CEO Update: Celebrating the Power of Rural!
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 21, 2019 this year – to celebrate National Rural Health Day. I never imagined when I was growing up in a rural community that we would have a day like this to celebrate such an important topic. CRHC celebrates National Rural Health Day each year in a rural community with the local health facilities, local policy makers (such as mayors), and the community to recognize the amazing things happening in our rural communities.
Rural communities in Colorado and throughout the United States are wonderful places to live and work – they are places where people know each other, listen to and respect each other, and work together to benefit the community, reads the Proclamation from Governor Jared Polis. Of Colorado’s 64 counties, 47 are designated as rural or frontier and represent 750,230 people. This year it was CRHC’s great honor to visit the town of Eads, located on the Eastern Plains in Kiowa County, for National Rural Health Day. The event had representatives from Weisbrod County Memorial Hospital and Clinic board, leadership, staff, and the town mayor and community members.
Weisbrod County Memorial Hospital was built in the 1930’s, saw some big additions in the 1960’s, and today is working with the community to support an infrastructure project. The hospital and clinic actively work in partnership with CRHC, participating in quality improvement programs and other innovative rural health initiatives. This year, Weisbrod County Memorial Hospital received an award at CRHC’s 2019 Critical Access Hospital Workshop for patient satisfaction improvements. In fact, they received 100% on their Communication with Nurses and Discharge Information score as measured by the HCAHPS, a CMS reporting program.
Weisbroad County Memorial Hospital’s CEO Char Korrel says, “We have enhanced the services we provide at the clinic over the past couple of years to include chronic disease management where we follow patients and interact with them for 20 minutes or more a month, we are encouraging patients to come for annual wellness visits and proactively prevent chronic disease and an active life. We provide well child checks with immunizations administered at the time of the visit. We recently started providing bioidentical hormone pellet therapy for men and women. We are partnering to offer mental health services to our community. Emergency telemedicine has been integrated to assist the providers on call and assist nursing staff with documentation. We work closely with the local pharmacy to ensure patients get the medication they need and coordinate efforts to ensure the patients are taking the medication correctly and work with social services and Public Health to assist people who need services and address population health needs and gaps. Through quality measure adherence and reporting, we continue to improve what we do. We give great quality care, and this is shown by our increasing patient load in the clinic and outpatient services we provide.”
It was an honor to celebrate National Rural Health Day in Eads and CRHC is honored to be your State Office of Rural Health and Rural Health Association. Thank you for celebrating the #PowerofRural with us this year!