Board of Managers President, Lewis County General Hospital
Since its inception in 1931, Lewis County General Hospital has continually adapted to an ever-changing health care environment to ensure that the most advanced technology and quality care are available for the people of Lewis County.
However, the hospital today, like many facilities across the state and even nationally, face increasing financial challenges in providing that care. The unrelenting escalation in the cost of the NYS retirement benefits, declining economic support from state and federal governments as well as insurance companies places a severe strain on LCGH resources. Through these challenges, patient care and safety have remained a priority as this is our sole purpose for existing.
Over the past year the Board of Managers has worked diligently with staff to set the course for the future of the facility. The Board of Managers voted to approve the addition of NES HealthCare, a new ED management group, and Rural Physicians Group, a new hospitalist program. Starting in January 2013, the NES HealthCare Group will begin supporting the work of emergency room doctors, and the Rural Physician Group will begin providing voluntary hospitalist support to family practice and internal medicine doctors.
To further stabilize our financial situation, maintain our status as a county-owned hospital, and continue providing the important services the community has come to rely on, we are also filing an application to shift the current LCGH designation as a Sole Community Provider Hospital to a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). This one change is expected to provide an annual financial benefit of over $3,000,000 million for our facility.
We continue to look at numerous changes to improve the fiscal health of the Hospital and we are confident that with these changes, LCGH/RHCF will remain a pillar in the community for generations to come. This task is not an easy one. Fortunately, we have an outstanding medical staff and over 600 loyal, dedicated and hardworking employees, each of whom make Lewis County General Hospital and Residential Health Care Facility a leader in health care in the North Country.
The Board of Managers and administration will continue to develop a framework for responding to the continuing challenges the hospital will face in 2013 and beyond. The ultimate goal is to protect our community’s most vital health services and to ensure LCGH/RHCF remains an economic force in Lewis County.
On behalf of the Board of Managers, I thank the hospital’s administrative staff, medical staff, employees, Board of Legislators, the Foundation and Auxiliary and the many volunteers for their extremely valuable and important efforts during this past year. We look toward the New Year with optimism and expect that the changes we have made will position the facility to endure the future challenges we may face.