By: Erin Smith
Cape Fear Valley-Bladen Healthcare was the subject of an information sharing session which included leaders form throughout the community.
Cape Fear Valley-Bladen Healthcare spokeswoman Ashley Dowless said, “I felt like this was a great way to engage the community leaders and to help them to learn what is going on at their hospital an d how they can support us and be engaged.”
Dowless explained that the information session will take place with about ten folks at the time. Dowless said the atmosphere is supposed to be a very relaxed informal lunch meeting to give everyone an idea what is happening at their hospital.
“You don’t come to the hospital unless you need something,” said Dowless.
She and CFV-Bladen Healthcare President Lisa Byrd said the series is a way to educate the community about the services provided by the hospital.
Byrd said, “We want to try to do this maybe once per month.”
Byrd said that the staff want to share things with the community such as what the goals are for hospital.
Byrd gave an overview of the Cape Fear Valley Hospital system. She said that CFV Hospital System consists of 8 hospitals and 850 physicians.
Byrd explained that Bladen County Hospital is one of only a few a critical care hospitals in the state. Byrd said that BCH is licensed for 58 beds and 25 are designated as critical care beds.
She also touched briefly on the Bladen County Hospital Foundation and its activities including the Gala.
Byrd said some of the services that are provided by BCH include delivering evidence based care; heart attack; heart failure; stroke; Sepsis; hips and knee replacements; wound care; and cancer care.
Byrd said BCH has earned its Sepsis certification. She said there are about 750,000 deaths due to sepsis. In North Carolina there are 100,000 deaths due to sepsis among 40 to 60 year olds.
“Sepsis is a silent killer,” said Byrd.
She said the hospital staff now have protocols to go through where sepsis is concerned.
Byrd said the hospital has been visited by the Leap Frog Group and Cape Fear Valley was named as one of the Best Hospitals for 2016.
Dowless spoke and talked working with the staff going through their sepsis certification process. She remarked about watching the roundtable discussions that would take place.
She also was very pleased with the Foundation’s Gala event and the community support it received.
There was also time for comments and questions from those invited to the event.
Byrd opened the forum by saying the the shoptial staff is aware fo certian needs in the community.
“We’re small but we think big. Transportation is a problem for many folks. What we need to do better is let community know what we are about,” said Byrd.
She continued, “We can stabilize a heart attack or stroke patient and we can transfer the to Cape Fear Valley for cardiac care.”
Byrd also addressed the clinics and the Dublin facility. She said the Dublin facility the staff are waiting on the soil engineers to complete their tasks so the parking lot can be paved. Byrd also talked about how the facility has been expanded and now offers two providers.
The floor was then opened for comments.
Elizabethtown Town Manager Eddie Madden said from the twon’s perspective the Council and staff want to see positive growth in the town part of the equation to that success si a strong hospital as well as quaint shops and other amenities.
“We really need for you to have an excellent facilities and from your presentation sounds like you are doing that,” said Madden.
Byrd said that the more the hospital staff knows about our community they better they can serve the community. She noted that 55 hospitals in NC have closed in the last several years.
Byrd said that the hospital has got to be able to provide the services but it must have the support of community in which it is located.
Lisa Priest of Lower Cape Fear Hospice asked, “Do you think it is about educating the community?”
She continued that it seems most hospitals are up against a similar issue.
Priest said that Carla Hollis President of Columbus Regional Healthcare in Whiteville taking the same concept being used on Tuesday and holding community meetings.
Dowless said that the hospital staff normally try to rotate through the county’s churches offering information sessions.
Priest said that in her position with Lower Cape Fear Hospice community outreach is one of her functions. She said the biggest hurdle is getting someone to allow you to “bend their ear.”
Althea Lesane, who served on the hospital board, said, “My family has received excellent care at this hospital. Unfortunately, the mindset is people tend to remember bad things.”
She added that when she hears negative comments she imply tells folks that she has great confidence in the staff at the hospital. Lesane said she was appointed to board of directors in 2001 until it was brought by Cape Fear Valley. She said, “I can remember whenever we would sit at board meetings unit 10 p.m. because there was no money. Things can change and this hospital has greatly changed for the better.”
It was also learned the hospital does discharge telephone calls among other things to determine how a patient’s stay is going and what the staff can do to improve.
Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker said, “Things have really changed in last 15 months for bad experiences.” He noted that the performance of the hospital staff during an ammonia leak and two shootings was phenomenal.
“As far as our dealings with the hospital, it has been good,” said McVicker.
Priest asked if a study has been done to look at the forecasted decline in population for the next 20 years
Madden said that the School of Government has done a full assessment based on population trends. He said one interesting trend is an out migration of 18-24 year olds and an uptick in 25-45 year olds.
“We found that very revealing,” said Madden.
He added that a good education system and a hospital are too concerns when looking for a community.