Today's topic is hospital transformation and sustainability. We’re having that conversation with Kathy Whitmire, CEO of Transformation Health Partners.
“My mission continues to be helping rural hospitals survive, to transform them and help them maintain a strong bottom line.”
Kathy Whitmire was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina where she would earn her first degree in marketing and communications at Greenville Technical College. She received her degree in healthcare administration in 2005 and has served rural hospitals by developing their services and educating them for the last 20 years. Kathy recently served as COO and Chief Transformation Officer at Stephens County Hospital in Toccoa, Georgia, leading a $10 million financial turnaround and revenue cycle transformation.
“It takes a servant leader with a new set of skills to focus on providing patient-centered care.”
Kathy works to help rural hospitals transform and remain viable to serve their communities, through training and equipping healthcare executives with the skills and knowledge to transform their bottom line. Kathy was also the Vice President of Business Development for Caravan Health for two years, and was the Executive Director for HomeTown Health, LLC, for fifteen years. She was also named a Rural Health Fellow by the National Rural Health Association in 2017, and is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and HFMA.
We’re talking about best practices of a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital with Perry Gay, President and CEO of Logansport Memorial Hospital in Logansport, Indiana.
“We put emphasis on community, quality, and outcomes to make sure our patients see the great things we are doing.”
Perry was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida and received his Master’s of Business Administration degree from St. Leo University. Perry has been serving Logansport Memorial Hospital since 2015, but has worked in various leadership roles with multiple health systems where he found success in driving organizational, service-line, and capital growth.
“Instead of just treating people, how are we going to keep you well and get you to the best state of health that you can be?”
Perry also leads LMH’s commitment to exceptional quality, which led to their being named as one of the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in 2019 by iVintage Analytics and as a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital by the National Rural Health Association. Perry also advocates at the state and national level for continual improvements in healthcare.
Our topic today is research and creative approaches to serving rural and vulnerable populations. We’re having that conversation with Anudeep Udumula, a student researcher at the University of Central Florida.
“There is always research you can do no matter how formal or informal it is.”
Anudeep was born and raised in Delaware and is now a Burnett Medical Scholar at the University of Central Florida, studying economics and biology. Anudeep explored health economics for two years by working at an NIH-funded research group as a health disparity analyst to better understand the gap between rural and urban areas. Anudeep presented his research, “Creative Approaches to Meeting Diabetic Needs in Rural Florida”, at the National Rural Health Association’s conference in May, where he examined diabetes-related hospitalizations in lower income rural residents in Florida.
“Your job as a leader is to help people and give them a chance to showcase their skills and their talent.”
Anudeep has also worked with underserved populations in Orlando and volunteers at a free clinic for uninsured and low-income patients as well. Anudeep plans to attend medical school after graduating from UCF and hopes to continue to make a positive impact as a physician.
We’re talking about the importance of serving vulnerable populations with Dr. Cara James, the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the co-chair of the CMS Rural Health Council.
“It really does take all of us working together to identify those issues, but also to identify what is working.”
~ Dr. Cara James
Dr. James is a nationally recognized expert and thought leader in health disparities, health equity, and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations. She received her A.B. in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University. Dr. James is trained as a Health Policy Researcher, and has always had a passion for helping those who are in need. Her work impacts not only racial and ethnic minorities, but also people with disabilities, rural communities, and sexual and gender minorities.
“We need to make sure that we are helping empower communities and giving them the support and resources they need to make changes.”
~ Dr. Cara James
Dr. James has worked to develop the CMS Equity Plan to Improve Quality in Medicare, an initiative focusing on helping individuals understand their coverage, connect to care, and increase the collection and reporting of health disparities data. Dr. James was a member of the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity until 2019, and was as co-led the creation of the CMS Rural Health Strategy.