A year after Reid Health assumed ownership of the assets of the former Fayette Regional Health System, improvements have been made to many of the facilities and sustainable services have been maintained or even expanded.
"We hear constantly from patients and their loved ones that they are so glad that Reid is in the community," said Brandon Glover, who as manager of the Reid Health - Connersville Emergency Department has witnessed many improvements firsthand. From new stretchers, and cardiac monitors, computers and an updated medical record system, Reid Health continues to invest in the emergency department and all its other facilities in the Connersville community. More EMS personnel and board-certified ER physicians have also been added. And a process to seek accreditation as a Stroke Ready emergency facility is under way.
"We made it clear a year ago that we were committed to keeping sustainable services available for our patients and families in the Connersville area," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO. "We are pleased at the progress we have made in this first year. From high quality emergency care to medical practices, urgent care, radiology services and access to specialists, we continue to evaluate and invest in services for the Connersville area."
Angie Dickman, Reid Health Vice President, said stabilizing and improving emergency care in Connersville was one of the most significant and vital priorities. "We also stabilized outpatient services." The emergency department began with an average of 300 patients a month and the temporary use of paper records to an average today of 900 who now benefit from Epic, one of the top electronic record systems.
Randy Kirk, Vice President/Reid Health Foundation President, also noted the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation board's decision to dissolve and transfer its remaining assets to Reid Health Foundation. "We are pleased and humbled by the trust this represents in our organization and our commitment to continue to invest in philanthropic support in our Connersville facilities."
When 1941 Virginia Avenue became Reid Health - Connersville, and other locations became Reid Health Care Pavilion, Reid HealthWorks and Primary & Specialty Care - Virginia Avenue there were approximately 280 employees at these facilities. Today, there are 312, with approximately 440 Reid Health system team members living in Connersville and Fayette County overall.
The many upgrades and improvements for the Emergency Department include:
- Hiring five permanent Emergency Medicine Board-Certified physicians
- Completely re-equipping the department with new stretchers, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, ultrasound machines and other equipment
- Addition of RN case managers to assist with patient needs
- Major upgrade from initial paper charting to the Epic medical record system
Elsewhere, other improvements, changes and offerings in the past year include:
- Recruiting Christi Holmes, M.D., pediatrician, a Connersville native who is seeing patients at Whitewater Valley Primary Care; and Jordan Parrett, M.D., emergency physician and Connersville native, who will be seeing patients in the Connersville ED this fall
- Restoring outpatient lab and radiology services
- Substantial investment to improve the information services technology in Connersville locations
- Purchasing a new vehicle for Reid Health Police Department in Connersville and providing officers more equipment, training and support
- Continued support and investment by Reid Health Community Benefit with grants and funding support for programs including launching the new Wellness Wednesdays event held the first Wednesday of each month at the Fayette Senior Center; providing more than $57,000 in grants to community organizations in 2019, bringing the five-year total for the county to more than $322,000; hosting the Reid Healthier Community Day last August, attended by about 600 community members; distributing 40 cases of water during the 2019 summer heat advisory; and donating hats, gloves and scarves to elementary schools
- Restoring cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services
- Continuing outpatient physical therapy and restoring occupational therapy
- Improvements to the existing cafeteria, renamed Conners Post Café at 1941 Virginia Ave.
- Maintaining inpatient and residential adolescent behavioral health at the Care Pavilion, which was also provided two new vehicles and has had some preliminary remodeling with more under way or scheduled in the next year
- Extensive improvements to HealthWorks Fitness Center, including installing new flooring and exercise equipment, and replacing the parking lot, new classes, and a new member registration system
- Updates to other parking lots and landscaping at the newly acquired locations
- Removal of blighted buildings around the 1941 Virginia Ave. campus, also creating more green space.
- Adding a new ambulance to support transfers from the ED to other facilities
- Adding specialty services outreach including oncology and podiatry, with sleep lab in the planning stages
"We appreciate the positive reception from the community through our efforts to maintain as many sustainable healthcare services as possible," Dickman said. "We remain committed to continuing to grow services appropriately to meet the needs of the entire region, including Fayette and surrounding counties."
Soon after expanding in Connersville, Reid Health offered a free Healthier Community Day to residents.