Fisher-Titus named one of best community hospitals in nation

Zoe Greszler • Updated Feb 28, 2018 at 10:09 AM

Fisher-Titus Medical Center was recently named one of the best rural and community hospitals in the U.S. 

The top 100 rural and community hospitals in the nation as voted by The Chartis Center for Rural Health selected Norwalk’s FTMC to be included in the list. Fisher-Titus was one of only four Ohio rural and community hospitals to be named to the list.

“This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the best health care possible to our community, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility,” said Lorna Strayer, Fisher-Titus president.

FTMC is establishing a new standard for how to deliver higher quality care to their communities despite an unpredictable healthcare environment, Chartis Group said.

“Our purpose is to provide a continuum of care to our more than 70,000 residents in Huron County and its surrounding communities. Thanks to the foresight of dedicated local leaders and our highly skilled physicians and employees, Fisher-Titus has been able to adapt to the ever-changing health care environment and remain an independent community hospital that makes decisions locally about the care we provide.”

Fisher-Titus Medical Center scored in the top 100 of rural and community hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX.

The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural provider performance and its results are the basis for many of rural healthcare’s most prominent awards, advocacy efforts and legislative initiatives.

The list of the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals can be found at www.ivantageindex.com/top-performing-hospitals.

The Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals play a key role in providing a safety net to communities across America, according to the Chartis Group, and the INDEX measures these facilities across eight pillars of hospital strength: inpatient share ranking, outpatient share ranking, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspective and financial stability.

“The Hospital Strength INDEX provides a true benchmark for helping rural providers to better understand performance levels and identify areas of improvement,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health.


TSC donates pet food

The Tractor Supply Co. store in Norwalk donated 38 bags and 80 cans of pet food to feed local dogs and cats in need of adoption.

"More often than not, animal shelters and rescues depend greatly on food donations to support the pets they take in that await adoption," said David Canter, manager of the Norwalk Tractor Supply store.

"Our goal at Tractor Supply is to do our part in helping adoption efforts in our community because we know that pets are more than just dogs and cats, they are family."

Tractor Supply presented the pet food donation to two local organizations: the Huron County Dog Warden and Huron County Humane Society.

In addition to the pet food donation, the business hosts pet adoption events throughout the year. 


Childcare center grand opening

WILLARD — The Willard Child Development Center is hosting an open house for the public during their grand opening week. All in the community are invited to come in and check out the new facility from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 1 at 401 A. Conwell Ave., Willard.  A second open house will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 3 for anyone who is unable to make it to the first, or who may still have some lingering questions.


Real estate sales drop 3 percent

The rate of home sales across Ohio cooled a bit in January, dropping 3.3 percent from the month’s best-ever level posted during the month a year ago, according to numbers provided by Multiple Listing Services.

January’s average home price of $161,897 reflects a 4.8-percent increase from the $154,474 mark posted during the month last year.

Sales in January reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 146,091, a 3.3-percent decrease from the month’s previous best-ever level of 151,066 posted a year ago. The market also posted a 4.5-percent decline in sales from December’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 153,013.

In the Firelands area the number of units sold increased from 178 in 2017 to 223 this year, an increase of 25.3 percent — the fourth highest in the state among the 18 markets in the report. The dollar volume went up from $26,484,904 in 2017 to $30,076,593 this year, an increase of 13.6 percent.

The average sale price in the Firelands area dropped 9.4 percent, however, from $148,792 in 2017 to $134,873 this year.

Around the state, the average sales price increased in 13 of the 18 markets tracked. Meanwhile, home sales activity fell in 11 markets.

Data provided by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops.


Retailers loophole costs Ohio $60 million a year

Ohio gives out more than $9 billion a year in tax breaks. Many of these are unnecessary, outdated or unproductive, according to a group that studies tax breas. As the legislature’s new Tax Expenditure Review Committee prepares to review all of the tax breaks, Policy Matters Ohio is launching a new series, “Tax Break Take,” which takes a close look at select expenditures to determine whether the benefit (if any) is worth the cost.

In the first installment, Senior Project Director Wendy Patton analyzes the vendor discount tax break, which the Ohio Department of Taxation estimates will cost $59.7 million in 2018 and $61.5 million in 2019.

The vendor discount wasn’t created to spur job growth. Under a 1981 law, Ohio gives retail stores a 0.75-percent discount on state and local sales tax collections for the tedious work of collecting them and for paying on time — something that’s less needed today with the ability to file electronically.

The largest retailers benefit the most. In 2017, only 0.7 percent of vendors, those that collect more than $1 million a year, got more than 60 percent of the estimated value of the tax break.

Twenty-eight states have a similar tax break for vendors, but Ohio is one of just 12 states that doesn’t cap the maximum amount vendors can get.

“Both Governors Strickland and Kasich wanted to cap the discount,” Patton said. “At the very least, policymakers should do that. The millions of dollars the state loses from this break could be spent investing in our public schools, rebuilding the public transportation system or a host of other worthy, and needed programs.”


Trooper leaving Norwalk post

Trooper John Stevens has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Col. Paul A. Pride, patrol superintendent, made the announcement Monday during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Training Academy. Stevens will transfer from his current assignment at the Norwalk Post to serve as an assistant post commander at the Bucyrus Post.

Stevens began his Patrol career in May 2009 as a member of the 149th Academy Class. He earned his commission in December of that year and has been assigned to the Norwalk post throughout his career.

Stevens served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 2003 to 2012. He is currently active in the United States Air National Guard.


Ohio Rural Water meets with legistlators

During the week of Feb. 5, a group of representatives from the Ohio Rural Water Association attended the Water Pro Rally in Washington D.C. The rally, organized by the National Rural Water Association is a special event where all state chapters go to D.C. and stress the importance of rural water quality to national legislators and lawmakers.

The Ohio group met with all of Ohio’s national legislators, including U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), with the objective of encouraging them to support funding for infrastructure, training, and technical assistance in rural Ohio. Currently, ORWA has over 250 water and/or wastewater system members and 32 associate members (vendors, suppliers, service companies).

“There are many areas of need for infrastructure improvement and training for workers in rural water systems all over the U.S., not just Ohio; many small rural systems do not have the resources or capabilities to keep up with needed improvements and EPA compliance and certification, and this is where our association comes in,” ORWA executive director Joseph Pheil said.

“It’s very important work to make sure the legislators and decision makers on Capital Hill are aware not only of our exceptional services, but also that we need policies that address the needs of all the rural water and wastewater systems, and of course, the rural residents they serve.”


Holly Myers earns doctoral degree

SANDUSKY — Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing instructor Holly Myers has earned a doctorate of nursing from The University of Toledo and Wright State University.

Only 1 percent of nurses in the U.S. have a doctoral degree, according to NurseJournal.org. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree in nursing, the highest level of education available in the field.

Myers’ doctoral project, which impacts a number of programs at Firelands, was titled “Breastfeeding: An evidence-based intervention for neonatal abstinence syndrome”. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) describes a neonate who has been exposed to opioids before birth. The goal of Myers’ project was to foster maternal decision making to breastfeed as a means to decrease the occurrence of NAS symptoms, decrease the need to utilize pharmacological interventions, and decrease the length of stay in an acute care hospital setting for affected neonates.

Myers resides in Sandusky with her husband, Shawn and their son.


Pre-hospital life support saves lives

COLUMBUS — More people are walking away from a type of cardiac arrest that is nearly always fatal, thanks to a new way that first responders and doctors work together to treat patients.

It’s called extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or an ECPR alert and is triggered when a person doesn’t respond to being “shocked” by paddles. The new system is being used at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

En route to the hospital, medics put a mechanical CPR device on the patient to keep them alive while simultaneously alerting cardiologists in the heart lab who assemble at the drop of the hat so they’re ready to quickly spring into action as soon as the patient arrives. This quick mobilization means more patients are surviving and walking out of the hospital with normal neurologic function.

The novel pre-hospital life support protocol has been tested in a few studies recently, and so far the data shows an increase to about 40 percent chance of survival, up from nearly 100-percent mortality rate.


If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or send an email to [email protected]

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