OXFORD — An emphasis on preventive care and expanding local medical care services were a big part of a round table discussion of community involvement for McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital/TriHealth.
Two recent discussions marked a return to holding these public meetings with residents which had been suspended due to pandemic protocols. Participants were given information on both the hospital itself as well as the foundation which supports that operation through fundraising efforts.
McCullough-Hyde President Mike Everett spoke about community programs which promote wellness and prevention of health issues before they become serious.
“My job is to keep you out of the hospital. We want to prevent falls in and out of the house. If we send you home too soon and you have to come back, that is not good for you,” Everett said. “We want to work with you. We just want to be here. Competition is coming into the market.”
McCullough-Hyde Foundation Executive Director Tyler Wash opened with comments on the history of the hospital, noting that Elizabeth McCullough Heath envisioned a local hospital here back in 1937 and while the hospital is marking 65 years this year, the foundation dates back 20 years before that. He said she started what is today the foundation with a donation which in today’s dollars would be the equivalent of $24 million.
Wash said the foundation has put a quarter-million dollars into renovation of the obstetrics department, donated a building the foundation owned in College Corner to expand service there and paid $50,000 in grants to hospital team members to expand their education.
“This is a wonderful, caring place. We already had the team,” he said. “We love to be able to support our own.”
Everett praised the hard work of the hospital staff, particularly during the pandemic.
“It’s all about our teams. Our teams stepped up. We did not need the National Guard,” he said. “We were started due to the community. We provide charity care for those unable to afford it. We provided vaccines locally in Oxford, lots of vaccines.”
Everett was asked about expanding services and said they are always looking to add additional medical services within the community and said their whole focus is primary care in the community. He cited the addition of wound care, added in December, and said use of that service has doubled every month since. He said two new pediatricians are coming here this summer. He also cited that expansion of service to College Corner. He added a comment, however.
“It’s always hard finding physicians, especially today,” he said. “The medical field is a calling. We need to create a space people want to come to. It’s about retention.”
He cited partnerships as fostering the expansion of services, particularly that of joining with TriHealth and also partnerships with Cincinnati Children’s and Beacon Orthopedics. A big piece of that, too, is the operation of the hospital foundation, which helps fund many innovations and programs.
“Without the foundation, we probably would not be here today. Without TriHealth, we probably would not be here today,” Everett said. “We want more access points. Partnering with Beacon is meant to improve the overall service level TriHealth offers.”
Earlier in the discussion, he had said the TriHealth system provides a wide variety of services McCullough-Hyde could not manage to fund on its own, making them available to residents of the 13 Zip codes served by the hospital.
Asked about the possibility of adding a geriatrician to serve the elderly, he said they have a recruitment team out there looking for personnel in various fields and that is one of those on the list.
He was also asked about the operation of the free clinic offering services to those unable to afford medical care and said it is going well and they will continue to support its operation.
Everett closed the discussion by saying they are planning an open house at the hospital with tours for the public to see the facilities. He did not have a date but just said it will be later this year.
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