Friday, April 23, 2010

Private College/University's financial comparison for years 2006 - 2008

Click on the following link to view the private school's financial comparison among the USA-South and ODAC conferences:

2008, 2007, 2006 financial comparison (USA-South and ODAC schools)

SU's breakdown on contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts received:


10,124,069 - Direct Public Support
   367,293 - Indirect Public Support
 2,088,700 - Gov't Contributions (Grants)
12,580,062 = Cash 8,620,821 + NonCash 3,959,241


 4,087,383 - Direct Public Support
   412,538 - Indirect Public Support
 2,888,565 - Gov't Contributions (Grants)
 7,388,486 = Cash 6,486,875 + NonCash 901,611


 6,638,299 - Direct Public Support
   403,200 - Indirect Public Support
 1,482,743 - Gov't Contributions (Grants)
 8,524,242 = Cash 7,615,757 + NonCash 908,485


Monday, April 19, 2010

Congrats to the SU Baseball Hornets!

Baseball Wins Championship

BURLINGTON, N.C. – No. 9/14 Shenandoah University earned its first-ever USA South Conference baseball championship with a 7-4 win over Christopher Newport Sunday afternoon at Burlington Athletic Stadium.

The Hornets are (33-7) currently and have won 71 of the last 88 games since the 2009 season for a .806 winning percentage.

Since 2005 the Hornets have won had a .650 winning percentage in winning 166 games out of 250 contests and since Coach Anderson's career as the Hornets Head Coach, his program has won 189 games out of 298 for a .634 winning percentage.

The Hornets will be advancing to NCAA Regional tournament with the site to TBA on May 17th.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Downtown Arena Concept shared with the Planning Commission

The concept of an Arena downtown on the walking mall was shared with the Planning Commission this afternoon.

Below is a link where the power-point can be viewed:

Friday, April 9, 2010

City officials pursuing VHS for some taxes

The Winchester Star ran two front page articles today.  Brief segments below:

Tax tiff
Winchester Medical Center and city officials zero in on application of the hospital’s tax-exempt status to property used for purposes other than traditional health care.
By Vic Bradshaw
The Winchester Star

This year, the city government is performing its triennial assessment of properties owned by nonprofit organizations.

The timing, it appears, could not be better.

City officials and Winchester Medical Center have been in a bit of a tax tug-of-war recently, and the parties hope a fresh reassessment will provide some clarity regarding their differences.
At issue is the application of the hospital’s tax-exempt status to property used for purposes other than traditional health care.

“Valley Health needs to pay taxes — and that’s real estate taxes and personal property taxes and [Business, Professional and Occupational License] taxes — on things that are generating revenue for Valley Health,” said Jeffrey Buettner, the City Council’s president. “It puts them at an unfair advantage with the private sector, and that’s wrong. It’s a fairness issue. We’re not on a witch hunt here.”

For remainder of the article, click on this link:

A different health club
Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center doesn’t emphasize body-building or muscle-sculpting
By Lorraine Halsted
The Winchester Star

Winchester--On a recent Friday, Keith Edic walked past the rows of elliptical trainers, treadmills, and resistance training equipment in the the expansive sunlit room at Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center. While the early-morning crowd had thinned out, the center was still bustling — with members milling around and working out on exercise machines — while a small free-weight room in the corner was sitting empty.

For remainder of the article, click on this link:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reviewing the side-by-side comparison again with Lewis-Gale Medical Center

Salem officials sit on Lewis-Gale board
Roanoke Times & World News, Apr 4, 2010 | by Sarah Bruyn Jones

For at least a decade Lewis-Gale Medical Center has relied on the advice of Salem city officials in making decisions related to its hospital.

And Salem, with an estimated population of 25,400, has also relied on the strong relationship it has developed with its largest taxpayer and non-government employer. Lewis-Gale -- owned by for- profit HCA, which bills itself as the nation's leading provider of health care services -- contributes roughly $1.9 million in annual revenue to the city from business license fees, personal property taxes and real estate taxes. Lewis-Gale employs about 1,500 people, slightly fewer than the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Most directly, the Salem-based Lewis-Gale hospital has solicited advice by appointing city officials to its board of trustees. Currently two officials sit on the Lewis-Gale advisory board. They are City Manager Kevin Boggess and Melinda Payne, director of the department of planning and development.

"They are going to understand the needs of the community and they can provide valuable advice and direction on the needs of the community," said Nancy May, spokeswoman for Lewis-Gale.

Payne has served on the board for about three years, while Boggess was just recently appointed. Boggess' city manager predecessor, Forest Jones, is a former board member.

Some ethicists question the arrangement.

"It seems to me that there is at least the potential for a conflict of interest to exist," said Rich Wokutch, a professor at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business who specializes in business ethics.

After all, a city official could have to work with competitors of the hospital, or something beneficial to the hospital might not be in the best interest of the city.

Boggess, prior to joining the board, stood up at a public hearing to support Lewis-Gale's efforts to prevent Carilion Clinic from bringing a mobile imaging unit to Salem. More recently another competitor of Lewis-Gale has worked with the city in planning to develop an outpatient surgery center and medical offices on the former Elizabeth Campus.

"We're a free market," Boggess said when asked about the proposed Elizabeth Campus development. "And competition is good and the city of Salem has an interest in seeing that property developed."

Both Boggess and Payne said their first commitment is to the city government and their paid jobs. Lewis-Gale board members are not paid.

"Our positions are we are going to do what's in the best interest of the city. Always," Payne said. "That's what we have to do."

Boggess also emphasized that much of the advice he is asked to give focuses on internal hospital policy and personnel issues.

Wokutch said at the very least people in the position of Payne or Boggess should recuse themselves from decisions where even the appearance of a conflict of interest might exist. Both said they would do exactly that. Additionally, May said the board bylaws require every trustee to sign a statement listing all conflicts of interest.

"The trustee also agrees not to participate in any vote or deliberations on the matter," May said.

While the arrangement may raise some eyebrows among ethicists who discourage cozy relationships between government and business, one expert in hospital board structure said this situation is unique and harmless.

Typically James Orlikoff said he would vehemently oppose any hospital that appointed a government official to its board. But that's mostly in the case of nonprofit hospitals. For instance, Roanoke-based Carilion Clinic is a nonprofit and does not have any government officials on its board of directors, which has a governing instead of an advisory role.

Orlikoff, who is president of a Chicago-based consulting firm that specializes in hospital governance, said that for-profit hospitals that are part of the national HCA Inc. chain, such as Lewis-Gale, have an entirely different governance structure that makes the question of conflict moot. In short, the hospital's trustees really don't have any power and can make only recommendations, which may or may not be adhered to by management.

"The real power rests with the corporate board of HCA, not the hospital advisory board," Orlikoff said. "The bottom line is it doesn't matter what the board says, HCA is going to do what it wants to do to make a profit."

Remember the side-by-side comparison between Lewis-Gale and Winchester Medical Center?  If not, then follow this link on the post from November 9, 2009:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vexing Dr. Havon Jr's statement and another deal in the works for VHS?

The Pub has to respectfully disagree with Dr. M Dean Havon Jr. in his statement in his letter titled "Hails passage of health-reform bill" that appeared in The Winchester Star on March 25th:

For those who would say the price tag is high, I say that all of us already are paying the cost of medical care for the uninsured. When you go to an emergency room and are diagnosed with a relatively mild illness, but still get a bill for more than $1,000, you are helping pay the hospital’s unreimbursed expenses incurred by others.

In our opinion locally, that emergency room $1,000+ bill for a relatively mild illness is a result of the following:

The Winchester Medical Center's profits alone from 2001-2007 increased 460%.

2001 - $11.8 million (per Quad State Biz Journal)
2005 - $54,346,679 (per IRS990)

2006 - $57,422,678 (per IRS990)

2007 - $66,617,961 (per IRS990)

Also, that $1,000+ bill probably helped the former CEO/PRES of Valley Health System enjoy these impressive annual salaries.

2003 - $455,020

2004 - $620,432

2005 - $824,113

2006 - $730,318

2007 - $927,147

2008 - $1,036,579

Remember, the Winchester Medical Center is classified as a "not-for-profit" that receives the tax exempts perks.

Was anyone else taken aback that VHS tried to get a blanket exemption for their entire campus at 1840 Amherst Street?  Must give kudos to the City Assessor and Commission of the Revenue in making the recommendation to deny this blanket tax exempt request.

During the City Councils work session on March 23rd:

The council also forwarded by a 6-0-1 vote an ordinance to deny an application by Winchester Medical Center to grant tax-exempt status to its entire campus at 1840 Amherst St. Butler abstained. (Mike Butler abstained and Jeff Buettner was absent)

City Assessor Will Rice said the application represents an amendment to a previous request to declare the hospital’s diagnostic center tax-exempt.

City Manager Jim O’Connor said he hoped he could speak with representatives of Valley Health, which owns the hospital, and “work out an amenable solution.”

Not sure how anyone can dispute the fact that Valley Health System's epic growth spurts has cast some ill affects on our local private businesses and even tried to stop the Eye Surgery Center of Winchester from opening up on Amherst street.

Then vice president Larry Van Hoose is quoted, "We were against it because it was duplication of our services which tends to drive up health care costs"

At the City of Winchester's current tax rate of $0.77 and the 1840 campus property has an assessment of $272,214,900.00, this equates to $2,096,054.73 in tax dollars not in our city budget.

A few questions that are fair and reasonable:

With the recent passage of the Healthcare Reform bill, will there be a need for a "not-for-profit" hospital?

What will happen to the millions of dollars in charity care that VHS gives away annually with “ObamaCare” coming?

We have yet to receive answers to our questions in regards to the new Wellness and Fitness Center from any VHS representative in the letter that was in print back on October 16, 2009 on Wellness & Fitness Center.  Cick on the following link: “A year old, How’s the Wellness Center at the Hospital doing thus far?” 

For the record, requests have been sent to Mr. Mark Merrill (new CEO/PRES of VHS), Mr. Wes Williams (VP Marketing/Community Relations of VHS) and Mrs. Dena Kent (VP/President Valley Regional Enterprises) and even inquired over the phone with Mr. Merrill back on November 30, 2009.

To close, if VHS just paid their real estate taxes which appears to be very minimal when compared to the enormous profits that the WMC has turned out from $11.8 million in 2001 to $66.6 million in 2007, then would there be a need to keep raising our water rates and pondering whether or not to start charging residents for trash pickup?

If you agree, then contact your respective councilman and even Mr. O’Connor as the perception is that some type of another deal that is going to be worked out.  Review the deal that the Wellness and Fitness Center got, as it appears to be very much in favor of VHS in paying a reduced real estate tax which is affect for 50-years.

To avoid a lawsuit and trial, city officials and Valley Health reached a real estate tax agreement dated March 4, 2009.

The medical organization will pay a fee based on the city’s real estate tax rate as applied to one-third of the assessed value of the wellness center, according to the agreement.

The wellness center is assessed at about $11.2 million. A third of that would be about $3.7 million.

The city’s real estate tax rate is expected to be about 77 cents per each $100 of a property’s assessed value when the next fiscal year begins July 1.

Based on those figures, Valley Health would pay a $28,490 annual fee in lieu of real estate taxes.

The annual fee will be split into two payments due at the same times as regular real estate taxes — June 5 and Dec. 5.

The nonprofit organization’s first bill will be due in June, and will be assessed at the current real estate tax rate of 68 cents per each $100. That means the initial bill for the first six months of 2009 will be about $12,580.

Please review the attached letter that IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) sent to Valley Health officials back on January 23, 2005.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM
Subject: IHRSA letter to VHS BOD's back in 2005 (Wellness & Fitness Facility)
To: James Oconnor , Milt McInturff
Cc:,,,,,, Adrian O'Connor , Vic Bradshaw , Alex Bridges ,, James Heffernan , Lorraine Halsted , Maria Hileman ,,, James Tully ,

Dear Jim and Milt,

I just got off the phone with Tim Sullivan from IHRSA and he informed me that the VHS BOD's never responded to the attached letter from 2005.

Please review IHRSA's recommendation on how VHS should operate the Wellness & Fitness Facility.

Respectfully shared,
Jeff Milburn


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tim Sullivan
Date: Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: IHRSA Letter to Valley Health BOD 2005


Nice speaking with you. See if you have better luck opening the attached.


Tim Sullivan, Legislative Analyst
IHRSA, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association
Seaport Center • 70 Fargo Street • Boston, MA 02210 USA