Message From Lewis County
Health System CEO Gerald R. Cayer, MPH
In the eighty-seven years since Lewis County General Hospital (LCGH) was founded, change has been a constant. Our community is fortunate that LCGH is dynamic and change oriented. Embracing change is crucial if the vision and mission of our local health system are to guide and sustain us.
The vision of our hospital began with a small group of dedicated community leaders who spent several years planning for a facility in Lewis County. That (strategic) vision with measurable (operational) goals led to the building of a hospital. In the summer of 1931 the hospital opened its doors to residents and visitors of Lewis County. From a staff of a few doctors and other health care professionals in the early years, we have grown to a medical staff of over 100 and a total health system work force of nearly 700 associates.
Over the years the technology and procedures available in our local community have changed significantly and more than could have been imaged four generations ago. Today, we have evolved into a rural health system that has grown in services and programs offered, while working hard to integrate community collaboration in our care delivery model as reflected in the organizational mission statement, “LCGH is committed to working cooperatively with interested individuals and organizations in helping the people of Lewis County and surrounding communities in achieving their highest level of health and wellness.”
Notwithstanding, the economic and community benefits of the local health care system are also significant. LCGH is the largest employer in Lewis County with an operating budget of $80 million. The economic activity generated by the hospital through jobs and the purchasing of goods and services is valued at $114,000,000. LCGH is the largest provider of health insurance in Lewis County.
As I look back on 2018, I am proud of the programs and services highlighted in this annual report that improved the healthcare of our patients, residents and the communities we served. There were 142,000 outpatient visits; 11,000 people treated in the emergency room; 1,300 people admitted to the hospital (including observation visits); and 200 babies delivered! There were 231,561 unique medical record numbers in the hospital and nursing home this past year. This is truly local access to healthcare!
These accomplishments are a direct result of teamwork, community collaboration, local and regional partnerships, and a commitment to ensure our patients receive high-quality care.
One of the things I find most rewarding in my role is the opportunity to envision the “big picture” --- driving to improve access to the right level of care and technology at the right time while delivering compassionate, kind, excellent, collaborative and efficient healthcare services in Lewis County. To this end the LCGH Board of Managers initiated a strategic planning process with the purpose of developing a new three to five-year strategic focused document. This process will imagine our future through the lens of physicians, staff, key stakeholders, external partners and the larger community. Through this process of feedback health care priorities will align with actions to create a multi-year blueprint to move our organization forward and ensure we provide the highest level of health care services for our rural communities. The end result is a three to five-year strategic plan that will serve as the road map for moving the health system forward with a strategic vision and measurable operational goals.
Accordingly, this work will continue to affirm the vitality of LCGH’s organizational vision statement, “The Communities of Lewis County are the Healthiest in New York State and America.”