Clarke County Hospital: Excellence close to home

BY BRIAN EVANS, Clarke County Hospital CEO

Walking through Clarke County Hospital brings me a special sense of pride. If you haven’t visited the hospital in recent months, you may not be aware of the construction and remodeling project on the second floor. The much-needed updating offers our patients remodeled rooms with larger, private bathrooms and the ability to set the temperature to their liking. The second-floor construction is just the start of many great things to come at Clarke County Hospital. Our master plan has targeted future projects such as adding more space for specialty clinics, physical therapy, lab and the ER with you, the patient and community, in mind to provide quality health care close to home. These efforts are being recognized from those visiting or receiving care at our facility. I was recently told in a meeting, “Why drive to Des Moines for something you can get here.” I couldn’t agree more. That is the goal at CCH, and a central theme we adhere to regularly - Excellence close to home. I am also proud of the dedication our staff demonstrates in its commitment to Quality of Care. All departments strive for excellence. Whether it’s our laboratory, which serves as a role model to other hospitals for the safety and integrity we provide our patients utilizing the Blood Bank; our diagnostic imaging department which continuously provides excellence in our mammography services; and our emergency department, which provides compassionate, personalized care that has led our patients rating us in the Top 10 percent of hospitals in the U.S. for patient satisfaction. There is also a focus at the hospital on keeping people healthy. Clarke County Hospital is taking the initiative to be a leader in wellness and preventative care. The hospital can play a role in not only helping people with their health and wellness, but possibly reducing their future health care costs. The Health and Wellness Fair, sponsored by the hospital, demonstrates that commitment. More than 225 people attended last week’s wellness fair, which is the third educational event we have had. We have seen the number of attendees grow from 100 in the first year, which indicates the community shares the same view on wellness as the hospital. We will continue to boast a visible presence in the community. Fifteen raffle winners from the Health and Wellness Fair won a healthy cooking class. On March 23 at Hy-Vee, the hospital and Mary Jo Ytzen will be holding a healthy cooking class. Another exciting endeavor the hospital has kicked off is the creation of a new foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to help raise donations throughout the community to help with future projects. All of the construction on the second floor of the hospital has been done without borrowing, and it is our hopes the foundation, which is being headed up by Chris Dorsey, can help offset the costs of upcoming projects in our 10-year master plan. So as you can see, it is an exciting time at Clarke County Hospital. And I want to thank all you for your past and future support.