Message from the CEO
Throughout my first months as CEO of the Harrison County Community Hospital District, news headlines have been filled with the challenges facing the American health care system.
Providing affordable health insurance for all Americans, reigning in health care costs and fairly reimbursing health care providers are challenges that divide our elected representatives. A shortage of behavioral health resources and misuse of prescription opioid medications also receive deserved attention.
Although our region is not immune to the challenges facing health care, longtime Harrison County residents have benefited from an expansion of services at Harrison County Community Hospital over the past six decades.
Our Emergency Department is staffed 24/7 by a physician and registered nurses. ER patients who need specialized care or complex medical interventions are stabilized here before being transferred to a larger facility.
Long gone are the days when the local family physicians were burdened by being called to the ER at any time of day or night.
Our commitment to time critical diagnosis and services available for recovering stroke patients earned HCCH designation as a Level 3 Stroke Center by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Our inpatient beds provide care for acute, observation and Swing Bed patients. We offer a wide range of diagnostic testing, rehabilitation services and local appointments with physicians from 15 specialties.
Extending services beyond the hospital, HCCH operates a home health agency and three rural health clinics that provide primary care from three physicians and four mid-level providers.
Can we provide the same specialized services as a larger hospital in a major city? No, and attempting to do so would be a disservice to the communities we serve.
We must allocate resources in ways that benefit the largest number of patients and are economically sustainable.
Due to immense healthcare challenges, eighty-two rural hospitals, including three in Missouri, have closed since 2010, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program.
The loss of a hospital can be a devastating blow for a rural community. Residents must drive greater distances for health care services. Good jobs are eliminated, and lost wages no longer benefit the local economy.
A community without a hospital cannot thrive, and a community hospital exists because of community support. That support can come in many ways.
Contact lawmakers in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C., and let them know that their health care policy decisions must take into account the unique needs of critical access hospitals because they are vital to rural communities.
When you need medical services, we hope Harrison County Community Hospital, our home health agency and our medical clinics will be your first choice.
You can also support your community hospital by joining the HCCH Auxiliary volunteers who donate their time and talents to the hospital or by making a tax-deductible donation to the HCCH Foundation or including the Foundation in your estate planning.
Every day we work hard to provide quality care in a compassionate manner. That is what our patients expect and deserve.
We always welcome feedback from our patients and their families. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of the hospital district board and the entire staff, thank you for supporting your community hospital. It is a pleasure to serve you.
Tina Gillespie is chief executive officer of the Harrison County Community Hospital District.