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November 2018 CEO Update

I have been thinking a lot lately about the value of community hospitals and how public support is vital for helping us grow and thrive—and in doing so—allowing us to provide needed services and expert medical professionals to you, our community.

You have a choice of where to go for your healthcare, and we greatly appreciate it when you choose us. By choosing Campbell County Health you make us stronger, and hence the community stronger. You see, as a non-profit hospital it is both our duty and our privilege to serve the health needs of our community—and we do that gladly, with great respect for all of our patients, residents, and other valued customers.

To make sure your needs are met, we even offer services that we know will not be profitable. We reach out via periodic assessments and ask what you want, and then we do our best to provide it. A good example is our Dialysis Center. There are only a small percentage of people in the community who need this service. At any given time, we have between 25 and 30 patients undergoing treatment in our Dialysis Center, and that is from a total market of nearly 50,000 people. But for those 25 to 30 people, their healthcare needs are being met right here in Gillette, Wyoming, instead of having to travel out of town three days per week in all different kinds of weather.

Another example is Behavioral Health Services and in particular, addressing the concern of high suicide rates in our county. Even though Behavioral Health Services is a challenging service line financially, the Board of Trustees is unanimously committed to provide these services because it is the right thing to do.

Yet a final example is The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center. CCH has built a beautiful facility and is committed to providing the best long-term and rehabilitation services in Wyoming right here in Gillette. This is an expensive service and does not come close to paying back the investment we made in the community.

Yet, if we offer too many services that don’t help us pay the bills, we are not able to maintain financial stability. We must balance services that don’t pay for themselves with those that are profitable. That’s why when a healthcare organization comes into our community from outside Campbell County, Wyoming, and offers a service that takes patients we can care for to another community, it hurts our ability to provide all the services you need and deserve. Those organizations may market themselves as being part of Campbell County, but look a little deeper and you will see a dollar sign pointing the compass in a different direction. Those providers and organizations from outside of Gillette are not here to provide dialysis, behavioral health, or long-term care; they come for services like orthopedics, cardiology, and general surgery. They come for gainfully employed patients who have good insurance. They come to provide the same care you can get right here in Campbell County by surgeons and other providers who are equally skilled but locally committed.

The same is true when people choose to leave town for care that we offer right here at home. We don’t expect you to choose us just because we are local. We must continue to demonstrate that we give high quality care in our hospital, clinics and long-term care facility.

We are your community healthcare system and hospital, and we are firmly anchored in this community and the people we serve. There is something special about local people helping local people — the best in everyone tends to come out because you are being cared for by a friend and neighbor.

Sincerely,

Andy Fitzgerald, CEO