Becker's names Wyoming Medical Center one of its 'Great Community Hospitals 2014'
By Kristy Bleizeffer Jun 11, 2014
Becker’s editorial team selected hospitals based on quality, service to their communities and other safety and performance measures. Wyoming Medical Center was just one of two Wyoming hospitals included on the list.
“Whether independent or part of a larger health system, the following hospitals have continually worked to provide the quality of care and the experience patients deserve and expect,” Becker’s wrote in the introduction to its list.
Of WMC, Becker’s said: “A nonprofit hospital in the center of its state, Wyoming Medical Center has 191 patient beds and 150 physicians on staff. In fiscal year 2012, the hospital provided more than $24 million in financial assistance and other community benefits. In 2013, it received the Gold Plus Award for stroke care from the American Heart Association as well as the Vascular Surgery Excellence Award from Healthgrades.”
We sat down with Vickie Diamond, president and CEO of Wyoming Medical Center, to talk about what this recognition means to Natrona County’s only community hospital.
Wyoming Medical Center was called out for our “community benefit.” What does this distinction mean to you personally?
The personal satisfaction comes from the fact that the work of our staff and our medical staff is being recognized on a national level. That’s what's satisfying to me. It’s not about me, Vickie. It’s about the recognition of our staff and our medical staff.
In fiscal year 2012, we provided more than $24 million in financial assistance and other community benefits. What does this mean?
Our community benefit is several things. The biggest part is the charity care we provide to our community, and to our surrounding areas because we are a tertiary referral center. But we also provide other services.
For example, we provide a lot of community education on how to stay healthy. We have Safe Kids coordinators who check child car seats and provide tools to help people learn how to take care of themselves. That’s really where the biggest part of community benefit is coming from, from all the programs we provide that are free, from our patient education programs, as well as our charity care.
As a community hospital, it is something that we value every day. We take care of our community, that’s our mission, regardless of someone’s ability to pay.
We were also recognized for our quality measures, such as the Gold Plus Award for stroke care from the American Heart Association and our Vascular Surgery Excellence Award from Healthgrades. Describe WMC’s commitment to quality and patient outcomes.
The 100 Great Community Hospital Awards, what was so striking to me about it, is it really recognizes our quality and safety programs, things we’ve been working on for four or five years. It tells me: Not only is it the excellence of our staff, but it’s the excellence of our medical staff. Our vascular program is being recognized for being five stars, that’s really our medical staff and the care we provide for those patients. The same thing with our stroke care: It really reflects the team work that goes on in this organization to provide the most optimal care to our patients.
What do you think this honor says about WMC, its employees and its role in serving the people in Natrona County and Wyoming?
I think it tells you that we provide, for a hospital our size, a tremendous amount of charity care – far above the national average. For me, it’s more important that we are trying to take care of our community. That’s what we’re here for. We are the only full-service hospital in our town, and we take care of anybody regardless of their ability to pay or whatever their need is. We’re the only place in town that can say that.
Looking ahead, as the McMurry West Tower prepares to open to patients this fall, what is your vision for WMC and its role in the community?
My vision for us as a hospital is that we’re going to go beyond our walls. We need to focus on keeping people out of our hospital, but we will provide the absolute best care and service to our community when people do have to come to the hospital.
There will always be a need for hospital beds because people have acute events, they have surgeries that require care and disease that they need help in managing. But, from my perspective, we are going to try to keep people healthy. We will educate them on how they can take care of themselves, how they can manage their disease and prevent some disease in the first place.
Part of that is that we want to provide a nice setting for people to heal when they are here in our hospital. But we also want to provide access to care in different parts of town – that primary care that is immediately needed.