Sentara RMH Letter to Our Team and Community
At Sentara RMH Medical Center, openness and transparency are vital to our hospital's leaders. Earlier this week, articles were published that misrepresented the extraordinary spirit and commitment of our entire team and I wanted to take an opportunity to address these concerns.
First and foremost, Sentara RMH is a remarkable hospital, and at the core of that is our caring and dedicated staff. I am incredibly proud of the many ways in which our team has not only raised the bar on excellence in healthcare, we've surpassed it. And that's been shown time and again by our recognitions. In the last three months alone, Sentara RMH was named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by IBM Watson Health for the second consecutive year, and our critical care unit received a gold-level Beacon award for excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. In the summer of 2019, we received re-designation as a Magnet® hospital. The ANCC's Magnet Recognition Program identifies superior quality in nursing care and is the highest national honor for nursing excellence. Currently, only about 9 percent of all U.S. health care facilities have achieved Magnet® recognition. In the Sentara system, 9 hospitals, including Sentara RMH, have achieved this impressive designation.
Sentara has helped our hospital reach these milestones and improve care for our community. Since joining the Sentara Healthcare system in 2011, Sentara RMH has enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with the other hospitals in our system, learning from one another and sharing patient care best practices. We've also been proud to expand our service offerings by opening the Funkhouser Women's Center and Sentara RMH Orthopedic Center on the main campus. We've also stood up new primary care clinics such as Timber Way in Broadway and the Bridgewater Health Center and launched Sentara RMH's structural heart program.
Over the past 11 months, as Sentara RMH has focused on COVID-19 and the care and treatment of our community, our team of extraordinary physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and hundreds of other staff have worked tirelessly to combat this unprecedented health crisis. While each facet of this pandemic has presented new challenges, the level of dedication and grace our staff has shown under enormous pressure has been inspiring. While we understand the need for transparency and to keep open lines of communication with local media, our priority is always providing care for our patients and maintaining the safety of patients, visitors and staff members. Right now, that focus includes an incredible amount of work being done by our team to keep our community healthy during this unprecedented pandemic including now focusing on the vaccine roll out.
That being said, however, it is no secret that healthcare delivery continues to evolve and present new challenges. Hospitals are under increasing stress as we work to deliver accessible and affordable care, and Sentara RMH has not been immune to these challenges. The existing environment even before the pandemic required us to make adjustments. However, these changes ensured we were able to continue serving Rockingham County and the surrounding areas to the best of our ability.
While some of our programs, such as orthopedics and urology, have recently experienced some difficult transitions, we wanted to take the opportunity to clarify what's happening to provide additional transparency:
- It is true that several orthopedic providers chose to not sign the revised contracts. And while we are sorry to see them leave, we understand their decision and appreciate their service to our community. In the meantime, we are able to care for most orthopedic patients at our clinic, we have qualified locum tenen (temporary) physicians on staff to assist with emergency fracture care, and we have already recruited several new surgeons who will begin on staff this spring and summer.
- Our Urology program also saw changes, primarily due to retirement and the difficulty of recruiting in this particular field of medicine. That is why Sentara RMH Medical Center chose to partner with the independent, Shenandoah Valley-based practice Blue Ridge Urological, PC. Dr. Bary Berger and Dr. Marcus Morra will be employed by this group, and they, along with other physicians of the practice, will continue to see patients in our Medical Office building. Patients will see no disruption in care. Blue Ridge Urological begins seeing patients in our building on March 1.
Of course, with any changes also come concerns and questions. At Sentara RMH, staff members are always encouraged to share insights, concerns and ask questions. While we are not perfect and there is always room for improvement, we put an emphasis on identifying and correcting any concerns that are raised.
Further, if there are any concerns about the care given to a patient or a process at this hospital or within our Medical Group, we want to know about it so we can address it. That same message goes for our community.
At the end of the day, our jobs aren't about politics or corporations or money. Our jobs are about our community. We ARE your community hospital, we ARE proud to call you our family, our friends and our neighbors. We WILL take care of you and our doors are always open. We are Sentara RMH.
Doug Moyer is the President of Sentara RMH Medical Center.
By: Doug Moyer