AHA names Rural Hospital Leadership Award winner and finalists

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2020) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced Cody Regional Health (CRH) in Cody, Wyo. as the 2019 recipient of the Rural Hospital Leadership Award. The award recognizes small or rural hospital leaders who guide their hospital and community through transformational change on the road to health care reform.  They display outstanding leadership, responsiveness to their community’s health needs and demonstrate a collaborative community process that has led to measurable outcomes. The award will be presented at the AHA’s 33rd Rural Health Care Leadership Conference, February 2-5, 2020 in Phoenix.

In Park County, where Cody Regional Health is located, heart disease was identified as the second highest cause of death, only second to cancer. CRH assessed data trends and partnered with Billings Clinic to build a conveniently located, high-quality cardiology center to reverse negative health outcomes affecting the community’s cardiac health. CRH’s interventional cardiology service helps to maintain continuity of care, lower readmissions and improve quality of life for the surrounding community.

With generous support from the Helmsley Trust, the Center opened in 2018, and includes the newest X-ray technology systems allowing physicians to merge different imaging modalities including new high-end, real-time 3D imaging. A Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory was opened in 2019, which provides the ability to perform diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations to diagnose and treat heart disease.
Over the past year, the cardiology program has grown through the successful recruitment of two full-time interventional cardiologists. To date, there have been over 130 cardiac catheterization procedures. Over the past two months, CRH went live with providing emergent cardiac catheterization call coverage and in that time has performed five emergent cardiac catheterization procedures for patients experiencing a heart attack. CRH has not only addressed its community health needs by expanding access to specialty services, they have eliminated distance and travel as barriers to receiving care. This serves as an example of the many ways in which rural leaders are adapting to provide services most in need. Doug McMillan, who serves as CEO, leads the team.
The AHA Rural Hospital Leadership Award also recognized Hill Country Memorial (HCM) in Fredericksburg, Texas and Coffey Health System, Burlington, Kan. serving the east-central Kansas community, as finalists.  
Jayne Pope, CEO and her leadership team are being recognized for their commitment to improving and expanding health coverage, ensuring health care is affordable and successfully leading transformative change for their hospital and community. HCM leadership launched the Salud for You (SFY) program partnering with local businesses to provide comprehensive health screenings, behavioral and dietary counselling and membership at the HCM Wellness Center. Due to the broad reach of the SFY program, 16 percent of the uninsured population of Gillespie County have received services that otherwise were unavailable.

Leonard Hernandez is CEO of Coffey County Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in the Coffey Health System serving the east-central Kansas community. Since 2014, the hospital has experienced zero reported surgical site infections, rolled out emergency department telemedicine services, and organized and implemented a charity care and assistance program for disadvantaged patients. Community members, trustees and more than 300 Coffey County Hospital employees came together to ensure the health system would be financially healthy while continuing to provide access to affordable, quality care in its community.

The dynamic leadership teams at Cody Regional Health, Hill Country Memorial Hospital and Coffey County Hospital and Health System highlight the many ways in which hospitals and health systems continue to reach beyond their four walls to meet the needs of their communities in innovative ways. 


Contact:           Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351, mjohnson@aha.org

About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit www.aha.org.