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Insights for Hospital CEOs during COVID-19: Be calm and confident

By Don Smithburg,  SVP Hospital Operations for CHC & Interim CEO for Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services

Facing uncertainty has become a fact of life for all Americans in the midst of COVID-19. Pundits say one thing, public health agencies say another and elected officials send divergent messages. In the healthcare space, hospitals have been competing for PPE and seeking expert advice for treatment protocols. We have all struggled with the scale and scope of the pandemic, which has strained our healthcare organizations and created economic hardship for people...


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Relationships are the Key to LTACH Success

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By Wayne Boutwell, CEO, ContinueCARE Hospital at Palmetto Health Baptist in Columbia , S.C.

Building relationships within your community is more important than ever for community hospitals, and the same holds true for long term acute care hospitals (LTACHs). In fact, relationship-building and education are the mainstays of success for ContinueCARE Hospital at Palmetto Health Baptist in Columbia, S.C. A similar approach is beneficial for LTACHs across the country.

Host-Hospital Relationship

The host-hospital relationship is of primary importance for any LTACH. Because ContinueCARE Hospital at Palmetto Health...


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Rural Matters Podcast Features Brian Doerr, Carrie Zbierski, and Andra Smith

Rural Matters, a podcast featuring issues important to Rural America, recently spoke to Brian Doerr, Senior Vice President of Information Technology and Security, and Privacy Officer for Community Hospital Corporation of Plano, Texas; Carrie Zbierski, Chief Nursing Officer at North Texas Medical Center; and Andra Smith, Director of Practice Management at North Texas Medical Center about the evolving telemedicine presence in rural America and its capability to deliver specialty health services.

Before the pandemic, Doerr notes, rural areas accesses telemedicine in a limited way, due to regulatory and reimbursement restrictions...


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Be Prepared for Coronavirus Communications

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Best Practices for Coronavirus Communications

It’s natural for communities to turn to hospitals during times of health crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 is a prime example of the important emergency-response role hospitals fill. Over the last several weeks, we’ve seen hospitals across the country prepare for and respond to growing numbers of cases and concerns of the novel coronavirus. 

The pandemic also has driven hospital communicators to update crisis communications plans and implement those efforts. Following are several best practices and resources for planning and communicating about COVID-19 emergency response.

Preparation:

Facilities still finalizing preparations...


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Integrating physical and mental healthcare

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Treating the Whole Person: Mental Health Integration

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By Jennifer Franklin, Chief Clinical Officer, Yoakum Community Hospital

Like many hospitals, Yoakum Community Hospital sees an uptick in patients receiving geropsychiatric services in winter. The holiday season is, therefore, a good time to talk about the mental health needs of this population. With the New Year approaching, it’s also a good time for hospitals to resolve to better address those needs, not just during the holidays but all throughout the year. Yoakum—a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in rural South Central Texas—accomplishes this through integrated care, which...


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Lessons for Leaders of Distressed Hospitals

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By Anthony Sudduth, CEO, Southwest Health System

Last year, Southwest Health System (SHS), in Cortez, Colorado, found itself in the midst of a significant financial crisis. The hospital had violated bond covenants associated with a $32 million building project, failing to meet the 80 days cash-on-hand requirement for four consecutive quarters. This violation triggered technical default, which could have led to bankruptcy and closure. Instead, SHS acted swiftly and decisively, becoming not a cautionary tale but a comeback story and an inspiration.

The SHS turnaround is a bright...


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John Yeary, CEO, Freestone Medical Center

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Service Isn’t Seasonal: Give Back to the Community All Year Round

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By John Yeary, CEO, Freestone Medical Center

The holidays are a time for giving and gathering. However, for hospitals, community involvement and giving back should be year-round priorities. This is especially true for hospitals serving small, tight-knit communities.

The CEO should set the example. For my part, as chief executive of Freestone Medical Center in Fairfield, Texas, I started simply by joining the Rotary Club. I’ve since found that each connection I make tends to create others, developing synergies that benefit both the hospital and the community. The...


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What Would We Do Without Local Medical Care?

by Regina Keilers, Publisher, Fayette County Record, La Grange, Texas

I found myself in need of medical care again recently. The details of what was wrong are not really the important part of the story, what is important is how I was cared for.

I had a small spot on my arm (probably a bug bite) that was red and seemed to possibly be infected. I put some antibiotic cream on it and covered it up hop-ing that would take care of it. After a couple of days, (on a...


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Community Hospitals Are Economic Engines. How Are You Fueling Yours?

Metaphors commonly used to describe community hospitals underscore their importance to the regions they serve. They’ve been called economic engines, cornerstones of the community, and, by Forbes, the “financial glue” that holds communities together. Community hospitals tend to be one of the top employers in town, so when one closes, there are more consequences than traveling farther for hospital care.

Still, community hospitals are closing at a dispiriting rate—87 shut down in 26 states from January 2010 to July 2018, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. Countless...


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Rural Matters Podcast Features Karen Barber & Jim Kendrick

Rural Matters, a podcast featuring issues important to Rural America, recently spoke to Karen Barber, CEO of Yoakum Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Texas, and Jim Kendrick, president and CEO of Community Hospital Corporation, a non-profit whose mission for 22 years has been sustaining healthcare in rural markets.

Kendrick shared that it is often difficult to recruit enough physicians to serve the community. Barber explained that her facility recently had to close their labor and delivery department as a result of an aging population, low volume for deliveries,...


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