Philip Chamber acquires improved website

"You get a pretty good grasp of what Philip is like just by going to PhilipSouthDakota.com," said DJ Rush at the Philip Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday, May 14. Rush and local computer and website expert, Lukasz Stanczyk, illustrated improvements of the Chamber of Commerce website which have already been implemented.

"We can make this a real community website," said Rush. "It's the same information, just presented differently, plus more."

"People will see new things every day," said Stanczyk. "Some information is automatically refreshed daily; nobody has to do it." The website program has been created to search for references to Philip and to use a screen for appropriateness. A human editor can oversee that there are no glitches or interpretative mistakes. Other information, such as city council minutes, can be inserted by a city representative such as the finance officer.

The website also includes links to other local business websites. Photos of the community scroll across the first screen the viewer sees. Among the user friendly aspects are 11 main headings to directly navigate, a search capacity for specific subject matter and a full view calendar of events.

Stanczyk is married to Amanda (Neville) and has moved to America from Poland. "I'm new to this community, but everyone welcomed me when I came here," said Stanczyk. "Knowing about this area, because it is where my wife is from and because of the people here, and helping with this project are important to me."

In other chamber business, Glenn Parsons reported on the Mid America Chamber Executives (MACE) conference in Fargo, ND. "Networking is the reason that we go," said Parsons. "Philip was the only volunteer organization represented and the conference had groups from seven states."

Parsons reported that larger businesses such as Scheels Sporting Goods and Microsoft are actually looking for relatively smaller communities to do business and create headquarters because of the smaller community atmosphere. The future holds more service and technical positions. "Less poets, more welding," was a catch-phrase repeated by Parsons. Creating businesses from home is a growing aspect of modern business. "You've got to incubate what you've got," was his closing advice to chamber members.

Hospital administrator Kent Olson began updating the chamber concerning Philip Health Services Inc. with, "For a small place, our numbers are pretty big."

Compared with the 2003 hospital admissions of 149, PHSI has budgeted for a projected 170 in 2007. Swing Bed days of 1,111 in 2003 are estimated to be 3,772 in 2007. From 768 emergency room visits in 2003, 2007 is budgeted for 850. PHSI has recently purchased all new beds and mattresses for $42,000. A 40-year-old kitchen oven has been replaced.

"We're always looking for another doctor," said Olson. "Yet, our turnover rate is about half of the national average." PHSI has made contact with a trained laboratory technician from the Philippians who should be joining the staff in about a month.

Tours of the hospital and clinic will be offered during the Philip Centennial. The tours are geared more for those people who have not been here for 10 or 20 years, said Olson.

"I've never seen such an orderly crowd in my entire life. The whole event was organized and civilized," said Olson of the recent Health Fair. This year, six technicians drew blood from 220 clients, who were processed by 9:00 a.m., according to PHSI lab manager Connie Sandstrom.

Olson related that 90 to 95 percent of the emergency room visits in big cities should actually be clinic calls during office hours. Philip area residents use the PHSI emergency room when it should be used. "Our doctors know that if they are called out at 3:00 a.m., it is a real emergency, rather than something that should calmly have been a clinic call," concluded Olson.

Joe Gittings reported that the final organizational steps of the Philip Centennial celebration are going well. The different teams, clubs and organizations responsible for various activities "are really getting with it." Updates and additions are continually being finalized. Though some extra activities, such as the Matched Bronc Ride, require their own entry fees, everything under the big tent in downtown Philip will be accessible with just the Centennial buttons.

The next Philip Chamber of Commerce meeting will be at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, June 11, at the 73 Bar meeting hall.