SPOTLIGHT ON CLARA BARTON'S JIM BLACKWELL
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer
What city do you live in? Hoisington
How long have you been there? 24 years
Family members: Wife, Anita 3 Sons: Kagan, Tanner and Chandler
Hobbies: mountain biking, deer hunting, music and spending time with family
What first drew you to this type of work/service? I was introduced to healthcare through finance. I served as the chief financial officer from 2001 until the appointment as president and Chief executive officer, Jan. 1, 2015 I also served as interim CEO in 2006 and 2014 and Co-CEO prior to the current appointment as president and CEO.
What do you most enjoy about what you do? Working with the dedicated and loyal staff and foundation. The Foundation donors have truly built this Hospital right alongside us.
My passion is securing the viability of rural healthcare to ensure we have access to quality care close to home. Clara Barton Hospital has been incredibly blessed to have the physicians associated with our facility that provide the clinical excellence that secure our future. Our facility staff and foundation members have been extraordinary in providing the additional stability that together with our physicians, define who we are and ensure our legacy of exceptional health care continues.
How has it changed since you first began/what changes do you anticipate in the next 5-10 years?
The challenge to rural facilities will reside with our ability to meet increasing governmental demands both clinically and financially. I have seen a considerable change in the delivery of healthcare over the years. This industry is ever changing and has experienced a substantial amount of evolution over the last 5-10 years. Most specifically in the migration of patient health information from paper to electronic.
Changes just in technology alone have placed a terrific burden on hospitals to upgrade their equipment faster to stay up on the latest developments. In order for facilities to thrive in the future, we will have to embrace the changes placed on us and become as efficient as possible in order to remain relevant in the changing healthcare industry.
HOISINGTON — The Clara Barton Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, coinciding with the 65th anniversary of Clara Barton Hospital serving the community - first as Hoisington Lutheran Hospital, dedicated in February, 1950, and later renamed Clara Barton Hospital in 1990.
The year started off strong with patients beginning to utilize the newly opened Therapy Services Facility, resulting from $1.4 million in funds invested by the hospital staff and community. Growth in services continued with the opening in Great Bend of the Clara Barton Medical Clinic. The new facility opened for appointments Sept. 8, providing surgical and outreach clinics, as well as a new family practice.
It as also the first year newly appointed CEO Jim Blackwell was officially at the helm. Blackwell, over the years, has been CFO and interim CEO at the hospital, and was a major force in pushing through the Therapy Services wing and the satellite clinics.
New Clara Barton staff members were welcomed. They include Kelci Burkey, PA-C, Miranda Beran, PA-C, Christina Armstrong, PA-C, and Dr. P.J. Stiles.
Stiles is a native of Claflin, and son of Pat and Pam Stiles. He moved back to the area with his wife Robyn, and four children: Camden, 6, Jayden, 4, Gage, 3, and Colby, 1.
“I am excited to come back home,”Stiles said. “It’s always nice to come back to your hometown area and be able to give back to that community.”
According to a November 2015 story in The Great Bend Tribune, surgical services and physical therapy are two areas, Blackwell said, where Clara Barton is showing its value to the area. Patients from a region spanning from Phillipsburg to Medicine Lodge are opting to have surgeries performed in Hoisington, rather than having to travel long distances to larger urban centers, he said.
One former patient attending the anniversary reception shared a story about a recent surgery she had undergone at Clara Barton. She pushed her physician to find out if it could be done locally rather than going to Wichita. Blackwell urged others to keep this in mind, to ask the question, “what can be done locally.”
Scott Fleming, director of Hoisington’s EMS, applauded the City of Hoisington for supporting the local hospital, and added that Clara Barton Hospital is a level four trauma center, which means it can handle the calls EMS makes locally.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to get and keep that designation,” Fleming said.
In November, renovation work began on the Hoisington Clinic’s waiting room, and is scheduled to be complete the first half of 2015.
Finishing out the year, the hospital announced it will partner with Cerna to convert patient medical records into one consolidated platform. It will allow providers and patients to access the digital version of patients’ complete medical history, all in one place, placing both hospital and clinic documents at their fingertips. “Having this complete history stored digitally provides continuity of care, allowing providers to coordinate patient’s care, and for the patient and provider to communicate efficiently,” says Jim Blackwell, CEO of Clara Barton Hospital.