The Hardin Memorial Health Board of Trus­tees approved spending nearly $3 million on state-of-the-art equipment for Tuesday the HMH robotic surgery and nuclear medicine programs.

The investments include an approximately $1.8 million expenditure to lease a Da Vinci robot with the latest technology. HMH’s existing onsite Da Vinci robot’s technology is becoming outdated and the manufacturer no longer is offering some of the system’s instruments and accessories, Assistant Vice President of Surgical Services Rita Pardee said.

“The latest-generation Da Vinci robot allows sur­geons to continue per­for­m­ing robotic procedures including general, urological and gynecologic surgeries,” she said. “These procedures are minimally invasive, which translates to better patient outcomes, shorter hospital stays and the ability to stay close to home.”

Additionally, the board approved the spen­d­ing of $913,188 for new nuclear medicine equip­ment. The money covers the purchase of a Siem­ens dual head SPECT gamma camera and a Siem­ens SPECT-CT system.

Assistant Vice Pres­i­dent of Op­er­at­ions Steve White said the hos­pi­tal’s Nuclear Med­i­cine department cur­rent­ly is faced with aging pieces of equipment beyond its end of service date through the man­u­facturer.

The current GE MG dual head gamma cam­era was purchased in 2004 and the ADAC Forte was bought in 2000.

Typical life of a Nu­clear Medicine camera is 10 years.

Over the last year, the two units have had a total of 33 work orders placed and more than $45,000 spent on repairs.

White said on Sept. 19, Philips Healthcare re­leased an urgent field safe­ty notice in­structing HMH to dis­con­tin­ue use of the ADAC Forte system until further notice.

“We are limping along right now on a 15-year-old General Electric dual head camera,” he said.

Nuclear medicine in­vol­ves giving patients a small amount of radio­active medication. The equipment detects the radiation emitted by the medication. Further, the SPECT-CT system merges two types of images, providing more precise information.

“It’s essential we keep pace with the evolving needs of nuclear med­i­cine technology,” said Enterprise Direct­or of Medical Imaging Bert Jones in a news release. “This investment ensures we provide the highest quality diagnostic imaging and exceed our patients’ expectations for comfort and convenience.”

Jones also noted the equip­ment positions HMH to handle in­creas­ing patient vol­u­mes. In the last two years, de­mand for nu­clear med­i­cine ser­vices has in­creas­ed 11 percent to approx­i­mately 320 proced­ures each month at the hospital.

“These investments are important steps forward as HMH meets the growing demand for advanced services throughout our region,” Jones said.

The board also approved the purchase of five new anesthesia machines totaling roughly $260,000.

Pardee said the Aes­tiva machines currently in place no longer be supported by GE. She said they received notice Oct. 31, 2017, support for the models onsite would cease by June 30, 2020.

Also at the meeting, Interim Chief Financial Officer Pam Gallagher presented financial re­ports for August and Sep­tember, reporting a net operating loss of $471,000 in August and a gain of $421,000 in September.

In addition, the board reviewed the 2019 audit results from BKD CPAs and Advisors. The firm issued a “clean” opinion of 2019 financial statements, which recorded a net operating profit of $1.36 million for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or

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