For more than 90 years, Huntsville Memorial Hospital (HMH) has been a valuable community asset delivering quality healthcare services to the residents of Walker County and our surrounding area. As a practicing HMH physician, it is a privilege to serve our community and all who depend on us for care, and I look forward to continuing to do so for years to come.
To care for our communities in the years ahead, the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Operating Board, with the support of the Walker County Hospital District Board, is taking the important steps necessary to find a health system partner to operate HMH moving forward.
Let me be clear, finding a partner is the best path forward for HMH, and I’m appreciative for the boards’ efforts to secure the hospital’s future.
The leadership at HMH has been working hard and has made a lot of progress to put the hospital in a better position than it was just a few months ago. It has not been easy – they’ve had to make some tough choices – but their work is showing important results:
• We are treating more of our friends and neighbors, with admissions rising nearly 10 percent over the past year.
• Patient advocates have been added in the emergency department due to notably higher ED visits, and we are actively recruiting for positions in other areas.
• We are making vital health services more readily available to community members. For example, HMH Medical Clinic launched a special program that provides prenatal care and increased access to labor and delivery services for Medicaid patients.
• These things have all been accomplished in significant part through normal employee attrition and moving patient care from outlying areas to the hospital itself. Thanks to our vital nursing staff, HMH remains strong clinically and medically and continues to provide excellent patient care.
It’s clear. Our community’s needs are growing nearly across the board, and excellent healthcare services continue to be chief among them. As our community’s partner in health, HMH has accomplished much over the past year in a difficult healthcare environment.
As a physician, I am driven to care for the people of our community, and I am excited to be a part of ensuring the best healthcare future for those we serve. As Huntsville Memorial Hospital proceeds down the path of finding the right health system partner, I look forward to additional improvements in care and continuing to do what’s best for our patients and our community as a whole.
John Knight, M.D. is a doctor at Huntsville Memorial Hospital