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Chamber hosts first membership lunch of the year

Tom Angelo, CEO of Centra Southside Community Hospital (CSCH) and VP of Centra Health, spoke about recent challenges the healthcare industry has faced during a membership meeting with the Farmville Area Chamber on Monday, Jan. 13.

Angelo explained the hospital went through a difficult time this past year and even had a reduction in force, which troubled him greatly.

“We failed some of our (Centra) family.” Angelo explained that their whole healthcare system changed to a new electronic medical records system, which caused substantial billing errors and provider slow down as patient information was moved to the new system.

Angelo also spoke of the national nursing shortage, which causes them to utilize contract nurses that cost significantly more.

“If you have children that don’t know what to do with their life…tell them to be a nurse,” he said.

The CEO spoke proudly of the improvements the community hospital has shown in the past. He said it was due to a great board of directors asking tough questions.

Angelo mentioned they now have in-home autism care. Centra has also increased its pediatrics and have two new doctors with one who has a specialty in pediatric endocrinology. Angelo said the two anesthesiologists are top notch as one was Chief at Chippenham before coming to Centra and then her colleague followed a year later.

Oncology is currently four days a week. They are hoping to increase to five days a per week as soon as next year.

Angelo explained they will not just hire any doctor.

“Would we want them to care for members of our families?” he asked.

He was honored to say CMS just recognized CSCH as a five-star facility, which is very difficult to attain. The overall hospital star ratings are based on 57 quality measures across seven categories.

Centra Southside Community Hospital also recently attained Magnet status for nursing, which means it is a hospital where nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, where nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where there is a low staff nurse turnover rate and appropriate grievance resolution.

Angelo said their goals right now are making Centra the best place to work. They will also return to working on reducing the wait time at the emergency room.

He also wanted everyone to know he and everyone on his board of directors, is open to hearing from the community about the care they are receiving.

“I’ll take a call from anyone, anytime,” he said. He mentioned, it is alright to give positive feedback as well.

Benchmark Community Bank also spoke to the Chamber members about Secure Lock, a benefit to safeguarding your debit card, and gave away prizes to all who attended.

Contact the Farmville Area Chamber for more information. www.farmvilleareachamber.org.