NMC Commentary

What Was The Focus of the NMC Incorporators’ Meeting?

The focus of the recent semi-annual meeting of NMC’s Incorporators was NMC’s master campus planning work; an update from NMC’s Auxiliary, Leadership, and Medical Staff; and the announcement of the recipient of the 2018 NMC Community Service Award. The Incorporators are an important connection between our community and our not-for-profit hospital.  The up-to 150 members are residents of Franklin or Grand Isle Counties who serve to elect the members of the NMC Board of Directors, approve changes to the NMC bylaws, advocate for the hospital, and provide important community perspective for the hospital.

At the recent May meeting of the Incorporators, I presented the start of NMC current master campus planning.  As you know, NMC is nearing completion of the major construction project which created all private rooms for our inpatients; new space for rotating medical specialty clinics and our Women’s Services; and the new Medical Office Building for Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Orthopaedics. We are now planning for the future to ensure our facilities and programs continue to keep pace with community need.  While we call it ‘campus’ planning, our efforts are also looking our presence ‘off campus’ in St. Albans, Georgia, Swanton, and Enosburg.  This effort is rooted in the priorities of the community health needs assessment and the NMC strategic plan.  It is informed by input from NMC’s medical staff, hospital management and staff, our Board’s Planning Committee, a group of community leaders, and now the NMC Incorporators.  Major areas of focus include enhancements to the privacy and safety of the NMC Emergency Department; the right approach to advancing mental health and addiction services; and the future of wellness services.  These three projects head up a strong list of facility and programmatic opportunities identified during our work. There was strong discussion at the Incorporators’ meeting which will help inform the setting of our priorities and the drafting of our recommendations to the Board.

I am always touched at the passion for NMC which is evident in the report from the Auxiliary to the Incorporators, delivered this year by Auxiliary President Joan Aher.  The funds raised by the Auxiliary for the hospital and the thousands of hours of service donated by the volunteers are remarkable. We are so fortunate to have the support of this dynamic group.  During the shared report from the NMC Board, Medical Staff, and Leadership Team, NMC Board Chair Leon Berthiaume spoke to the Board’s role and process for ensuring the continued progress of the organization and shared an example of the ‘dashboards’ the Board uses to track progress on key indicators.  He also spoke to a wide variety of collaborations NMC is part of within our community, including work with NOTCH, Franklin County Home Health, the Vermont Department of Health, Northwestern Counseling & Support Services, and others.  Dr. Thomas Harrison, the President of the Medical Staff, reported on the new Quality Improvement Committee active at NMC with strong provider involvement and recent provider recruitment, including the pending arrival of Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialist Dr. Kahren Aydinyan (to join the list of patients interested in seeing Dr. Aydinayan, call NMC Community Relations at 524-1280). In addition, I updated the Incorporators on our progress towards creating one electronic health record with the Meditech platform; the measurement study of RiseVT; and our continuing work with the Green Mountain Care Board to navigate the regulatory process and maintain NMC’s financial sustainability as we lead the reform efforts to create a healthier future.

It was a great pleasure to see Emerson Lynn of the St. Albans Messenger receive NMC’s Community Service Award.  Emerson has been a powerful voice for quality healthcare and a leader in the emphasis on wellness and prevention.  I’m sure the nomination of Emerson for the award spoke for many of his readers when it said, ““I feel he has made great contributions to this community and we are all the better for it.  Even though I do not always agree with him, his editorials never fail to be thoughtful and thought provoking without being divisive … He is deserving of recognition for his outstanding contributions.” Congratulations, again, Emerson.

It is a pleasure to work with the NMC Incorporators, as it is clear that they share in our commitment to our mission of exceptional care here in northwestern Vermont.  If you are interested in learning more about the Incorporators and might consider becoming a member, we would love to talk to you.  Please call Jonathan Billings in NMC’s Community Relations office at 524-1280 and we can big the conversation.  It is so wonderful to be a part of this special community.

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer