $1.2-$2million economic impact for hosting a World Series event were sent from the Babe Ruth Headquarters.  Organizations considering hosting such an event much realize that the headquarters executives will make it appear as lucrative as possible because they need host cities each year and the league host officials should do their due diligence.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bradley Veach []
Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 10:53 AM
Subject: RE: local economic impact

It seems to be the standard formula that Babe Ruth shares with all communities in which a World Series is hosted.  I understand what you are saying but I don’t think you realize that the $400K pumped into the community is unrealized beyond the event.  For example, the hotel is paying its staff with this money; their staff goes out and buys something from a local business that pays taxes to the locality, etc.  Most of the money collected will flow through the community beyond the 10 day event.  The communities that host the Series range anywhere from 11,000 people to over 80,000 people according to the folks I personally spoke to in IN, CO, and LA.  Indiana has hosted 4 tournaments over the years and they were pushing Babe Ruth to make them the host site as they realized the dramatic impact it had on their local economy.  Of course, Babe Ruth only allows one area to host it year after year and that is in Aberdeen so their request was not approved.

Folks who use this formula locally did not question the numbers.  I’ve shared this with some local businesses and tourism folks who use these types of formulas all the time and they did not question it.  I think they probably have a better economic background that you or I and realize the potential of this 10 day event and they have the greatest potential to reap the benefits of such an event.

Thanks for your thoughts.  Have a good weekend.


-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 8:42 PM
To: 'Bradley Veach'
Subject: RE: local economic impact


Just wanted to share what I have learned about this compounding factor formula.  Babe Ruth is using an economic impact spending study on a university town.  The University of Georgia is an annual/reoccurring impact on that local economy.  The WS event is just a 10-day event.  That is like comparing apples to oranges.

I believe their figure of $414,600 is a high estimate and is in the ballpark.  I am working on a more detailed analysis of potential revenue that could be drawn into the City of Winchester.  Again, I am concerned about this $1.2 - $2 million dollar figure is being communicated with the community.  Some people will be under the impression that $1.2-2million will be flowing into this town for this 10-day event and that is very misleading.

Again, I am not against the World Series coming to Winchester but I do like this revenue number being thrown out that is unrealistic.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Virginia Public Access Project

A new link has been added to The Pub ... please click on this link to become more informed ...


Friday, December 18, 2009

Misdirected focus - Health-care ‘reform’? Try addressing existing programs

Open Forum
December 18, 2009
The Winchester Star

Misdirected focus
Health-care ‘reform’? Try addressing existing programs

James T. Holland

I’ve served for more than 20 years on the Board of Directors of Valley Health System. I’m very much aware of the need for health-care reform, and the impact of reform on providers and patients.

My son-in-law is an orthopedic surgeon, and my daughter-in-law is a former neonatal critical care nurse. I’m concerned about cost, quality, access, and health-care innovation. However, the “reform” proposals currently being debated in Congress are frightening!

The focus is misdirected. Far too many existing Medicare policies and regulations do nothing to improve health care. They add to health-care cost! Medicaid is out of control, and we have an impending economic disaster with Medicare.

The Medicare program is financially unsustainable as currently designed. Why isn’t an unfunded Medicare liability of $36 trillion more urgent than a new entitlement? I don’t understand why Congress would even consider adding to this problem. I don’t understand why the proposed new health “reform” program is so urgent, while pretending that existing programs are not.

We need health care reform of existing programs!

A few changes to existing law could make a huge difference.

* Require Medicare rule-writters to cooperate with hospitals and physicians to eliminate bureaucratic regulations that add cost, without affecting quality of care.

* Increase competition between existing private health insurance companies. Allow them to develop innovative health insurance programs and offer products in every state. Regulate, but don’t dictate what they must offer, and what they must charge.

* Give all Americans the same tax break that employees get with their employer-provided health insurance plans. Uninsured Americans would be more likely to buy health insurance if private individuals could get the same tax treatment as that offered by employers to their employees.

* Recognize the basic economic law of supply and demand for consumers of health care. If people are offered something for nothing, they will use more of it. Government has to eventually ration care. Let the people ration their own care by requiring them to pay up-front costs every time, and for every service. Their payment need not be great, but they must bear initial cost.

* Increase age limits for Medicare eligibility. The age eligibility needs to be increased, rather than reduced as was proposed.

* Focus benefits on catastrophic coverage, and healthy lifestyles. To save Medicare, the program needs to gradually move from all-inclusive coverage to catastrophic coverage with incentives for not smoking, exercising, and maintaining a healthy diet.

I am also concerned about the negative impact of excessive taxes, costly regulations, and government mandates that add costs to all businesses. During my career at O’Sullivan, I was directly involved in making decisions that created many jobs. Management made decisions to open new businesses, close businesses, and relocate businesses.

We chose to expand and grow in Virginia because of the right-to-work law, and the business-friendly attitude of government. We closed plants in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Michigan because of high taxes, high energy costs, high workers compensations rates, and the high cost of dealing with organized labor. All of these high costs were byproducts of government polices toward business. Government attitudes toward business influenced every decision.

Government is missing an opportunity to stimulate the real job-creating engines of the economy. The current government philosophy is influenced by a passionate socialist desire to punish big business, punish “rich” owners of small business, and punish “rich” entrepreneurs who take risks with new business ventures. These are the very people and businesses that create jobs.

It is a mistake to allow the Bush tax rate to expire. It is a mistake to pass legislation that adds cost to business. It is a mistake to micromanage tax breaks, and subsidies, and limit government support to politically favored businesses.

If we are to revive the economy, create jobs, and reduce government debt, we need to change the socialist mindset. End the practice of punishing businesses and entrepreneurs. Our current crisis is so great that unprecedented tax and regulation reform is needed.

Recent stimulus programs have failed because they are short-term solutions. Tax and regulatory actions are long-term, and the crisis requires a long-term solution. If only Congress would reduce taxes on all businesses and individuals to a maximum rate of 25 percent. This would unleash the creative energy and ingenuity of all Americans.

We need to change government attitudes toward business: Work with business to reform laws that add costs to business. Regulate, but don’t suffocate.

Government is a partner in the success of every individual and business. Why not work together?

Don’t take my word for it. Check with every economic development agency in the United States. These agencies seek to attract business, and create jobs by offering tax breaks and eliminating bureaucratic red tape. They will work with entrepreneurs, big business, small business, and they are very flexible. They try to undo what government has done.

James T. Holland is a resident of Frederick County.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good gracious, looky here at these profits for Winchester Medical Center

Folks, just amazing of these (in excess of revenue) profit figures that just the Winchester Medical Center (not-for-profit) alone is producing since 2001 according to Quad State Business Journal was $11.8 million.

So ... here you go ...

2001 - $11.8 million 
2005 - $54,346,679 (per IRS990)
2006 - $57,422,678 (per IRS990)
2007 - $66,617,961 (per IRS990)

Folks, you read where The Pub documented that from 2001-2005, that was a 383% increase, well my goodness, from 2001-2007 that has risen even more so up to 460%.

You tell us what in the world in going on?  These numbers are getting to big for The Pub to even comprehend for this "not-for-profit" organization.  Please keep in mind, this is just Winchester Medical Center alone, there are many other revenue generating services that has not been factored in yet.

Reference this previous post:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Valley Health has made epic strides in Excess of Revenue (Profits) since 2001


Have an outstanding day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Her miracle - A little sister who passed help forward

Her miracle
A little sister who passed help forward

By Courtney Lynn Chapman
December 9, 2009

My 5-year-old sister suddenly got ill. She was vomiting blood. She was so ill that my amazing mother took her to the Winchester Medical Center Pediatric clinic to be checked out.

They admitted her to the hospital because she was dehydrated. No one had a clue what was wrong with her. She was a very miserable sight to see, and it was very hard to see her the way she was. She lay there in the hospital bed so helpless she couldn’t even carry her tiny self to the bathroom.

They ran many tests on her, but still had no answers to our questions about what could be wrong with her. She was there for three days, and took a turn for the worse when that Saturday came.

The bacteria causing her illness moved to her kidneys. When it came to this, the Winchester Medical Center could not handle it anymore. Our very supportive family all jumped in their cars and headed down to Charlottesville where my sister was being taken. When we all arrived there, she was in PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). Her case was severe. More tests were run, and we then found out she had E Coli — and it went straight to her kidneys. It is rare for that to happen, but it did.

Days passed and she wasn’t getting better. Many people were praying for this little girl, and thank God they did. She was put on a dialysis machine to function her kidneys. Slowly a month passed and she came back to the same silly little girl that she once was — except now she has a tube in her belly just in case she has to be put on a dialysis machine again.

She is home now, but we are still waiting for her kidneys to be fully functioning. She is my miracle. Not only is she my miracle, but she is one to many others, too.

Long before she was put in the hospital, she saved the soda-pop tabs that you can break off. She was about 4 years old and knew that they helped save people’s lives. She didn't know that they got people minutes on a dialysis machine. I mean to tell you that this little girl saved all of those tabs she got her hands on. She saved them to help someone. Little did we know she would need the help.

That little girl proved to me that miracles do happen. You just have to believe.

I also want to say that if there was an award for best parents, mine would win. They stood by my sister no matter what. They were there day and night for the entire month she was in the hospital. They are the best anyone could ask for, and I wouldn’t change that at all. God bless everyone and thank you for your prayers.

Courtney Lynn Chapman, 17, is a resident of Winchester.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

City sues agency over local senior center funding

City sues agency over local senior center funding

By Vic Bradshaw
The Winchester Star

Winchester — The city government has filed a lawsuit seeking $500,000 in damages from the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.

City officials say the nonprofit organization committed fraud by not providing the money it collected and promised to donate toward building the Active Living and Recreation Center in Jim Barnett Park.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Winchester Circuit Court, alleges that the agency accepted federal and state money earmarked for the project, as well as donations from citizens and businesses.

The agency has not given the city government the funds “despite repeated demands,” according to the lawsuit.

The city government says SAAA acted fraudulently because it intentionally solicited and collected “charitable funds under a misrepresentation” that they would be used for the project.

The suit seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages, and various smaller amounts of financial relief.

Jeff Buettner, president of the Winchester City Council, said the council was reluctant to take legal action against SAAA, but felt it had no choice.

“We absolutely did not want to do it,” he said. “But we had citizens pledge money on this project and it’s not [being returned] to Winchester. We had Congress give money for this project.”

City Attorney Anthony Williams said the city government did not require SAAA to sign an agreement indicating it would contribute $250,000 toward the building project. However, by soliciting money for the project, he said, SAAA became obligated to give the funds to the city.

For Remainder of the story ... Click here to view comments or make comments on The Winchester Star website and Click on Dec. 5th!

Insurance companies - Plenty of competition: state lines have nothing to do with it

Open Forum

Insurance companies
Plenty of competition: state lines have nothing to do with it

Howard Sharp
Winchester Star
December 5, 2009

Quite a few years ago, my wife was in need of outpatient surgery for a broken bone that could not be set correctly. After being told many times to be at the hospital no later than 6 a.m., we made sure we were not late. The nurse who got my wife settled told her to relax, as she was scheduled for 1 p.m. What?

I headed for the doc’s office with fire in my eyes. The surgeon’s chief nurse told me that the mix-up was the fault of an insurance company, because the company had not told them if they would let them operate on another patient or not.

That statement did not cool my jets. Arriving back at the surgery location, the doctor presented himself and started telling me where I was wrong. I stopped him and asked how he would feel if it were his wife lying in the bed. He apologized for the scheduling mix-up, and we got on with business.

The point of the story is that insurance companies don’t tell anyone if they can get medical or surgical services. They only state if and how the contract with the insured will pay for such services. For any member of the medical profession to state that an insurance company will not let them perform a procedure is pure ignorance. The decision to perform a medical or surgical procedure is strictly between the physician and the patient.

Insurance contracts, either individual or corporate, are written by attorneys and employees of those insurance companies. These contracts must be approved by the state corporation commission. There’s your McCarran-Ferguson Act, Winchester Star.

Now, besides approving these contracts, the bureau provides other services to the taxpayers. It sees to it insurance agents are tested and duly licensed. The bureau also rides strict herd on these companies to make sure they administer the contracts correctly — including enforcement, if necessary.

The last figure I was aware of showed more than 200 companies licensed to do business in Virginia. I am sure most people have heard of Aetna, Prudential, United Healthcare, Travelers, John Hancock, and Equitable.

The point of this statement is actually a question. What makes Congress, Michael Halseth, and The Winchester Star make statements that companies selling across state lines would make premiums cheaper? All of the larger companies operate in all states and the smaller companies in most. If the current system does not provide for competition, then how many companies does it take?

It’s called risk. All companies must consider prior claims experience for different groups of people, ages of participants, male or female content, and estimated cost for the future. It does not matter what state the company is selling from: the rates have to be predicated on where the contract is being sold to cover the customer.

Some insurance companies are not capable, or do not want take such a risk. Large employer groups are usually rated to a degree on the claims experience of their own employees. Smaller employers are usually rated among other smaller employee groups in an area or across zones in a state. Quite often, there are professional or trade associations that sponsor a pooled group for its members.

So, Winchester Star, the types of pools you mentioned are out there. Yes, there are state mandated benefits to contracts in many states. But there are also federal mandates already involved that will increase with a “national” program. Taking all of this into consideration, I don't see how anyone can say that buying across state lines will make contracts cheaper, or that a law passed in 1945 created a monopoly or stopped competition.

Speaking of competition, what kind of competition does the Winchester Medical Center have, and what kind of financial reserves are they sitting on? What kind of competition do the physicians of this area have? Are these professionals willing to take a large reduction in pay? The odds are high of their incomes taking a large hit with any of the current bills.

Maybe the hospitals, the physicians, and the insurance companies should sit down and work out these financial hang-ups without government being involved. Is it too late? This Big Three of the medical world could cut down greatly on waste and fraud among the three areas to reduce cost greatly. Problem is, they all have a different ox being gored and the “patient/customer” has tired of it, so the politicians have jumped in with both feet to avoid the real issues they need to address.

When people don’t like their medical insurance coverage, they should remember it was likely written by business people with the input of people with hospital administration degrees, and physicians, and signed off on by “lawyers.”

A wise local businessman, Ed Bridgeforth, used to tell me about his “competition. You’ve heard of Coke and Pepsi, haven’t you?” If anyone has heard of the aforementioned insurance companies, then they should understand that, yes, they have plenty of competition, and state lines have very little, if anything, to do with it.

Howard Sharp is a resident of Frederick County.

Click here to view comments or make comments on The Winchester Star website and click on Dec. 5th!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Could "9 Court Square" aka Wilbur H. Feltner building become a Torpedo Factory?

There is an interesting discussion on a local message board today, could "9 Court Square" aka Wilbur H. Feltner building (pictured below) become a Torpedo Factory similar to what they have Alexandria?

Now check out the this ...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Pub is pleased to share that SU's next Athletic Director!

The Pub missed this one but here you go, but there is something with John Schmidt from Northeastern Louisiana University???

WINCHESTER, VA (December 3, 2009) – Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons announced Thursday that Dr. Wayne Edwards has agreed to become the school’s next Athletic Director.

Edwards, who took early retirement from Towson University in 2006, comes to Shenandoah following his service for the past three years with the 20-member Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission. The Commission serves to bring high-level sports and entertainment events to the City of Baltimore and Edwards serves as its Sports Committee Chairman.

In addition, Edwards serves as the director of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program Group for Mellenbrook Policy Advisors.

At SU, he will direct a 20-sport intercollegiate athletics program with more than 70 full- and part-time employees.

From 1995 through 2006, Edwards was the Director of Athletics at Towson University, an NCAA Division I institution and a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.

As the Towson AD, Edwards directed a 19-sport intercollegiate athletics program with 100-plus staff members. Additionally, Edwards spearheaded the Tigers’ move into the CAA and Atlantic 10 Football Conference, restructured the department and oversaw the construction of both Johnny Unitas Stadium and John B. Schuerholz (baseball) Park.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Edwards to Shenandoah,” Fitzsimmons said. “We had excellent candidates for the position, and Wayne stood out in this pool.

“He has the combined experience in athletics and fund-raising we were looking for. He also has an excellent grasp of the role intercollegiate athletics plays at a Division III school. While he will be in charge of athletics, he has a deep commitment to academic excellence as well.”

During Edwards’ tenure, Towson’s graduation rate for student-athletes consistently exceeded the rate for the school’s general student population with a student-athlete graduation rate of over 70 percent. The department’s graduation success rate was also in the top quartile for all NCAA Division I institutions.

Edwards increased membership in Towson’s Tiger Club to more than 1200 and annual giving surpassed the $500,000 plateau.

Prior to Towson, Edwards was the AD at Division II University of Massachusetts-Lowell from 1987-95 and Associate AD at Yale University from 1984-87. During his time as AD at Towson and UMass-Lowell, teams won 21 conference championships and made 24 NCAA Tournament appearances. Two of those teams, the 1988 men’s basketball and 1991 men’s cross country teams at UMass-Lowell, won national championships.

Edwards will be the fourth full-time AD in Shenandoah University history; the late Dave Dutton held the job from 1988-2001, J. Sheppard “Shep” Campbell in 2002 and then John Hill from July 2002 until last May. Hill left to become the head men's basketball coach at Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio.

Following Hill's departure, Fitzsimmons named Head Baseball Coach Kevin Anderson and Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Kim Scruton as co-Interim Athletic Directors.

"I want to thank Kevin and Kim for their outstanding leadership over the last six months," Fitzsimmons said. "I appreciate everything they have done for the department and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future."

Edwards, who earned his B.S. from Wake Forest, his Master of Arts in Teaching from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Ed.D. from the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, started his professional career as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Appalachian State University in 1972. After three years in that position, Edwards was an Associate Professor at East Carolina University until taking the position at Yale.

"I am extremely grateful to President Fitzsimmons and the Search Committee for providing this tremendous opportunity, and for the confidence they have shown in me,” Edwards Said. “I am very excited about the future for Shenandoah Athletics, and am proud to be a part of this great university.

“I look forward to working with the coaches, staff and student-athletes of the Department of Athletics, and with members of the university and Winchester/Frederick County communities. The future for both the overall university and Hornets' Athletics contains wonderful opportunities for success and achievement. I am fortunate to have this opportunity to share in the realization of our goals, and look forward to the future with great excitement and optimism."

Edwards starts his full time position on January 4, but will be on campus the week of December 14 meeting with student-athletes, faculty, staff and athletic department personnel as well as interested members of the media.

Shenandoah University offers 20 intercollegiate sports, 10 for men and 10 for women. For further information, please contact the Office of Athletic Communications at (540) 665-5417 or visit our web site at For USA South Conference Information, please visit the USA South Conference home page:

Shenandoah University is a comprehensive private university with an enrollment of more than 3,300 students in six schools: College of Arts & Sciences, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, Shenandoah Conservatory, Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, School of Health Professions (Athletic Training, Nursing and Respiratory Care, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Physical Therapy) and the School of Education & Human Development. The university offers nearly 90 programs of study at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. For more information, contact the Office of Marketing Communications at (540) 665-5422 or visit

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

*** Breaking News *** Another Wal-Mart coming to Winchester?

According to unnamed impeccable sources, a 3rd Wal-Mart (mini version or distribution center?) is coming to the Winchester area out on the property near Rt. 522 South where the Comcast and SpecialMade buildings are located.

The Pub is told that a local company will be getting the contract to construct as I'll leave that up to the local media to find out on their own!

[For the record, UPDATED 12-2-09 @ 10:03pm]

This is actually OLD news but it appears many forgot about this including myself as The Pub was NOT able to find the story.  Lorraine shared this today. 

Wal-Mart to open third store locally
By Lorraine Halsted

Armel — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will be submitting plans to Frederick County today for a new superstore to be built in Eastgate Commerce Center at U.S. 522 South and Tasker Road.

The southern Frederick County location will be the third Wal-Mart Superstore for the Winchester-Frederick County area, but will differ in its size and appearance, according to information provided by the company.

At 155,000 square feet, the Superstore will be 60,000 to 80,000 square feet smaller than the other two area locations.

The one on South Pleasant Valley Road in Winchester is 234,000 square feet and the other on U.S. 50 West, near Winchester Medical Center, in Frederick County is 214,000 square feet.

The new prototype is designed to give the store more of a “small-shop feel,” according to information provided by Wal-Mart Inc. The building will sit lower than the other two area stores and the entrance will be covered with a canopy.

Earthtone colors, mature trees, and lighting also will be used to enhance the architecture of the building.

Construction on the site will begin this summer, but the store will not be ready to open until 2010.

“It takes us about a year to build a supercenter,” said Kelly Hobbs, spokesperson for Wal-Mart Superstores Inc. in Connecticut, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Hobbs said Wal-Mart’s market research has shown that the area has a large enough population to support a third supercenter.

“We do extensive research of our customer base and potential customer base for each of our stores,” she said. “We also look at our current stores and how they’re operating.”

Earlier this year, KNLB, a commercial real estate firm that sells property in the region, had identified retail space in Winchester Gateway on Va. 7, east of Interstate 81 in Frederick County, as being reserved for a Wal-Mart Superstore on one of its promotional fliers.

Florida-based Win LLC, the developer and property owner of Winchester Gateway, had declined to comment on the property.

Hobbs said that the property could have been under consideration by WalMart officials when they were looking for a third site in the area.

“That is possible,” she said. “There was nothing definite or concrete concerning that location, and I can tell you that we looked at a number of sites in that area.”

Hobbs said the new store will hire about 350 employees.

— Contact Lorraine Halsted at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Pub has been OPENED back up to everyone to read at your leisure.

Since the November 27th, it was advised that the The Pibbster's Pub being restricted for a 3rd party to to review the content of The Pub.  We are pleased to announce today, all systems go friends of The Pibbster's Pub, read at your free leisure.

Better health-care reform - Does provider’s sound business approach offer good hints?

By Paul Hampton
December 1, 2009

On Nov. 21, The Star embraced a commentary by Michael Halseth, former president and CEO of VHS (Valley Health Systems), in opposition to congressional health-reform proposals.

I’ve had a neighborly talk with Mr Halseth on the issue. The value I got was not from his perspective as a 38-year health-care administrator on the usual arguments in opposition to health-care reform. What I learned were aspects of a successful business approach that are incorporated in health-reform measures.

* Control and leverage matter — It would hurt VHS to be confronted, like Inova Loudoun Hospital has been, by the establishment of a private for-profit hospital in its midst. A private hospital could deflect patients who are “uncompensated care” risks to VHS facilities and thus negotiate lower prices with the best paying insurers to its competitive advantage.

Owning the region’s hospital capacity, VHS has control over the allocation of costs and revenue throughout the area and leverage among insurers. Why would patients want to be at the disadvantage of shopping on their own for health care among providers who have empowered themselves to their own advantage?

Congressional proposals aim to create markets with greater choice for patient groups to shop for coverage and a public option for leverage that weakens advantages insurers and providers exploit.

* Increased access
— VHS leads a generous and valuable community resource in its Free Medical Clinic. The clinic also makes it possible to serve patients in a less expensive environment avoiding uncompensated care in a more expensive emergency room and avoid the hospital inpatient setting — space is preserved for the best payers. Congressional reforms that increase access to insurance and health care will likewise save costs uninsured patient care impose on our system.

* Effective treatment — Insurance industry groups and companies provide technology for providers to manage billing and offer treatment advice and knowledge through studies that encourage effective and cost-efficient treatments. Google Ingenix and Millimen Intelliscript on the Internet, you’ll see. Bogus claims by partisan critics famously misrepresent sound management provisions for boards and panels in congressional reform whose aims reflect sound business models now practiced in the private sector.

* Money matters
— Any responsible supporter of private enterprise who knows more than irrelevant taunts about freedom understands that business needs money and that businesses must generate profit that competes with the best around to get the money it needs to operate and grow. How do we control the cost of a private health sector model that is becoming a focus for private investment opportunities, higher profits, and wealth generation? Congressional reforms currently include a “public option” that is not driven to compete for funds and therefore the private equity market demands on the private sector that sacrifice paying for care for the sake of profit.

*  Like the good jobs, so will disappear health insurance — We don’t have to vote on changing our health-care insurance system. The increasing expense and dwindling resources to pay for it already result in a trend that the older and sicker will be segregated into the uninsured and government sector via Medicare and Medicaid as they age and become poorer. I don’t believe it was an accident that the recent GOP proposal reflects a trend to segregate sick and high medical risk patients into pools away from the ranks of the insured.

Every day individuals are subjected to the waits for needed health services because they don’t have the money or don’t want to jeopardize coverage they already have. Insurers consult the MIB Group data base looking for possible pre-conditions that might provide cause to deny claims. Families and businesses will continue to be priced out of health coverage because a sick or high-risk spouse, child, or co-worker boosts the cost of underwriting to a breaking point.

The greatest threat to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is that the Baby Boom age progression is coupled with a defunding of its revenue source. Earned income growth (job growth) that pays Social Security and Medicare Part A taxes has been stagnant for a decade while unearned income like capital gains that generate no revenue for these programs has soared. On top of that, tax rates on capital gains that could pay for growing Medicare part B and D expenses have been cut 40 percent since 1997.

Not only did we cut taxes on capital gains, but also deregulated banking and investment rules making it possible for investors and the financial sector to multiply capital gains in new unstable markets without expanding the jobs base. What business in its right mind would cut prices on items in growing demand of which it has exclusive control of the supply?

With the key to every hospital in the region in his pocket and the expense of serving an increased Medicare population heading his way, did Mr. Halseth cut prices 40 percent? No, he made sound business decisions to empower his ability to meet the growing challenges to VHS survival by preserving its revenue position and so should we (our government).

Paul Hampton is chairman of the Winchester Democratic Committee.

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