As I write this column in early 2019, I cannot help but reflect on the
changes in leadership Campbell County Health has recently experienced
as an organization, as we said goodbye to some dear friends and colleagues.
Deb Tonn, Vice President of Patient Care services, retired after 40 years
in nursing, the last 10 of which were spent at CCH. Moreover,
Anne Raga retired after 27 years of nursing and nursing leadership at CCH.
We have hired a new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) to fill this leadership void,
Misty Robertson. Misty has assumed the direction of the nursing departments and a few
of the ancillary areas. We are also adding a new
Chief Operating Officer (COO) position in the near future. The COO will be focused, as the name
would indicate, on CCH operations. This means that most of clinical areas
will report to the COO indirectly through a Vice President, or directly,
as departments. We expect this position to be filled as soon as February.
We have some great new changes to look forward to this year, and I want
to touch on just some of them for you.
A brand new
inpatient unit for
Intensive Care Units at
Campbell County Memorial Hospital will open during 2019 in Gillette, Wyoming. The first phase will open
in the summer of 2019 for Maternal Child, and the second phase will open
either December of 2019 or January of 2020 for Med/Surg and ICU. These
are the first new inpatient rooms since CCMH was opened in 1981, and they
will be significantly larger—designed by our own employees to be
the most efficient patient rooms possible. It is difficult to envision
how significant this change will be now, when the work is going on above
the main lobby, but these new rooms will really change both how patients
experience their care, and how caregivers provide it.
Board of Trustees and Medical Staff have new leadership this year. Our CCH Board has one
new member and six returning members. Dr. Ian Swift is the new Board Chair,
and Lisa Harry was elected in November.
Dr. Nick Stamato is the new Chief of the Medical Staff, partnered with
Dr. John Mansell as the incoming Chief of Staff. Dr. Stamato has many new ideas about peer
review and credentialing that should invigorate several of the new, and
a few of the seasoned, medical staff members to take a new look at their
roles as medical staff leaders.
Our first year of having a succession planning group of young and upcoming
leaders has gone extraordinarily well. We have nine leaders who are learning
leadership principles, being partnered with senior leaders for professional
growth, working on projects for the organization, and building a network
of relationships that will help them in their CCH careers for years to
come. I am excited how well this first year has gone, and even more excited
that we are planning the second year already. (Staff who are interested
in this opportunity should be watching for the upcoming application process.)
We expect this second year selection process to kick off in March of this year.
Access to healthcare in rural areas will become even more critical in the
future as the population ages in Gillette, Wyoming, and nationwide. Telemedicine
is a viable way to provide care over great distances, and CCH just began
its first telemedicine outreach effort with our
Home Health department. We are currently monitoring the vital signs and medication compliance
of a small group of test patients in their homes, and have actually been
able to intervene with one of those patients in a proactive way to get
them some additional care they needed.
CCH also entered into a telemonitoring agreement with
Wyoming Medical Center (WMC) in Casper, Wyoming, for telestroke assistance in the CCMH
Emergency Department. Through a remote connection, the neurologists at WMC will be able to
monitor patients, and help our ED physicians determine the most appropriate
and expeditious form of treatment for potential stroke patients. We are
also looking at expanding telemedicine opportunities into primary care
in Campbell County, Wyoming in an effort to make primary care medicine
more accessible and affordable for our community.
I believe that 2019 will be a year filled with opportunities for improvement
in patient and resident care, and also challenges as we continue to adapt
to ever changing landscape in healthcare. I am always amazed at the resiliency
of our patients, medical staff and volunteers.
I know we have a bright future as an organization and look forward to continuing
to serve our community by providing a lifetime of care with dedication,
skill, and compassion.
~ Andy Fitzgerald, CEO