When you think about rural healthcare, you may not think about Scotland, but Scotland has some very rural areas that deal with similar issues we deal with in rural America. Hear about what they are doing in rural Scotland to deliver health and wellbeing to their residents, by listening to our conversation with Dr. Emma Watson, 2021-22 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice Deputy Medical Director at NHS Highland.
“NHS Highland delivers integrated health and social care, so it is not just about illness.”
~Dr. Emma Watson
Dr. Emma Watson MSc, FRCPath, FRCPEd is a 2020-21 UK Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice. A Consultant Medical Microbiologist by background and a senior clinical systems leader in Scotland, she is an expert in quality improvement and in medical education and workforce planning.
Emma is Deputy Medical Director in NHS Highland which is, geographically, one of the largest and most sparsely populated combined health and social care systems in the UK. She is also a senior medical adviser in the Scottish Government. In both roles, her focus is on developing innovative approaches to ensuring equitable access to high-quality health care services with a sustainable healthcare workforce, particularly in remote and rural areas.
Emma has led a number of major change programs including the development of Scotland’s first graduate entry medical school. Emma previously held a post in the Scottish Government as Clinical Lead for the Scottish Patient Safety Program during which time she ensured quality improvement methodology translated from the development of health policy and strategy through to implementation across the entirety of the Scottish healthcare system. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a patient safety program on a whole system basis at the national level. As Director of Medical Education in NHS Highland, she focused on the delivery of high-quality medical education as a tool to increase recruitment and attract young doctors to the region as well as ensuring there is now an established programme to encourage young people from the area to go to medical school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the clinical response in her region and ensured there was a whole system approach to manage the impact of the virus.
Ted Rogalski considers himself to be in the relationship business. Maximizing outcomes and organizational effectiveness in rural communities with limited resources require a culture of connection, a culture that fosters strong relationships. Hear Ted’s thoughts on this and much more during our conversation with Ted Rogalski, Administrator of Genesis Medical Center in Aledo, IL.
“We must create a culture and work environment that is a draw for caregivers by developing relationships outside the organization.”
Edward J. (Ted) Rogalski is the Administrator for Genesis Medical Center, Aledo, a 22-bed critical access hospital located in Aledo, Illinois. Rogalski completed his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at St. Ambrose University and received his Master's degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Iowa. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
During his 24 years with Genesis Health System, Rogalski has held a number of leadership positions. Over the past ten years, he has directed operations in Aledo, IL where he joined the organization under a management agreement with Mercer County Hospital (now Genesis Medical Center, Aledo). During his tenure, Rogalski led a $1.6 million dollar turn-around effort and successfully guided the organization through affiliation and ultimately acquisition.
On February 1, 2013, Mercer County Hospital, Medical Associates Clinic (a six provider RHC) and Mercer County Nursing Home (92 bed LTC) joined Genesis Health System. The Hospital immediately embarked on an extensive $12 million renovation plan. Prior to joining Genesis, Rogalski worked for Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, IA; Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN; and started his healthcare career at St. Luke’s Hospital, Davenport, IA.
Rogalski currently serves as Chair-Elect for the Illinois Hospital Association Board of Trustees and Treasurer for the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network. He has also served as the Chair for the Small and Rural Hospital Committee of the Illinois Hospital Association and has been an active community volunteer and serves or has served on the boards of the American Hospital Association - Regional Policy Board, Vera French Mental Health Center, St. Ambrose University PA Program, Mercer County Better Together, Mercer County YMCA, St. Paul the Apostle School, Assumption High School Century Club, and Friendship Manor. Rogalski and his wife, Lisa, have five adult married children and one grandson.
Burnett Medical Center set some pretty high goals for wellness visits, complete physicals, annual wellness visits, and welcome-to-Medicare visits. They also initiated a tier management program to follow up with patients to make sure they are doing well. We’re talking about this and more with Tamra White, Burnett Medical Center’s Medical Practice Administrator and Compliance Officer.
“As much as we like to think we’re pretty good at what we do, there’s always room for improvement.”
Tamra White joined Burnett Medical Center in 2001. Burnett Medical Center is a 17-bed Critical Access Hospital, Rural Health Clinic, and 50-bed nursing home in Tamra’s hometown of Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Throughout that time, Tamra has held various positions including medical transcriptionist, medical staff coordinator, HIM Director, and Compliance Officer. During those years she assisted with two EMR implementations, revenue cycle improvement, and planning for a $15 million building project.
Since 2017 Tamra has served as the Medical Practice Administrator and Compliance Officer in addition to implementing an Emergency Preparedness program. In December 2018 Tamra was asked to co-lead the organization when the hospital’s CEO had an unexpected three-month medical leave.
Tamra is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in healthcare management through Regent University. After that, she plans to obtain a master’s degree in healthcare administration. Tamra also holds a degree in health information management from Rasmussen College.
Tamra’s mission is to serve her community, friends, and family in humility and love while ensuring they have close-to-home access to high-quality healthcare. Her professional interests involve strategic planning, medical staff relations, compliance, and regulatory issues, and goal cycles and action plans. Tamra’s personal interests include spending time with her husband and two daughters, reading, church activities, and Bible study small groups.
Rural Medical Centers has clinics located in mountains where there is no internet or cell service, and in the middle of a tomato field. As you might imagine, they have a few challenges providing healthcare services. I invite you to listen to a very interesting conversation with Jessica Zimmerman and Alexis Andino who are both with Rural Medical Centers in East Tennessee.
“We have a clinic in the mountains where there is no cell or internet service, so the way we access and treat people there is different.”
Jessica Zimmerman is a native of Lima, OH, and is married to Javier. They have one son, Ethan. Jessica is currently transitioning from her role as Corporate Compliance Manager with Rural Medical Services, Inc. to a position working with Auxiliary Services offered through her organization which is a FQHC located in East Tennessee. Jessica is bilingual and uses that ability to not only help her fulfill duties at work but also as a volunteer English teacher for adults one night a week.
Alexis Andino is originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Central America. He is married to Edith, and they have 3 married young adult children, who give them the joy of enjoying 6 grandchildren with one more on the way. Alexis is a bilingual Agricultural Engineer, with a diploma in Church-based community Facilitation, who worked for several years as a church-based community project facilitator for Christian Service Organizations in Honduras, Central America.
Alexis works as a Community Outreach and Transportation worker for Rural Medical Services, Inc.