Community Forum Summary

September 5, 2017

A clean bill of health from The Joint Commission (TJC) was one of many great announcements made at a series of recent community forums led by SageWest Health Care Market CEO Alan Daugherty. During the forums, Daugherty revealed that a resurvey by the national regulatory authority in July resulted in zero (0) findings.

“This is a huge testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and medical staff,” said Daugherty. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made, but we are nowhere near finished. We will continue looking for ways to further improve patient safety and quality care so that every person who enters one of our facilities receives the best possible care.”

Five months after joining SageWest Health Care, Daugherty hosted the forums as a way to update and engage community members. The three-day schedule drew more than 100 community members.

“Our healthcare system has undergone significant change in recent months, and having been here for several months now, I felt it was important to talk directly to our community members, share an update on our hospital and hear what questions they have,” said Daugherty. “I also think it’s really important to just spend some time with them – these are our friends, our family members and our neighbors, and I feel pretty confident saying that all of us at SageWest are honored to serve our community’s healthcare needs.”

The forums covered a number of topics from new leaders to Daugherty’s vision for the system. Specifically, he highlighted the new leadership team in place, which includes:

  • Dan Springer, Chief Operating Officer, who recently joined SageWest from Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, a Community Health Systems (CHS) facility where he served as assistant CEO and interim physician practice administrator;
  • Jennifer Hamilton, Chief Financial Officer, who has been on the SageWest team for the past 22 years, but formerly served in the controller position; and
  • Vickie Bessey, Chief Nursing Officer, who has more than 26 years of nursing experience at SageWest with the majority of those years in nursing management positions.

Daugherty also spent time addressing the system’s focus on its mission of Making Communities Healthier, and how the hospital is working to do just that, both inside and outside the walls of the hospitals. He talked at length about the system’s renewed focus on safe, high quality patient care; efforts to ensure a positive patient experience for all; and being a good community partner.

Aside from the announcement of zero (0) findings by TJC, Daugherty shared several other highlights including the hospital’s recent reaccreditation by TJC and their new accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the American College of Cardiology. According to Daugherty, being an accredited Chest Pain Center means SageWest has achieved a higher standard for treating heart attack symptoms. It means the medical staff and employees are highly skilled and trained to deliver you the best possible care right when and where you need it.

He also provided insight into what the word “quality” really means to SageWest.

“At SageWest, quality means that every person has a voice,” said Daugherty. “Employees, medical staff, patients, visitors, family members – every person’s voice is important when it comes to caring for patients.”

He went on to say that the leadership doesn’t just want people to speak up, they expect every person – employed or not – to speak up if they have a concern. Daugherty told the crowd that this helps the leaders ensure that every patient has a positive experience and a positive outcome.

“To us, quality is a never-ending journey, and I am really happy to say that we are well on our way,’ said Daugherty. “In addition to the great report from TJC, we have had zero (0) central line blood stream associated infections for 24 months straight – that’s 2 years. And so far in 2017, we have had 0 cases of c.Diff. These are great successes, and I would be remiss to not say thank you to the hard work of our employees and medical staff to help us achieve these results.”

Daugherty also emphasized the healthcare system’s commitment to community. He share that thus far in 2017, the hospital supported a number of key community events and programs and that they are continuously evaluating other opportunity to promote the overall health and wellbeing of the region.

His presentation was met with very candid responses and questions from community members, including the need for SageWest to regain the trust of Fremont County and continue looking for ways to enhance access to specialty services and care options. Others encouraged the hospital to continue asking for community input on how they can improve care and the patient experience.

Daugherty said that there were top priorities and that conversations with the community will continue. Specifically, SageWest is creating a Patient and Family Advisory Council, which will provide real-time feedback to health system leaders on how the hospitals are doing.

“We will never take for granted the great privilege it is to serve the healthcare needs of our community,” said Daugherty. “And we will continue to provide you with regular updates and news about our hospital.”