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Together we are better

By Jeremy Normington-Slay • Feb 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Coming to Sandusky this fall as the new President and CEO of Firelands Regional Medical Center, I found this quote by Helen Keller evident in the collaborative spirit and drive for excellence exhibited by the physicians and staff of Firelands. This collaborative effort supports the foundation beneath the accomplishments that I have observed at Firelands and which drew me to this community. This collaborative spirit and drive for excellence sets the course for the plan and expectations of 2019 as well.

Firelands has achieved significant accomplishments in 2018, such as a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Healthgrades’ Patient Safety Excellence Award, and twice received the Leapfrog Safety Grade of “A” for best outcomes in the care of our patients. Firelands also achieved a first-place ranking in the Anthem Hospital Quality Improvement Project measures.

By virtue of this passion for excellence in patient care and a high level of engagement by the physicians and staff, this level of performance has been achieved. In addition to quality awards, Firelands has partnered with other local healthcare agencies with a goal of collaborating to create the best in healthcare service for the region.

Case in point, Firelands coordinated with other community providers to create a collaborative “toolkit” to assist in addressing some of the challenges associated with the opioid crisis. While we still have much work to do, we have seen progress in this area with less opioid-related overdoses coming into our Emergency Department. The toolkit has been so well received, Firelands has been invited by the Ohio Hospital Association to present our collective work at the state level.

Firelands’ 2019 strategic plan will capitalize on the strengths currently in place and address forthcoming healthcare delivery issues as well as support the collaboration of healthcare providers to assure access to healthcare within a changing healthcare system. To meet our community’s needs Firelands will work together with other healthcare providers to assure effective, efficient, and safe health care delivery.

In 2019, Firelands will partner with the Erie County Health Department and other service agencies to conduct a community health needs assessment to capture the thoughts of the community regarding their healthcare needs and the development of additional healthcare services. With our physicians in the community, we will continue to develop primary and specialty services, virtual care models and value-based initiatives to serve our patients within the region.

Next year, Firelands will undergo five major accreditation surveys and several certification reviews to continue to maintain our high quality and safety outcomes. With Firelands physicians and staff, I am confident that Firelands will exceed national performance benchmarks. Also, Firelands, in collaboration with the Erie County Health Department and the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties, will address the challenges of opioid addiction in our community with recently awarded grant dollars.

In closing, I would like to thank Sandusky and the surrounding communities for trusting Firelands Regional Medical Center with your healthcare needs. We know that you do have a choice in where to receive your healthcare services and we are pleased to offer a high level of care you have come to expect.

In 2018, Firelands Regional Medical Center contributed over $30 million in community benefits through giving, community programs and uncompensated care to Sandusky and the surrounding communities. In addition, we employ nearly 2400 individuals who in turn support our businesses, churches, neighbors, and friends.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I challenge you to let this phrase guide you as well, in all that you hope to accomplish in 2019.

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