High Bioterrorism Risk One Main Reason for Glen Rose Medical Center Expansion-Gary Marks


High Bioterrorism Risk One Main Reason for Glen Rose Medical Center Expansion-Gary Marks

23 February 2009 at 12:08:39 AM

salon.glenrose.net/default.aspWe were interested in seeing the HRSA application that Gary Marks, as CEO of the Glen Rose Medical Center, dba for Glen Rose Medical Foundation filled out to apply for grant funds. As we understand it, because GRMC didn't qualify for a government grant, Chet Edwards earmarked money for GRMC. I'm assuming and wish to verify this in the next few days, that the reason the grant paperwork was nonetheless filled out was because the money came out of a general HRSA pool and the paperwork needed to be there to justfiy it. But I may be wrong on that. In any event, will be posting parts of the application, which you can see was signed by Mr. Marks on 4/30/2008. As noted on the project narrative: LINK TO PDF (at least the first 5 pages of it)

Local funding is expected to be approved on April 14, 2008 with bid advertisement for construction contractor to be received around May 1, 2008, followed by awarding the bid by Mary 15, 2008 and starting construction within 30 days of bid award. Completion of this two phase project is expected to be approximately 18 months.

The facility is owned by Somervell County and is leased to Glen Rose Medical Foundation, Inc. Somervell County is financing the project through the issuance of $14.5 million Certificates of Obligation.

Here's the good part with regard to bioterrorism and when you read this consider how often you hear, when you go to NRC meetings or read about nuclear plants in articles, how safe they are. But here, GRMC uses the following as a justification for why the expansion is taking place.

...Secondly, and just as important is the fact that within Somervell County the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (Nuclear Plant) is located. This is identified as a high risk for bio-terrorism requiring the Medical Center to be capable of treating patients exposed to bio-terrorism. Additionally an application is in process for the construction of two more reactors. This will impact the Medical Center during the construction with over 5000 employess. The nuclear plant will also be at a higher risk for Bioterrorism.

The project is coordinated with local nuclear plant officials, the County Judge (Disaster Coordinator) and County officials. The E/R has a specially designed decon room that is connected to a treatment room for decontamination and treating patients. The Medical Center fully participates with the Emergency Operating Center for community disaster coordination. These drills are monitored and reviewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Texas State Emergency Preparedness Division because of the Nuclear Plant located in Somervell County and being rated as a high risk for bioterrorism.

Really. That sure does raise some questions. Was the emergency room expansion to the tune of 14.5 million dollars BECAUSE of the high risk of bioterrorism and perhaps some government requirment to include a decontanimination room? Do all hospitals near nuclear power plants have to have a decontanimation room and additional emergency rooms because of the risk of bioterrorism? I notice that Luminant is working closely with GRMC on these decontamination requirements-does every company that is supplying nuclear power do the same? Doesn't this contradict the comments from those who are proponents of nuclear energy as to the safeness of it ? And finally, woudln't it be dang well better if the two proposed reactors ARE TURNED DOWN instead of increasing the risk of bioterrorism???????

Update: April 2009-Incidentally, I noticed a bit ago that Mitch Lucas, of Luminant is also on the Glen Rose Medical Foundation board.

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1 - pharper   24 Feb 2009 @ 2:00:16 PM 

I sort of think the increased risk of a bio-terrorism attack is a good reason to NOT install two more reactors.

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2 - salon   23 Jul 2009 @ 11:40:31 AM 

Update July 23 2009-Just saw this in the mail, missed the ribbon cutting. But here's a bit from the brochure/flyer we got.

Decontamination room stands READY!

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