The blankets go to patients who may need “a little something extra” in their care, but in this case it was carefully selected to comfort Taylor, hospital spokesman Bill Fortenberry said.
The third-grader had been raised by her grandparents and was taking his decline badly. The quilt — painstakingly stitched by volunteer Linda Wilhelm — eventually became a treasured heirloom for Taylor, something to hold onto in her grandfather’s absence.
“This really is a Linus security blanket for that little girl,” Fortenberry told members of FMC’s three oversight boards Wednesday, referencing the Peanuts character.
The supply of special blankets, however, is getting low. Fortenberry urged board members to help spread the word to local knitters, quilters and other crafters that donations are needed.
“It’s such a critical program,” he said. “Palliative care is not just medical support. It’s spiritual and emotional support too.”
The three boards that share responsibility for the public hospital are Floyd Healthcare Management Inc., Floyd Healthcare Resources Inc. and the Hospital Authority of Floyd County.
The fundraising arm, Floyd Healthcare Foundation, also presented the hospital with a $450,000 check Wednesday.
FMC Chief Financial Officer Rick Sheerin said the hospital would have to take in nearly $27 million in revenue to generate that much hard cash. The money will be used to offset expenses.
Sheerin also provided a brief update about Polk Medical Center, which has been under FMC management for the past two months. He said 53 percent of Polk’s revenue is through Medicare and Medicaid patients, reimbursable at 101 percent of the treatment cost.
That’s a higher rate than FMC’s reimbursement level, he noted, because Medicaid and Medicare patients comprise less than 50 percent of Floyd’s revenue.
Kim Scoggins, administrator at Polk Medical Center, said new signs and exterior improvements are complete and she’s now taking bids to remodel the interior of the 70-year-old facility. A sleep lab and cardiac rehabilitation center also are planned.