CCMH is celebrating our "Rock Stars of healthcare”-that’s the theme for this year’s National Hospital Week, May 10-16, 2015. It celebrates the men and women who, day in and day out, remain committed to improving the health of their communities through compassionate care, constant innovation and unwavering, unmatched dedication. This is the annual opportunity to thank the dedicated individuals—physicians, therapist, technologist, nurses, support staff, volunteers, administrators and so many more—for their commitment. It’s also a great time for us to tell the hospital story and publicly reinforce the vital role hospitals play in their community’s overall health, which extends far beyond strictly providing medical care.
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CCMH will host their annual blood drive on Thursday, May 14th from 11:30 - 3 p.m. Community Blood Bank from Kansas City is making appointments online at savealifenow.org by clicking the "Schedule an Appointment" icon and enter sponsor code CARROLLCMH.
The event will be located at CCMH in the Jefferson Park dining room. You can enter through the Senior Center doors. CCMH will be providing a shuttle service as a courtesy to take you to and from your car.
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CCMH was able to implement a Career Advancement Program for Professional Nurses through a grant with the Missouri Hospital Association. The career ladder was rolled out in April of 2014. After one year of hard work and dedication to the Nursing Profession, CCMH, our patients, and our community, I am pleased to announce that Becky Cook has successfully challenged the Career Ladder and is an RN 2!
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Rural hospitals are an intergral and important part of the communities they serve. In addition to providing much needed access to medical services, rural hospitals create and support local jobs. Often, they are the largest employer and are a key part of the community's social fabric. In many ways, rural hospitals provide an outsized benefit from their urban counterparts-- having a hospital is one way of putting a rural community "on the map."
Just as rural communities differ, so do their hospitals. Some community hospitals were originally organized as district or county hospitals. However, not every hospital with a "public" organizational structure receives public funding. In fact, public funding for Missouri hospitals has been on the decline for decades. That is why strong hospital boards-- composed of leaders with a close connection to the communities they serve-- are so important. Hospital boards must allocate funds with a keen eye to the unique health needs of their communities.
The past few years have been difficult for hospitals, especially rural hospitals. Many rural hospitals provide services to populations who are on average poorer, less likely to have insurance coverage, more likely to have chronic conditions and older than their urban counterparts. Rural hospitals also may be more dependent on payments from Medicare and Medicaid, and these programs do not always cover the full cost of providing services. In some cases, rural hospitals are able to receive additional payments or more favorable reimbursement based on their locations or federal designations to offset these structural disadvantages. However, these benefits do not apply uniformly to every rural hosptial.
Building a strong rural health framework is vital to the state's well-being, and rural hospitals have been moving aggressively to adapt and innovate to meet the challenges of a changing market. Upgradeed facilities, community-centered program development, quality improvement and expanded access to physician specialists through partnerships with urban hospitals and through telemedicine are part of this shift. In addition, rural hospitals are transforming themselves through the deployment of new information technology systems.
Primary care access is an emerging concern for rural residents. Rural physicians are older, and they often see more patients more productive than physicians in urban areas because of limited number of practicing physicians in rural communities. As a result, rural communities are more susceptible to physician retirement. In the coming decade, replacing a physician will be a significant challenge for rural hospitals. This is compounded by an expected increase in the demand for health services driven by an aging rural population and anticipated increases in insured citizens becasue of health care reform. Strong rural hospitals are vital in communities' efforts to attract and help retain primary care physicians.
These changes are critical because Missourian's health indicators for tobacco use, obesity, diabetes and heart disease are higher in Missouri than many other states. And, these behaviors can lead to chronic health conditions and increased need for health services.
There isn't a "cookie cutter" approach to the long-term success of rural hospitals. The best rural hospitals reflect the communities they serve.
Imagine your rural hospital disappears from the landscape. Think about how this would affect your community. For many, this would mean losing access to the care provided by hosptials 24/7, 365 days a year.
Strong communities need strong hospitals. And, rural communities are stronger because of the rural hospitals that serve them.
The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 154 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.