HONESDALE, PA — It was a brief ceremony, the one that honored Wayne Memorial CEO David Hoff. But the room was as filled as a pandemic would allow. County commissioners, hospital board members, …
HONESDALE, PA — It was a brief ceremony, the one that honored Wayne Memorial CEO David Hoff. But the room was as filled as a pandemic would allow. County commissioners, hospital board members, Wayne Tomorrow!—all were there.
Hoff was given the Pennsylvania Community Rural Health Leader of the Year award by Lisa Davis, executive director for the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH).
“I get to honor those who… have truly made a difference in the way you live,” Davis said.
She praised Hoff for creating a healthcare delivery system; during his tenure, the hospital also built a new emergency department and patient-room tower, created a heart and vascular center, became a stroke center and Level IV trauma center.
Critically, as a system that would tie it all together, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) launched in 2007.
Not pointed out: it was then stress-tested by a financial crisis, the Affordable Care Act, the opioid epidemic and the pandemic, all of which sent shockwaves through the old way of doing things.
But the WMCHC survived. It now has, according to its website, primary care, women’s health, behavioral health and dental sites, plus specialty practices and over 65 practitioners and 300 employees.
Davis said that WMCHC programs are available to those in nearby counties, which don’t always have those programs—or even a full hospital—of their own. “The hospital is an asset for health, the economy and community development,” she said.
The presentation coincided with National Rural Health Day. While rural dwellers, who make up 27 percent of the state’s population, enjoy unique benefits in the country, they also have unique health needs. There are problems with accessibility, a lack of providers, and a population that is older, sicker and less likely to be insured, according to the PORH website.
“The next wave,” Davis said, “of healthcare is on quality and population health.”
The secret of his success? “We surrounded ourselves with great people,” Hoff said. “It’s been a team effort. I’m proud of the Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers.”
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