Dr. Reddington’s vision shared with Concerned Citizens

The audio quality of this presentation given by Dr. James Reddington of Bath Community Hospital keep it from being aired as part of the previous news story.  The script is offered here too.

Hello. First I would just like to thank everybody for all of the support shown to me and Sarah this past year. But tonight is not about me; it’s much bigger than that; it’s about our hospital, and our community, and I’d like to just outline for you, my vision, my personal vision, for the future of not only Bath Community Hospital, but for the future of medical care in Bath County. First, it is very true that our hospitals are facing enormous financial pressures. This is especially true for small, rural hospitals like ours. The current wisdom among experts is that bigger is better, that in order to survive hospitals must be come bigger through alliances and mergers. Competing with the UVAs and Carilions is not a race we can win; it’s not even a race we can enter. And, in fact we don’t need to. What most people see as our weakness, I see as our strength. We are a community hospital located in a geographically isolated area with a relatively small and stable population, and that can be a great thing, and here’s why. Five thousand people in Bath and another two thousand in Highland, that’s a number we can wrap our arms around. We can count every head, we can include everybody, and leave no one out. And we have the Lettie Pate Evans found , fund, endowment. Here’s how it can work. Our hospital becomes the medical home for all of our residents. Everyone is entered into our computer. Every illness, of every resident is tracked. Ninety percent of the problems can be treated by our own doctors and nurses. The other ten percent requiring more specialized care can be either provided here in regularly scheduled clinics, or we can get you where you need to be. Our emphasis under such as system is to make this a healthy community, and to focus on diseases prevention. Imagine a community, where every resident has received every immunization from measles to pneumonia to the flu and beyond. Imagine a system where we know which residents are turning fifty this year, and need a colonoscopy, and get them. Imagine eliminating deaths from colon cancer in Bath County and Highland County. That’s an achievable goal. Imagine a system where we know how many of our residents on any given day need to travel for chemotherapy or radiation. One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, for example, is actually travelling to get the treatment. Immediately family supports take off in order to drive; the burden falls on family members, friends, church groups. Imagine that on any given day, we have, say twelve residents who need transportation. Imagine we provide and air-for conditioned van or a small bus. We’d have a dialysis bus that leaves the hospital every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at eight o’clock. If you need dialysis, be there; family members and friends are welcome to ride along. A person that stays in thirty days for radiation treatment at Greenbrier Valley, the van leaves at 7:00 am. Friends and family welcome to ride along. What if you suffer an accident or severe illness? Our ER doctors make a correct diagnosis; we initiate stabilizing treatment, and transfer you to the right doctors and surgeons at the right hospitals, the doctors who we know and trust, and who trust know and trust us. While you’re at the other hospital, we check on you every day. We track your progress. We make arrangements for you to return here for any needed rehab or home care. If you need a hip or a knee replacement, you can do rehab right here, safe from the superbugs that plaque the large hospitals. I could go on and on about this vision. We can do this. I know how to do it. I can take us there. We’re doing many of these things already. But we will need everyone to adopt this vision, of what this can be. And it will take the combined efforts of the community, the medical staff, the administration and the board. We need all of our residents to use the hospital and doctors as their medical home, and we need Dr. Bost to stay. For that to happen we need an environment where Dr. Bost feels valued and appreciated, and wants to continue to use his talents here to serve our community. And most importantly we need an environment where the community feels it has a voice, and is being heard, and is recognized as being the true stakeholders in this hospital. We can become the healthiest community in the nation. We can do this.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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