Vicki King & Jeff Perkins - Speakers for November 2nd
Vicki King, CEO of Kaniksu Health Services (KHS) was joined by Jeff Perkins, Chief Financial Officer to present an interesting and enjoyable commentary on the KHS, its new building and some of the services it offers to the citizens of Boundary and Bonner counties.

KHS is a federally-qualified community health center providing health services to the Medicaid, Medicare as well as the uninsured and under-insured populations of the two  counties. It was pointed out that KHS is not in competition with local health providers, but is a partner with physicians, dentists and Boundary Community Hospital. As an example, under Federal law, the hospital must treat and stabilize anyone who presents to the ER regardless of their ability to pay.  KHS keeps patients out of expensive hospital ERs because their emphasis is on federally financed treatment of people who have little or no health insurance.

KHS employs their physician and dental providers with about a 30% turnover each year. As an incentive for recruiting and retention, medical and dental school expenses are reduced or eliminated based on the time the provider is with KHS. The work is particularly attractive to part-time providers, as, for example in mental health. There is an extreme shortage of behavorial health providers but Valerie indicated that KHS just hired a part-time psychiatrist who will be based in Sandpoint.

A new building will be constructed for Spring 2011 completion near or on the site of the old house (Dr. McCreight's old office). The offices currently rented by KHS behind the hospital will be returned to BCH. The building will be outfitted with 12 medical examination rooms, behavioral health offices and 2 additional dental offertories.

Vickie and Jeff were invited back to speak about the health center's role under the new health care legislation signed into law in 2010.