On March 31, 2012, I retired as chief executive officer of the Yampa Valley Medical Center. It has been my pleasure and privilege to have served the Yampa Valley in this role for the past 11 years.
As so many in the community and valley have told me, we are so fortunate to have a medical facility, staff and physicians of the quality we enjoy in our small community. The range of hospital services and physician specialties available in Steamboat are unprecedented in a community and market area of our size. The personalized care provided by the staff, who are our neighbors, truly sets us apart from any other hospital in which I have worked during my career. This is truly something the community should take pride in.
The support that the community provides to YVMC is something that the hospital takes pride in. The monetary support provided through the Healthcare Foundation for the Yampa Valley is greatly appreciated and put to good use for improving services. The “thank you” letters we receive from so many patients after receiving care reinforces the commitment that our employees have to exceeding the expectations of our patients. When we receive these “thank you” letters, we share them with the physicians and staff who are mentioned in the letters and with the departments where service was provided.
Even with all of the positives, we know that there always is room to improve what we do. Our patients also are willing to remind us of this when something does not go as they expect. As summarized by the words of our past chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Sharon Gulley, M.D., we “always look for the difference between ‘good enough’ and ‘excellent.’”
The quality of care improvement and program improvement activities of the physicians and hospital staff routinely participate in demonstrate this philosophy.
The health care “system” as we know it is going to change in the next several years. The pressures from regulators and legislators are going to impact physicians and hospitals alike. The demands for increased efficiency and documentation of higher quality will clash with regulations that will be developed with good intentions,but will only cause higher costs and efforts that do not have a direct impact on the care and experience of the patient. Reducing costs will be the lead driver. In almost all cases, higher quality will reduce system costs, but a focus simply on reducing what insurers and government providers pay often adds only frustration and reduced quality. A common ground will have to be found.
I have tremendous confidence that my successor, Frank May, who has been a member of the senior management team at YVMC since 1998, and the leadership team at YVMC will continue the growth in services, focus on quality and service and commitment that YVMC has to be a valuable asset to Steamboat Springs, the Yampa Valley and Northwest Colorado. I think that YVMC is positioned for the future and will meet the challenges and opportunities that are presented.
I thank the community for the support that you have given YVMC during my tenure and the support that you have given to me, personally, as its CEO.