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CEO Column

EvaBenedictCEO  KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES 

  A Collection of Newspaper Editorials By 

  Eva Benedict, FACHE

  CEO at Jones Memorial Hospital

   

 

AUGUST 2017

As a non-profit community hospital, Jones Memorial has come to rely on the generosity of our community to continue the mission to provide the highest quality healthcare with a hometown touch. Supporting Jones Memorial goes beyond financial gifts to include giving of your time and talents to guide this facility into the future and to support it in the present.

The Jones Memorial Hospital Foundation was established to provide a philanthropic environment in support of the hospital’s mission. The Foundation provides input, recommendations, and feedback on special fundraising events. The nine-member board is also charged with expanding opportunities for donors to support Jones Memorial by promoting planned giving in the form of bequests, estates, and trusts. Current members include President Samantha Gilkey, Vice President Jen Joyce, Treasurer Gary Balcom, Secretary Jackie Comstock, Neil Benedict, Luanne Comstock, Kay Eicher, Geralyn Gough, and Bill Smith.

As stewards of Jones Memorial Hospital, the Board of Directors has the fiduciary responsibility to make the final decision to proceed with large purchases and capital projects in light of our limited resources. One  example is the recent renovation of the Bolivar Family Medicine office.  The board has also approved a project involving relocations and renovations here at the hospital. Dr. Axtell and the orthopaedic clinic were relocated to the first floor and the space he had occupied is being transformed into an Infusion and Oncology Clinic.

Our Board of Directors is made up of 12 community members and three UR Medicine representatives. All are committed to guiding this facility through today’s ever-changing healthcare picture. The board includes Chair Mary Kate Cole, Vice Chair Barry Kulp, Treasurer Gary Balcom, Secretary Kim Toot, Dr. William Coch, Dr. JR Rummel (as Chief of the Medical Staff), Rich Ewell, Dr. Robert Gilfert, Samantha Gilkey, Dan Guiney, Dan Johnson, and Karol Marciano. The UR Medicine members are Dr. Mark Taubman, Steve Goldstein, and Dr. Michael Rotondo.

Of course, I cannot talk about those who give to Jones Memorial without mentioning the JMH Auxiliary. The amount of money raised by this small but very determined group of individuals is one that many auxiliaries at larger facilities would envy. The JMH Auxiliary leadership includes President Kay Eicher, Vice President Liz Billings, Treasurer Sue Dempsey, and Secretary Mary Jo Healy. One of the group’s major fundraisers is the upcoming Gala & Silent Auction on November 11.

For 96 years, Jones Memorial Hospital has been very grateful for the support of our community. The dedication of those who provided guidance through the shifting healthcare scene has made this a stronger facility. I speak for everyone who works at JMH, providing care for our family, friends, and neighbors, when I say how incredibly thankful we are for your support.

APRIL 2017

Jones Memorial Hospital has had the privilege of taking care of this community for over 95 years. Since the first patient was admitted in 1921, much has changed in healthcare and in this region. However, our commitment to those we serve, to being a partner in good health, and to providing the highest quality healthcare to our family, friends, and neighbors has remained the cornerstone of our mission.

As the nature of healthcare has changed, it has become important for community hospitals like JMH to form affiliations with larger systems, while still maintaining our community roots. In January 2016, JMH became an affiliate of UR Medicine in Rochester. While we have partnered with UR Medicine for decades, the expanded relationship has been very beneficial to our community.

Specialty Services, for example, is one of the areas where our affiliation has served us – and our patients – very well. Through Southern Tier Neuromedicine, Neurologists Dr. Richard Welles and Dr. Linda Welles are at Jones Memorial on a regular basis to consult and treat patients in the neurology clinic. In addition, Endocrinologist Dr. Steven Wittlin uses telemedicine to provide on-going care to established patients from his office in Rochester.  The establishment of an oncology clinic has brought Medical Oncologist Dr. Brian Smith to JMH to consult and treat patients. In 2016, JMH teamed with Wilmot Cancer Institute and Noyes Health on The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center, a regional oncology center located in Dansville, New York. Later this year, JMH will be adding infusion therapy to the oncology services available, meaning cancer patients can come to Jones for the intravenous medicines.  

Our community has also benefited from collaboration between Jones and UR Medicine and Allegany Rehab Associates (ARA). Working together, these three organizations have brought the services of a PAO (psychiatric assessment officer) to the JMH Emergency Department. Hired through ARA, the position will be supported by UR Medicine using New York State Medicaid Redesign funding. The PAO will evaluate behavioral health patients who come to the ER. In addition, we are working with UR Medicine to have the services of a Rochester-based UR Medicine psychiatrist available via telemedicine at Jones Memorial in Wellsville. Behavioral Health has been identified as an under serviced population in our area. We are happy to work with other behavioral health providers to enhance available services.

Our staff, administration, and board of directors will continue to look for ways to improve access to the high quality healthcare our community needs while maintaining the hometown touch they have come to expect.

JANUARY 2017

As we celebrate the first full year of the affiliation between Jones Memorial Hospital and UR Medicine, I’d like to take the opportunity to look back at a few of the positive developments this partnership has brought to our community.

When the decision was made to affiliate with UR Medicine, one of the benefits we were looking for was improved access to UR Medicine specialists in our communities. Anyone  who has had to battle traffic, parking, and a 90-mile drive to Rochester for specialty services will recognize how important it is to bring the services our community needs closer to home.

Expansion of the specialty clinics at Jones is one of the positive results of working with UR Medicine. The Cardiology Clinic offers appointments Monday through Thursday with electrophysiology one Friday a month. UR Medicine is recruiting for a full-time cardiologist dedicated to the Wellsville Clinic. Sharing that space on the third floor at Jones Memorial is the Neurology Clinic, staffed by Dr. Richard Welles who sees patients on a regular basis. Expanding telemedicine services, in which patients come to Jones to consult with their doctor in real-time via an internet connection, is a priority. At the present time, Endocrinologist Dr. Steven Wittlin consults with his diabetic patients one day a month. Since diabetics typically need to see their endocrinologist every three months, this has saved his patients a trip to Rochester for appointments. In addition, some cardiology appointments are being done using telemedicine technology.

But perhaps the best example of how important it is for hospitals and health centers to form relationships is the expansion of oncology services in the region and here at Jones Memorial.

Dr. Brian Smith, an oncologist at the Wilmot Cancer Institute, has been coming to Wellsville since early June to see patients at the Jones Memorial Hospital Medical Oncology Clinic. The ribbon cutting for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center in Dansville will be Saturday, March 4. The completion of this building project brings radiation oncology to Dansville. This regional cancer center will ensure these medically vulnerable patients will have access to the highest quality specialty care. It will also ease the financial and physical burden of traveling for treatment. We are also looking at expanding the oncology services available at JMH.

Specialty clinics, cutting edge therapy, and clinical access to those services were at the top of the list when we looked at our affiliation with UR Medicine.  You can see what a difference being a part of the UR Medicine family has made to our patients. As we move forward, we will continue to explore the feasibility of bringing other specialty clinics to Wellsville.

In 2017, we are marking 96 years of caring for this community. So much has changed in healthcare, but one thing has remained constant, the commitment of Jones Memorial Hospital to the health of our community. Thank you for your continued support; together we will meet the challenges come with providing healthcare in a rural area. We are working together for a healthier community.

NOVEMBER 2016

On November 17, Jones Memorial Hospital and hospitals across the country will celebrate National Rural Health Day; a day to honor all things rural.

As a hospital in a rural community, Jones Memorial faces challenges that urban hospitals do not - declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels, for a start. In addition, many people in our community have accessibility issues and a large percentage of our population is un- and underinsured.

These difficulties, however, do not define what it means to provide healthcare in a small community. For over 95 years, Jones Memorial Hospital has been caring for family, friends, and neighbors; welcoming babies and providing compassionate care for those who are saying good-bye. We have a caring and dedicated medical staff and a community who appreciates them - in no small part because they have also chosen to live in our rural area, providing local access to healthcare. They are more than our primary care providers, they are our neighbors and friends.

In rural communities, collaboration is “business as usual.” Together we are stronger and healthier; Jones Memorial and many like-minded community agencies work as a team to improve the overall health and wellness of local residents. One example is the community health fairs and free screenings that bring us together for the benefit of those we serve. 

Early this year, Jones Memorial became an affiliate of UR Medicine. This collaboration has brought specialty clinics – and the physicians who provide them – into our community on a regular basis. These clinics include cardiology, neurology, and endocrinology via telemedicine, as well as medical oncology, and ENT. We will continue to work with UR Medicine and other healthcare organizations in the region to identify additional specialty services and work to bring them closer to those who need them. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center in Dansville will open early next year, providing radiation oncology and infusion therapy in Dansville on the Noyes Health campus. Quality care, close to home is more than a catch phrase.

I am proud of the team we have here at Jones Memorial. We treasure the commitment of our community and the support they have demonstrated since the first patients came through the doors in 1921. With your continued support, our family will continue to care for your family for generations to come.

AUGUST 2016

Dr. Miller Fan Club Continues His Legacy

It was shock for everyone in this community when Dr. Clif Miller died earlier this year. Having spent his entire 40 year career in Wellsville caring for thousands of women and children, and delivering over 8,400 babies, he was truly a part of many families. He was also a pillar of the Jones Memorial Hospital medical staff.

As his friends and colleagues struggled to come to terms with his absence, we looked for a way to honor his legacy. What better way to do that than to rename the maternity unit at Jones Memorial in his honor. A campaign began to establish The Dr. F. Clifton Miller Birthing Center and a trust fund that will be used to support women and children’s health services for generations to come.

The goal of the Dr. Miller Fan Club is to raise $250,000 which will be put in a trust fund and used for projects and equipment that benefit the women and children in this community. At this point, the campaign is well underway, but there is still a ways to go.

I encourage everyone to be a part of this project. Gifts of any size are appreciated and all donors will be recognized on a special plaque outside the maternity unit. Those who are able to give $250 or more will also have the opportunity to have a personalized brick included on the memorial wall in the maternity hallway.

Please, if Dr. Miller touched your life by delivering or caring for you or someone you love, please consider joining the Dr. Miller Fan Club by making a donation. It is hard to imagine any physician working as hard as he did; taking more call days; caring for more patients; delivering more babies; or having more influence on local health than Dr. Clif Miller did.

There are several ways to make a gift. You may make a gift on-line from the Jones Memorial Hospital website, www.jmhny.org. That link there will take you to an informational page that includes a video from Dr. Miller’s wife, Dianna, and his daughter, Dr. Heather Lanphere. You may enter your information and make a donation from that page. You may also send a check to the hospital at 191 North Main Street, Wellsville NY 14895.

If you have questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to call Jodi Pearson at (585) 596-2053.

Thank you for your consideration.

MAY 2016

Thank you to the JMH Auxiliary and Happy Auxilian Day

Sometimes, when someone has done something extraordinary, a simple "Thank You" just doesn’t seem like enough. When it comes to the Jones Memorial Hospital Auxiliary – a small but very determined group that has been raising money for Jones Memorial Hospital for over 60 years - it is difficult to express how much they are appreciated by everyone at Jones Memorial.  Simply put, we would not be able to do what we do without the support, dedication and commitment of the JMH Auxiliary.

It is truly incredible what a small group but determined group can do. Last year, the Auxiliary raised over $110,000. This is an incredible amount of money and one that Auxiliary’s at larger facilities would envy.

Some of the activities sponsored by the Auxiliary are used book sales, Vera Bradley sales, chicken barbecue, Books Are Fun sales, uniform sales, costume jewelry sales, employee appreciation tea, Celebrate Summer Classic Golf Tournament, fine jewelry sales, and the Gala & Silent Auction. The Auxiliary also runs the hospital gift shop.

Last year, the funds raised were used to purchase patient equipment including an ultrasound machine that is shared between the emergency department and anesthesia, new sleep chairs for the birthing suites for fathers and other support people, and replacements for defibrillators and ENT equipment and instruments. In previous years, the group has funded new wheelchairs and IV poles, equipment for the new orthopaedic clinic, an orthopaedic pin driver and endoscopic CO2 units for use in surgical services, tissue processor for the lab, lights for the operating rooms, EKG and other equipment for the Jones Memorial Medical Practices, and television sets for the clinics and patient rooms.  You can see, we have a lot to be thankful for!

So please join me in celebrating today as Healthcare Auxiliary Day! Thank you to each member for everything you do to support Jones Memorial Hospital. You are a vital part of the JMH Family!

DECEMBER 2015

What Does The Affiliation Agreement Mean to Jones Memorial Hospital?

I’m sure there are a lot of questions surrounding the recent announcement that Jones Memorial Hospital has signed an affiliation agreement with UR Medicine in Rochester. For 95 years, this hospital has been here to care for the health of our community. This affiliation will ensure that we will continue to do that for generations to come. We are better and stronger together.

UR Medicine is a nationally renowned medical center and healthcare leader in our region. Specialty clinics, cutting edge therapy, and clinical access to those services, are just the beginning of the possibilities our affiliation will afford our community.  Already, physicians from UR Medicine have been seeing patients at specialty clinics in Wellsville including cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, otolaryngology, and – most recently – medical oncology. Our relationship will also expedite patient transfers to Strong Memorial and its affiliated organizations for those requiring a higher level of care.  You can see what a difference being a part of the UR Medicine family will make to our patients.

Another motivation for the affiliation with UR Medicine is financial stability for Jones Memorial Hospital. In order to remain viable in today’s challenging fiscal environment, rural hospitals and health centers must form partnerships with each other and with larger tertiary facilities. It isn’t feasible - or even realistic - for each local hospital to offer all the latest technology. Because of this deeper relationship with UR Medicine, we will be exploring the feasibility of expanding the availability of other specialty clinics at Jones which will result in increased use of ancillary services at JMH. This affiliation also puts us in a better position to negotiate with vendors and with payors given UR Medicine’s size and scale.

In the coming months, you will begin to see the new UR Medicine|Jones Memorial Hospital logo popping up around the facility. We are very excited to see what the future brings! You can find the latest news and updates on our Facebook page, so I encourage you to follow facebook.com/jmhny.

Have a wonderful holiday season! 

SEPTEMBER 2015

Taking a Regional Approach to Cancer Care

In healthcare, partnerships have become increasingly important. By collaborating with UR Medicine, for example, Jones Memorial Hospital has brought cardiology services, neurology services, endocrinology via telemedicine, and an ENT clinic to our community. By working with other healthcare organizations in the region, we are able to bring specialty services closer to home.

Most recently, Jones Memorial, Noyes Health in Dansville and UR Medicine in Rochester have collaborated to bring cancer services back to the Southern Tier. This two-fold plan includes establishing a medical oncology clinic in Wellsville and building a full-service cancer center in Dansville.

 The first step is the oncology clinic on the third floor at Jones Memorial. Since September 16, Oncologist Dr. Brian D. Smith has been seeing patients in Wellsville. Dr. Smith is a graduate of University Of Rochester School Of Medicine, and completed his fellowship training at Strong Memorial Hospital. Dr. Smith has three decades of experience and is well-liked by his patients and his peers. He also sees patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Pluta Cancer Center in Henrietta and at a clinic in Dansville. The medical oncology clinic at Jones is especially exciting news for the 600 people who have been traveling to Rochester for cancer care.

The next step will be building the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center in Dansville. Groundbreaking is set for October 28 in Dansville. The seed money for the new cancer center was a $2 million gift from Ann and Carl Myers of Livingston County. The facility will be located on the campus of Noyes Hospital and serve patients throughout the region.

The Myers Cancer Center will include a 4,400-square-foot, basement-level addition to house a radiation oncology clinic at Noyes Health in Dansville. It will also have a 2,300-square-foot medical oncology clinic in renovated and new first-floor space at Noyes, featuring three exam rooms and five chemotherapy/infusion bays.

A regional cancer center is an example of how important it is for rural hospitals and health centers to form partnerships. It isn’t feasible - or even realistic - for each local hospital to offer all the latest technology. By collaborating on projects like this, we are all able to provide the specialty care our patients need, closer to home.  And for cancer patients, that is good news indeed. I will keep you apprised of the project as we move forward.