Community is RRMC's most important partner

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 6, 2007

By Chuck Elliott
For the Salisbury Post
Nothing changes as often or as dramatically as hospital care. Technology, reimbursements, new procedures and new specialties affect the physical design, operation and services of a community hospital. Many changes require retraining of staff, even when we admit or discharge a patient. With all of these changes, Rowan Regional Medical Center must also evaluate its structure and relationships with other healthcare providers. That is why Rowan Regional continually pursues strategies to assure that we remain effective for all of our patients today and in the future.
As many of you are aware, Rowan Regional Medical Center is reviewing partnership proposals from Novant and Carolinas Healthcare System (CHS). As promised, we have remained open and honest about our decision to review partnership proposals, and we want to keep you informed every step of the way. Over the next few weeks, we will be placing articles in the Health & Fitness section of this newspaper that will provide you with a better understanding of the issues facing the nation’s community hospitals and Rowan Regional Medical Center.
Rowan Regional Medical Center is the major health care resource in our community. Our history dates back to 1898 with our predecessor, Whitehead-Stokes Sanitarium, which was reorganized in 1932 to become Rowan Regional Hospital. In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, construction began on a larger, more modern facility on Mocksville Avenue to better serve the increasing healthcare needs of our growing community. From that location we grew to what today is Rowan Regional Medical Center.
For nearly 75 years of our existence as Rowan Regional Medical Center, we have never wavered from our commitment to deliver quality health care to you and your family. We are here for you when you need us, 24/7. In the past two years, almost half the families in our service area have been inpatients at RRMC, and about half have used our Emergency Department. Last year we treated almost 50,000 patients in the Emergency Department alone. Since over two-thirds of Rowan County citizens stay right here at home for all their health care, we want to ensure that we will continue to be here for generations to come.
At Rowan Regional Medical center, our commitment to the community is not just limited to patient care. We sponsor sports activities that promote good health habits, underwriting health-related events such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, distributing books about values to elementary school children and providing educational assistance programs for aspiring health care professionals. We greatly appreciate how our community, and in particular, our Foundation, supports our activities and programs. We are part of this community and will continue to be in the future.
Across the nation, community hospitals help their towns become better places to live, work and raise families, as does Rowan Regional Medical Center. Any potential partner must embrace our core values and support the community. If a partnership develops, our goal will continue to be to provide comprehensive health care in a compassionate environment while operating in a financially sound manner. We can only do this by continuing to be a strong, quality health care competitor in the region with enhanced services, technology and resources to keep pace with our growing community.
We thank you for your support and look forward to providing you with more information as we move forward to provide the best possible patient care for the region.
– – –
Chuck Elliott is the chief executive officer of Rowan Regional Medical Center.