Forsyth Medical Center (FMC) and North Carolina Baptist Hospital (NCBH) announced today collaborative agreements with Stokes and Yadkin Counties to help promote local access to healthcare in their communities. The collaboration will be facilitated through the establishment of two Health Services Alliances, which will then coordinate the development and delivery of quality, cost effective and sustainable community based healthcare services.
The Alliances will be jointly funded by FMC, NCBH and each county. After reevaluating the perceived healthcare needs in each county, exploration of other options for the delivery of health care services will be undertaken.
“This is a major step forward in an evolving process to maintain appropriate, affordable access to health care services for the residents of rural counties,” said Len Preslar, president and CEO of NCBH. “Rural healthcare is challenging at best. Our collaborative agreement recognizes the necessity for the community itself to be actively engaged in the process of planning and supporting community-based healthcare” said Preslar.
“We have been in discussion for many months on ways our two medical centers can work collaboratively to support local access to healthcare in rural communities,” said Greg Beier, president and CEO of Forsyth Medical Center. “Through this collaboration we have a way to support local access now as well as evaluate options that will provide sustainable delivery of healthcare services for the long term.”
Both Stokes-Reynolds Memorial Hospital and Hoots Memorial Hospital are leased and managed by NCBH and have received Critical Access Hospital designation, which creates a new base of operations that is more financially sustainable and can adapt to changing community demand, or the availability of other community-based healthcare services.
“The Yadkin and Stokes county commissioners are to be commended for their commitment to providing access to healthcare services for the residents of their respective counties,” said Lance Labine, president of both Stokes-Reynolds Memorial Hospital and Hoots Memorial Hospital. “Their willingness to make a financial as well as philosophical commitment shows that they understand the challenges facing healthcare delivery in rural counties.”
“We recognize that the challenges rural counties such as Yadkin are faced with in terms of access and delivery of healthcare services are huge,” said Cecil Wood, county manager of Yadkin County. “The most important aspect of what we are doing is that we are taking a team approach to developing what’s best for this community in providing access to healthcare services that are appropriate and sustainable,” he said.
Rick Morris, county manager of Stokes County, said, “As has been proven in rural counties across the country, it is unrealistic to expect that the healthcare providers solely bear the full financial responsibility for healthcare services. We are demonstrating our commitment to working together so that the residents of Stokes County have local access to appropriate healthcare services. It is also the responsibility of the community to utilize these services if they are to be sustained.”
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