|Johnson Says Thanks to SLVRMC Team|
You may have noticed that I am doing quite a bit of traveling these days. Some of you may be wondering what's taking me away from here so often. That's a fair question for the CEO and you deserve to know what my commitments are, both here and away, and so here is a brief summary to help explain.
Most of my travel relates to my service for two organizations. I am completing my three year commitment as a board member on the American Hospital Association (AHA). AHA is the body that represents 95% of hospitals (over 4,350) in the country. It does advocacy for hospitals on a national basis and helps form policy around issues of patient safety, quality, reimbursement, liability, and regulatory issues. My other primary reason for travel is my service to the Colorado Hospital Association, which has a similar role as the AHA, on a statewide basis.
With the AHA, I am the Chairman of the Regional Policy Board (RPB), an organization of hospital representatives (administrators, providers, trustees) from seven mountain states. As Chair of this group, I lead discussions and seek feedback from hospitals like ours and larger ones across the region on policy issues that are affecting us. This group meets three times a year.
In my role as Chairman of the RPB, I also serve on the Board of Trustees of the AHA. I am one of 25 representatives from hospitals across the country. The Board is the governing body for all hospitals in the Association. We meet four times annually on issues including payment reform, reducing hospital acquired conditions (falls, infection, medication errors), and encouraging Congress to support hospitals and providers in our mission of healing people across the country.
As an AHA Trustee, I also serve on three committees that support the work of the AHA. I recently returned from a group that evaluates and recognizes excellence in end-of-life and palliative care – an important issue for all of us personally and as care-givers.
Representing SLVRMC Away from Home
I also serve and represent our hospital in my role on the Board and executive committee of the Colorado Hospital Association. This organization represents all 85 hospitals in our state and develops programs to support the work we do. Through this work, we have greatly increased coverage and payment for our Medicaid and CICIP patients, launched a statewide effort to improve patient safety, secured the ability of our CRNAs to practice anesthesia in rural settings and many more actions. This organization represents the needs of rural hospitals, from nursing, to accreditation surveys, payment for services and information technology needs and promoting quality and safety of patient care.
You've heard me say how important this time is for hospitals. There are major changes underway and more coming over the next few years. Federal budget cuts will impact how we are paid in a dramatic way. During these times, it is vital to speak up and speak out for the needs of hospitals, including smaller rural hospitals like SLVRMC and CCH.
Being a Leader Through Excellence and Innovation
The work that you all do to support patients and families is vitally important. We need people who know the good work that is done at SLVRMC and hospitals everywhere. This advocacy is my role through these organizations and why I take time to serve on them. It is important to be a part of the discussion as we talk about the challenges we face, the difficulties of providing care in an isolated community and the incredible difference you make in the lives of the people who come here. This exposure also gives me the opportunity to meet with leaders from across the country and hear about the good work and great ideas they have for improving health care. I get to bring these ideas back to our leadership team and providers to ensure we are up-to-date on the latest techniques and ideas for improving our care.
These outside opportunities do mean some continued travel for me. The end is in sight though, as many of my AHA commitments will end in November of this year. I fi rmly believe that my service has and will continue to produce real benefits to SLVRMC and, in fact, all hospitals. There is a lot happening now in health care and if we aren't learning and being innovative (two of our Values), we can get left behind. We are at the forefront when it comes much of the work you do creating new ways of caring for patients in this new healthcare world we live in. I know you're also proud to be a part of this organization!
So thank you for all your hard work, and support, especially while I travel. Be assured, the work you do is at the top of my priorities even when I'm away. As your CEO, I will continue to advocate on your behalf when I'm on the road and I will remain open to your thoughts and suggestions when I'm here. Thanks for all you do in making exceptional healthcare personal! I'm proud to be on this team!