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Salem Township Hospital has earned a five star rating from the federal agency that oversees medicaid and medicare.

Chief Nursing Officer Kendra Taylor says Salem Township Hospital was one of only 15 hospitals in the state to earn the top designation.  

"It specifically looks at questions about communication with physicians, nursing, discharge process, communications about medicines, overall rating of the hospital, recommendation of the hospital, and kind of putting out there which hospitals are scoring the best in those efforts based upon the patients opinions themselves.  To do that, they have complied the rating system up to five stars and we've received a five star recognition for that," said Taylor.   

Taylor says the data comes from the hospital's patient satisfaction surveys reviewed for the period October 2013 to September 2014. She reports the goal of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services is to update the data once a quarter.  

The scores will be available on the Hospital Compare website beginning in July to allow consumers to compare results between hospitals.

The Salem Township Hospital Board has approved a $422,000 purchase of a new state of the art cat scan for the radiology department.

Director of Radiology Chris Hicks says the 64 slice scan will replace a 12 slice unit.  

"That is huge.  The exams will be done quicker with less radiation dose to the patient.  We'll also have weight based software for the contrast, which is a gold standard for patient care,"  said Hicks. 

Hicks hopes the new unit is in operation before July first.  A temporary unit will be available outside the hospital during the transfer.

Cat scans are diagnostic medical tests that produce cross-sectional images of the body to help confirm or find medical problems. 

The board has also approved a $54,656 sterilization system for the surgery department to replace an older less efficient unit.

The Salem Hospital Board said good bye to a hospital board member, chief of the medical staff and physician at the Salem Medical Center.

Dr. Hyet Settlemoir has taken a job at an urgent care company near O'Fallon to be closer to his family.  Dr. Settlemoir's decision comes at a time the hospital is currently recruiting to bring additional doctors and surgeons to the community. He was presented a plaque of appreciation by the board. 

The Salem Township Hospital Board interviewed seven candidates for the Hospital President and CEO position on Friday and Saturday.  They are among 23 applicants who applied for the job.  The board hasn't set an exact date to replace Stephanie Hilton-Siebert, but has indicated they may call a special meeting before their next scheduled meeting on May 27th to vote on a new President.  

Dr. Gautam Jha has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer and former President Richelle Rennegarbe has returned temporarily as Administrative Consultant to fill the void until a new president is named.

A Salem man was found unconscious in his home late Friday morning apparently as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Christopher Baur of North Shelby regained consciousness after being taken outside.  He was transferred to Salem Township Hospital for treatment.  No one else was in the home.  

Salem Fire Chief Roger Mann says problem was tracked to the furnace and hot water heater.  

Salem City Crews cut off gas service until repairs could be made.

The City of Salem and Howell Paving will continue permanent street improvements on Boone Street Monday.  

Public Works Director John Pruden says weather permitting, East Boone from Shelby Avenue to Route 37 and then West Boone from College to Roddy Road will be resurfaced.  Motorists are asked to consider alternate routes to avoid delays.   

Pruden says the roads will be closed for short time intervals and traffic will be one direction within the area of construction.  The roads will re-open during the evening.  No closures are scheduled for the weekend.

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