You are the owner of this page.
01 01
StoryWalk celebrates city’s 150th

A photo of a Derby cheerleader from 1983 soon will join the StoryWalk at Derby’s High Park.

It will be one of several photos celebrating the city’s 150th anniversary.

StoryWalk is a project of the Derby Health Collaborative, the Derby Public Library and the city to encourage reading, exercise and family time.

Carri Fry, youth services coordinator at the library, “deconstructs” a picture book and posts parts of it on displays along a roughly half-mile walk around the lake at High Park.

“We change the story out about every two months,” Fry explained.

The book for August and September is “Library Mouse” by Daniel Kirk.

“The 150th committee had mentioned they would like to have some pictures from the history of Derby included in StoryWalk,” Fry said.

She has worked with Kristy Norman, a colleague at the library, to secure historic photos for StoryWalk. Six new photos will be featured on the last three signs.

“We try to depict children and life in the past,” Fry said. “We want to appeal to families at the end of the StoryWalk.”

StoryWalk launched in July 2017 with the story “Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon.

Stories are geared toward families with preschoolers, though people of all ages seem to appreciate StoryWalk, Fry said.

Debbie Williams, community wellness coordinator for the Derby Recreation Commission, agreed.

“It seems like I always have a lot of people making references to it,” she said. “I do think it is sort of a draw for people.”

Williams brought the idea for StoryWalk home after seeing a similar installment during a trip to botanical gardens in Springfield, Missouri.

“I thought ‘This is pretty darn cool,’” Williams said. “I connected with Carri at the library, and she loved the idea.”

A fundraiser helped pay for the permanent signs along StoryWalk.

High Park is east of Madison and Rock.

Derby’s first hospital part of a growing service sector

After a quiet opening, the city’s first hospital is ready to show itself off to the public.

Officials at Rock Regional Hospital have set an open house for 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the 89,000-square-foot facility, which is at 3251 N. Rock and just north of Field Station: Dinosaurs. It has been in business since April, but its leaders wanted to get its operations and staff in place before a public opening.

During the event, which includes refreshments, the public may tour the hospital and meet its staff and physicians.

Barry Beus, the hospital’s vice president of business development and strategy, is one of the members of the executive team who has been working to get the hospital’s structure in place.

It’s been a lot of effort and there were numerous details to tackle, but operations are going “very well,” he said, and he credited much of that to what he called “a very talented team of physicians and staff.”

“We have already had many patients come in for surgery or utilize our emergency room,” Beus said.

Officials have been pleased with patient outcomes and their experiences, he said.

Rock Regional is part of an upward sector in the country’s economy.

The hospital industry is expected to have a 3.1 percent growth rate in 2019, according to market figures from data research firm IBISWorld, which reports on thousands of industries around the world.

“Demand for industry services has steadily grown over the past five years, as health care reform legislation broadened insurance coverage and the sinking unemployment rate increased disposable income,” the company’s hospital report stated.

The $1.1 trillion hospital sector is giant part of the economy, too, employing some 5.6 million people, according to the report.

For Rock Regional, a major hurdle was taken care of last month when it received its Medicare certification after a recommendation from The Joint Commission, which accredits more than 21,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs.

Bringing in additional providers

The commission is not a government agency; however, it is recognized by the CMS, or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as having standards and a survey process that meet Medicare’s requirements.

There was a common goal among staff and physicians to be a Joint Commission accredited hospital, Beus said.

“A successful survey is a huge milestone for all employees and physicians who have been involved with the hospital to this point,” Beus said.

The purpose of the survey is to ensure that the hospital provides care in a “safe, high quality environment,” he said.

Rock Regional does work with all other providers, and is currently licensed and contracted to also accept ProviDRs’ patients, which includes hospital employees and the city of Derby, he said.

“We will continue to bring on additional payers on an in-network basis in the coming months,” Beus said.

IBISWorld also reports that increased government health care funding will increase reimbursement for industry services, thereby raising industry revenue.

And as a community with a high net worth and income, the hospital is well-poised in Derby.

“People with higher incomes typically spend more on health care, including hospital services, and are more likely to have private health insurance to provide coverage for hospital services, boosting industry demand,” the report stated. “Disposable income is expected to increase in 2019, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.”

The hospital fills a service area in Derby, say local officials. While the city has long had outpatient medical services, and more recently, added an all-hours emergency room, it has not had an in-patient hospital until now. And like its name implies, its service area is not just Derby, but the surrounding area.

Rock Regional has 24 medical/surgical beds, seven ICU beds, two procedure rooms, four operating rooms, two heart catheterization lab rooms and six emergency department rooms.

While the hospital is able to provide almost all of the medical services, including acute care and surgeries, some situations will need to be referred on to Wichita hospitals.