October 1, 2017 | Allen Van Driel, CEO
Last week, during the annual Critical Access Hospital Conference sponsored by the National Rural Health Association, Smith County Memorial Hospital was recognized as one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation for 2017. This award, based on data analysis of all 1350 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States by a data analytics company called iVantage Health Analytics. They look at performance of hospitals based on three groupings of indicators: Market, Value, and Finance. The greatest strength shown by the data for Smith County Memorial Hospital was in the area of Market. This grouping of indicators looks at the ability of the CAH to meet both the needs of the community in terms of Inpatient and Outpatient Services. They measure the percentage of patients within the service area that actually receive services from the facility. I am convinced that the high marks we received in this area reflect two major factors, which are related to each other. First is the strength of our Medical Staff, coupled with the nursing, allied health, and support staff. We boast the strongest, highest quality Medical Staff within a large radius. Five Physicians, all of them Board Certified in Family Medicine, assisted by three Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (Nurse Practitioners), provide extremely high quality medical care. The superiority of our Medical Staff is not just in the numbers of providers, but in the high quality, collaborative way that they practice. I have often said that in more than 25 years in hospital administration in a variety of communities, I have never dealt with a group of physicians so dedicated to the provision of great care, who are able to work together as effectively as ours do. The second factor is the support we receive from the community. This support is evidenced by both the support we continually receive in terms of funding support, but also the loyalty of the residents of the community in turning to us as the source of their healthcare. Businesses in small communities continually struggle to be able to provide goods and services to the residents, encouraging residents to “buy local” rather than spending their dollars out of town. Health care is no different. We struggle on a daily basis to provide services in a cost effective basis. One of the best ways for us to be cost effective is by spreading the cost of services over the largest number of consumers possible. We clearly recognize that our consumers can choose to receive services in any number of locations. We are very pleased that a very large majority of the healthcare consumers in this area choose to receive their services from us. This makes the strength of Smith County Memorial Hospital a true partnership between the community and the health system. We want to take this opportunity to thank the community for your confidence in us, and for the reflection of that confidence in the data leading to this award. The award, in my opinion, truly recognizes the community and the Medical Staff.
One of the many ways the local community shows their support for SCMH is during the annual Employee Fundraiser. For a number of years, this event has resulted in funding for a great deal of equipment for different departments in the hospital that might not have otherwise been affordable. The annual dinner and auction sponsored by the Ragpickers (the employee fundraising group) will be held at the Smith Center Armory on Saturday evening, October 6. The doors will open at 6:00 P.M., with dinner served at 6:30. Many items will be on display for the Silent Auction, which will be held before and during the dinner. After the dinner, a live auction of donated items will be held. You must have a ticket for the dinner in order to bid on Silent Auction or Live Auction items. As I write this, we are not quite sold out of tickets, but there are only a few left. Get yours soon by coming to the Hospital. The array of items available for purchase at the auction is, as always, truly amazing. We hope to see you there Saturday evening!