HomeTown Health Honors Hospital Leaders at Fall Conference

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HomeTown Health presents its annual awards to hospital leaders throughout its Georgia network

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Members of Dodge County Hospital leadership team accept Hospital of the Year

HomeTown Health, LLC held its 22nd Annual Fall Conference at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, October 19-22, 2021. The annual event includes breakout sessions and presentations from industry experts, hospital leaders, established public figures and healthcare leaders on a local and state level. Additionally, it is a time where HomeTown Health recognizes rural hospital employees for their success at their facility during the previous year.

“It is truly our pleasure to work alongside hospital leaders throughout the state that serve in rural facilities. It is an even greater pleasure to be able to recognize those leaders as they excel in their facilities which positively impact their communities each year,” says Kristy Thomson, COO of HomeTown Health.

Dodge County Hospital in Eastman, Georgia was named the 2021 HomeTown Health Hospital of the Year. Representatives from their community reported, “This hospital has been a light in their community over the last two years. They have been leaders in battling the pandemic. They were the first to partner with the Mayo Clinic in a COVID-19 convalescent plasma trial which had great results for their patients, they have worked through and cried over dozens of ventilated patients overflowing at times into the Emergency Room because the ICU was full. They were one of the only hospitals in their area to open a monoclonal antibody center that helped keep patients at home and out of the hospital. The entire staff has fought hard to save lives during this awful time at the risk of their own lives with smiles on their faces and compassion in their hearts. Throughout this time, their business office has run like a well-oiled machine keeping cash flowing and being one of the best run revenue cycles that we have had the pleasure of working with. All of this success with a new leader at the helm. They welcomed a new CEO not long before the pandemic hit us, and he has been a true leader that has worked side by side with his staff. This hospital remains financially stable and independent and is a great model for rural hospitals to follow.” LaDon Toole, CEO, Jan Hamrick, CFO and Joan Hartley, PFS Director gladly accepted the award on behalf of the hospital.

Kerry Trapnell, CEO at Elbert Memorial Hospital, was recognized as the recipient of the 2021 Hospital Leader of the Year, recognized for exemplary leadership and dedication to patient care, employee excellence, innovation solutions and efforts leading to the survival of Elbert Memorial Hospital in Elberton, Georgia.

Derek Rozier, CFO of Liberty Regional Medical Center, received the 2021 CFO of the Year award for outstanding leadership in hospital finance, including a demonstrated commitment to excellence in financial practices, best practices in strategic partnerships, and revenue cycle management.

Tracy Smith of Morgan Medical Center in Madison, Georgia was announced as the 2021 Business Office Leader of the Year, "chosen for outstanding leadership in sharing best practices in the business office and for your commitment to excellence, to employee education, business partner endorsement and revenue cycle improvement.”

Shawn Whittaker, Chief Nursing Officer at Miller County Hospital was recognized as the 2021 Nurse Executive of the Year, for providing exceptional leadership by adopting “Best Practices” for rural hospital improvement, for making a commitment to staff education and leadership development while emphasizing technological advances and superior patient care.

BenCura Rehabilitation Services, a gold level business partner with HomeTown Health, was awarded the 2021 Business Partner of the Year. “This coveted award is presented each year by HomeTown Health to one of 60 business partners who exhibit extraordinary support and dedication to HomeTown Health hospitals, commitment to excellence, exceptional customer service, and for their tireless efforts in helping rural hospitals survive,” said HomeTown’s CEO Jimmy Lewis.

In addition to the awards presented, HomeTown Health recognized the graduates of its 2021 HomeTown Health Executive Leadership Development Program. The HomeTown Health Leadership Development program is designed to better equip the rural hospital industry with leadership to transform into tomorrow’s health care delivery system. Each year, hospitals nominate outstanding leaders from within their organizations for this intensive study and professional development program focused on providing them with skills and information to better serve their hospital in the future.

The 2021 HomeTown Health Executive Leadership Graduates, who are members of healthcare/hospital teams, include the following.

Appling Hospital – Christina Campbell, Utilization Manager
Appling Hospital – Jordan Deen, Controller
Appling Hospital – Rose Keller, CNO
Elbert Memorial Hospital – Cindy Gray, CNO
Jeff Davis Hospital – Jason Wilcox, Director of Behavioral Health Services
Jeff Davis Hospital – Kristy Williams, COO
Miller County Hospital – BJ Grubbs, Med Surg Manager
Stephens County Hospital – Van Loskoski, CEO

In addition to hospital participants, a limited number of best practice Business Partners are given the opportunity to nominate a member of their team into the Leadership Program. This year’s business partner graduate is Beverly Morgan, who serves in Client Relations for Brasfield & Gorrie. Also among the graduates of this year’s program were two members of the HomeTown Health team, Melissa Herndon, Educational Development Specialist, and Lisa Carhuff, Program Manager.

About HomeTown Health:
HomeTown Health, LLC, celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, serves more than 70 hospitals throughout the Southeastern United States. HomeTown Health, LLC offers advocacy, education, business partner service indexing, industry conferences, and strategic support to its member hospitals as well as expansive grant-based resources through key partnerships with the Department of Public Health and Department of Community Health in many states. HomeTown Health’s mission is to do everything legally, morally and ethically possible to promote, sustain and maintain rural healthcare in the communities which its member facilities serve. Learn more at http://www.hometownhealthonline.com and more about its online education at http://www.hthu.net.

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Meghan Williams
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