CEO Update: Gratitude
November is a month that we typically set out to give thanks through National Rural Health Day and of course, Thanksgiving. I know this year likely looked different in terms of your Thanksgiving. I hope you still found a way to celebrate.
CRHC concluded the Improving Communications and Readmissions Program (iCARE) earlier this year after ten years and the final White Paper will be released by years end. The iCARE Program was created as a way to demonstrate the Power of Rural. Numerous reports and publications show the struggles rural communities face, with serving a population that is older, sicker, and poorer than their urban counterparts. In fact in Colorado, 73% of our landmass is considered rural or frontier with 47 of Colorado’s 64 counties designated as either rural and frontier and with nearly 721,500 people calling rural Colorado “home”. The median age is 43 compared to 40 in urban, 22% of adult rural Coloradans are considered obese, 7% of rural adults have diabetes and 21% of rural kids live in poverty compared to 11% in urban.
These statistics paint a grim picture of rural life and one of the narratives not just in Colorado, but nationally, that needs to change. Change is caused by seeing and demonstrating and showcasing the good work being accomplished in our rural communities. When rural communities have the power to come up with solutions that work for their unique environment, innovation takes place and that innovation results in positive change. I’m proud of the work that our rural communities and staff have accomplished over the past ten years and know that more positive change will come through our rural community’s collaboration on CRHC’s new quality improvement initiative: the Colorado Rural Sustainability Network.
CRHC’s Colorado Rural Sustainability (CORS) Network is an ongoing effort to build capacity in rural hospitals and clinics to achieve measurable improvements in the health outcomes of their communities. The CORS Network aims to reduce all cause readmissions, reduce chronic disease, increase community engagement, and increase cost savings. The current efforts in the CORS Network include measurement of all cause readmissions, implementation of a Chronic Care Management system, review of community engagement alignment with the Hospital Transformation Program, and review of cost saving metrics. Stay tuned in the coming months to see the progress!
Finally, I wanted to thank you on behalf of our staff and board for the sacrifices you make, every day and especially during this pandemic. Your dedication, commitment and courage deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration. Your service to patients is saving countless lives and making so many differences. Whether you are a frontline provider, working in administration, or helping to maintain the facilities, thank you for risking your lives to protect and care for rural Coloradans.