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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Potential partner must align with hospital's vision

Carroll Hospital Center officials crafted a blueprint for the future last year, called Vision 2020, a litany of goals that a potential partner could help ensure are met.

The hospital has just begun to disseminate a 75-page document detailing its history, culture, finances and more to organizations it could see itself partnering with. Though it's uncertain the form a potential partnership would take, it's clear the hospital would only consider those who are dedicated to the hospital's commitment to expand its services under Vision 2020, CEO John Sernulka said.

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"When I think about what we're looking for in a partner, we're really looking to enhance every service that we provide here - to take it to a new level," Sernulka said. "And that's what Vision 2020 was about."

It's an expansion of services that comes with a heavy expense, hospital President Leslie Simmons told the Times in September.

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The hospital has committed $144 million in expenditures through Fiscal Year 2016, but Vision 2020 adds $88 million more that will be needed from FY16 to FY20. And there's an additional $60 million needed to help with community health initiatives, health-care reform and the physician-hospital organization, according to Selena Brewer, hospital director of marketing and public relations.

The hospital released Vision 2020 last October, as health care and hospital leadership were both undergoing a transition phase.

John Sernulka, former president, passed the reins to Simmons during the summer. Sernulka will stay on until 2015, when Simmons will then be the hospital's CEO and president.

Health care, in general, has recently turned toward a newer phenomenon: Helping the community stay well, rather than just seeing the sick.

Vision 2020 aims to better align the hospital with that overarching nationwide goal. Before creating future goals, hospital officials first performed an in-depth analysis of health care in Carroll - the services, facilities and equipment provided in the community, Sernulka told the Times in September.

They looked at the key health concerns the Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County previously identified, which included obesity, heart disease, cancer, substance abuse and mental health, Simmons told the Times in September. And they came up with their goals:

Beyond hospital walls

: Hospital officials aim to add the county's first hospital-affiliated urgent care centers in an effort to decrease emergency room visits. Additionally, it aims to create surgery facilities to help as surgical volume increases.

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Staffing:

In order to meet the needs of new programs and services, the number of Carroll Health Group providers will likely need to double from 50 to 100 by 2020.

Angioplasty:

The hospital performs emergency angioplasty in dire situations, which is a lifesaving procedure done in response to a heart attack as it restores blood flow through arteries. The hospital has completed the requirements to perform the procedure on a non-emergency basis and is awaiting approval from the government to do so.

Stroke Center:

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The hospital is working to become a designated stroke center and must meet certain criteria first.

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Program growth:

Minimally invasive surgery requires fewer incisions on the patient, and that's one service the hospital would like to bolster. In addition, officials are looking to boost the hospital's orthopedic and sports medicine program.

Information technology:

Hospital officials hope to be able to view a patient's medical history, including from another physician's office or a nursing home, instantly using information technology. This mission requires a $30 million investment, which is included in the $144 million in expenditures already committed through FY16.

And these are goals a potential partner would need to share, Sernulka said.

"We want the community to know we're going through this process," he said, "but we will only, only go in that direction if we find the right partner that's willing to meet our needs. Our community comes first, and we're going to make sure that any decision we make is a win for the community."


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