Archive for April, 2012

Come Take Part in the First TDA Rural Summit

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples recently invited all rural stakeholders to take part in the first Texas Rural Summit: Rural Texas – Growing Texas. This event is open to the public and will be hosted by Commissioner Staples and the Texas Rural Health and Economic Development Advisory Council. The council was created to identify challenges to the development of rural areas and recommend efficiencies in existing programs to best meet the needs of Texans across the state. This summit is intended to meet that goal. The interactive panel presentations and discussions will address the needs and opportunities in rural Texas that are related to economic development, health care, workforce development and skills training and community infrastructure.

The feedback that is received during the event will likely inform the policy direction for the agency and the council as we head towards the upcoming state legislative session. We would encourage interested TORCH members to attend the event and to take part in the discussion about health care and other areas of interest to your rural community. The event will be taking place on May 8, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Texas Medical Association on 401 West 15th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The registration fee is $20, which includes lunch. To make your reservations, please contact Rick Rhodes in the Office of Rural Affairs.

TORCH Foundation Celebrate Another Silent Auction Success

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The recent 2012 TORCH Foundation Silent Auction was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone who donated and participated in the bidding. There were a number of great items up for auction and together we were able to raise over $6,500 this year. This money will be used to fund a variety of scholarships and stipends to support rural health care staff and students. Already this year, scholarships have been awarded to five deserving individuals.

The award recipients so far in 2012 are:

·Kyle Toomey from Texas A&M received the 2012 Texas MHA Scholarship.

·Monte Bailey received the 2012 Texas Rural Healthcare Internship Stipend. Monte is interning at Parmer Medical Center.

·Sarah Clure from North Texas Medical Center received the 2012 Continuing Education Stipend.

· Veronica Harris from Family Medical Center with Limestone Medical Center received the 2012 Continuing Education Stipend.

· Jeff Prukop from Jackson County Hospital District received the 2012 Continuing Education Stipend.

Congratulations to all the award recipients and be sure to look for future announcements regarding scholarship opportunities available through the TORCH Foundation.

Also, applications are currently being accepted for the TORCH Healthcare Fellowship Program. This special training initiative for working health care professionals will provide the opportunity for a core-group of emerging leaders to participate in a year-long program of educational and networking events. A small stipend will be provided to attend three-to-four key conferences, both state and national, work with the staff and leadership at TORCH and participate in a capstone project to be presented at the TORCH Leadership and Management Institute. If you are interested, please contact Quang Ngo or Dawn Haberkorn at the TORCH office for an application.

The Texas Hospital Home Health Association Annual Conference Is Coming Up Quickly

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Time is running out to join your colleagues from across the state in this education conference for hospital-based home care programs offering vital topics and up-to-date information specifically for hospital home health care directors, nurses and hospital administrators. This annual THHHA education conference is for rural and urban hospital-based home care programs only. Topics typically focus on home health administration, operations, patient care, finances, staffing and management. The short format allows hospital and home health executives to get enough education to satisfy the annual requirements through DADS and to ensure organizational viability as a department or affiliate of the hospitals and communities they serve.

The 2012 THHHA Education Conference will take place on May 10-11, 2012 in Downtown San Antonio. The cost for the event is $150 for THHHA-member hospitals and home health agencies and $180 for non-members. The registration fee covers all conference sessions, CNE Certificate, course materials, refreshments and luncheon. Hotel rooms are still available at the Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk, 217 N. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. The special conference guest room rate is $107 (single/double). Please call the hotel directly to reserve your room at 210-224-2500. Be sure to mention THHHA Education Conference to confirm that you are receiving the group rate, since the deadline has now passed. Click here for detailed program information and registration information.

TORCH Unveils Its Brand New Flagship Publication for Rural and Community Hospitals

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The inaugural edition of Rural Matters, the new quarterly magazine for and about TORCH members, was distributed for the very first time at the 2012 TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show. The first edition included a feature story about the Medicaid 1115 Waiver, which provided background information and analysis on the state’s delivery system reform initiative and its effect on rural providers. Another focus of Rural Matters will be to include articles and stories about our member hospitals and administrators. This edition shines the spotlight on Childress Regional Medical Center, Jack Endres and Lance Keilers to name a few. There are also numerous other hospital-related topics and programs that will be discussed every quarter in areas such as advocacy, quality, technology, compliance, finance and more. The full-color publication drew a lot of attention from the attendees at the conference and it will soon arrive in the mailbox at your facility. If you have thoughts about the format or a suggestion for a future story or feature, please contact David Pearson or Judey Dozeto. If you cannot wait to receive your copy of Rural Matters, you can access the magazine here.

Advertising in Rural Matters Puts You in Front of Your Market
Texas has the largest and most geographically diverse rural population of 3.6 million in the United States. If Texas rural and community hospitals were a single health system, TORCH would represent the largest health system, along with its affiliated clinics and home health agencies, in Texas. TORCH hospital membership alone is more than 150 members that manage over 6,480 beds. TORCH hospitals range in size from 12 to 216 beds. Affiliate associations include the Texas Association of Rural Health Clinics (TARHC) with more than 115 clinics and the Texas Hospital Home Health Association (THHHA) with over 85 hospital based home health agencies.

In addition, our readership and circulation extends to:
• Key purchasers including executives, clinical leaders and board members of more than 350 TORCH hospitals, TARHC and THHHA members;
• More than 185 TORCH Corporate and endorsed members;
• Key influencers of rural health policy, regulations, education and governance within the state of Texas exceeds 400; and
• Numerous out-of-state and national associations, government agencies and rural health leaders.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!

Download Our Media Kit
Download the 2012 TORCH Media Kit [4.1MB PDF] here.

Place Your Ad Today
Contact David Streilein, Rural Matters advertising representative, or (512) 873-0045 for information.

Thank You for Attending the 2012 TORCH Annual Conference

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show took place last week in Dallas with more than 650 people in attendance. The education program included topics such as advocacy, financials, data, quality, HIT and, of course, the 1115 waiver. For the first time in a long time, our annual meeting took place at a brand-new venue, the new Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. It was clear throughout the event, that the combination of the valuable information, new surroundings and networking opportunities combined to create another powerful experience for TORCH-member hospital executives, trustees and other rural health stakeholders. Here are a few highlights:

At the Annual Awards luncheon we recognized several outstanding members of the TORCH community. Jack Endres, CEO at ETMC Jacksonville was the 2012 Gordon Russell Award winner. He was joined by his wife, daughter and parents as well as many of his colleagues in the ETMC system. Bill Parrish, was granted the first-ever TORCH Lifetime Contributor Award for his fine work on behalf of rural and community hospitals both individually and collectively. The Gonzales Healthcare System received the TORCH Light Award for their strong participation and support of the TORCH Insurance Program. Michael Hunter of Hunter Pharmacy Services accepted the TMSI Endorsed Vendor of the Year Award. There were also several other vendors who received longevity awards and student scholarship awards presented by the TORCH Foundation.

All our speakers this year presented programs that aligned with the theme ‘Working Together to Improve Rural Health Care’. Lance Keilers, this year’s Chairman of the National Rural Health Association, led off the conference with a very personal address about the value of partnership. Keynoters Brian Lee, Barbara Sanfillipo and Kevin Tutt focused on improving our health care facilities from the inside out. Stanley Stewart, the HHSC lead on the 1115 Waiver, discussed the delivery system reform process and stayed for the entire meeting to dialogue with our members. Many other individuals contributed to the overall success of the program this year as well and we appreciate the time and effort that each underwent to be there.

TORCH also thanks all its generous financial supporters for their participation in this year’s meeting. Our Trade Show included well over 150 exhibitors and sponsors. These companies helped support our conference and brought along hundreds of programs and services that were designed to meet the unique needs of rural and community hospitals. We could not possibly do what we do without the long-term support of our corporate members and endorsed vendors. We will be coming back to the Dallas Omni for the next two years, so we hope that they will also join us for our upcoming annual conferences in 2013 and 2014. The conference syllabus includes contact information for all of this year’s vendors and we would encourage you to call on them.

Lastly, we couldn’t put on such a high-quality meeting without the talent and expertise of the TORCH staff. Several veteran staff members provided planning and logistical support before and during the conference: Quang Ngo, Vicki Pascasio, Rose Valenzuela, Kathy Ford, Dawn Haberkorn, Gina Richardson and Lori Green, but we also had several new staff in attendance this year, including Scott Gostisha, Network Manager, Judey Dozeto, our new Communications Manager and Dave Streilein, Business Development. These fine people, along with all our other consultants are proud to serve our members and are available to assist you at any time. Thank you to all of them for a job well done.

Access to any of the conference handouts or the conference syllabus can be found here.

Gordon Russell Merit Award Winner Announced

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Each year, the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals honors a rural hospital administrator who embodies this spirit of superior service to their local community. In recognition of two decades of service in healthcare and to rural hospitals, including executive leadership positions as well as CEO of Muenster, Athens and Jacksonville, Jack Endres has been named the recipient of the 2012 Gordon Russell Merit Award.

This award exists to recognize outstanding achievement by rural and community hospital administrators for their leadership and dedication to the profession. Gordon Russell, the award’s namesake, was the administrator of Hi-Plains Hospital for more than 40 years and a former mayor of Hale Center, TX.

TORCH President/CEO, David Pearson, congratulated Jack for receiving TORCH’s highest honor. “Jack was selected from his peers because of his dedication he has exhibited in the practice of rural hospital administration throughout his career, his involvement in the leadership of TORCH as a Board member and former Chairman and his commitment to his family, employees and the communities he has served.”

Endres is currently approaching his fourth year as administrator of ETMC Jacksonville. He has 20 years experience in Hospital Administration and another six years practicing law in Dallas. Before taking the position in Jacksonville, Jack was Associate Administrator of ETMC Athens and CEO of Muenster Hospital District for the first ten years of his healthcare career.

Jack has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin (’82) and a JD from the SMU School of Law along with a Master of Laws in Taxation from the New York University School of Law (’86). Jack is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He enjoys his family, karate and following his children’s college careers and travels abroad.

Jack was an outspoken leader for TORCH and served as its Chairman from 2002 to 2004. In addition to Jack’s extensive service on the boards of both TORCH and TORCH Management Services, he has served on the THA Board of Directors, on the Rural Council on Administration and several other councils and committees. Jack has also been active in the local civic organizations of whichever communities he has served.

In the nomination letter by Mike Click, RN, CEO of Brownfield Regional Medical Center, he wrote, “When I think of my experiences with TORCH leadership and active participation in health care activities, I can always picture Jack Endres being passionate and engaged. I hope and trust that you fully agree that Jack is deserving of this award.”

We applaud Jack’s selection for this prestigious recognition. We hope that he will continue to provide leadership and direction to TORCH and rural hospitals for years to come.

167 Hospitals Recognized for Raising Quality of Care, inc. 23 TORCH Hospital Members

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Awards honor hospitals for notable gains on key components of patient care and treatment

TMF Health Quality Institute announced today that 167 Texas hospitals (including 23 TORCH Hospital Members) had won a Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Award by achieving gains in key clinical areas designated as national health care priorities. The Award recognizes hospitals that undertake efforts to advance the quality of care in their facilities. Leaders from each hospital will meet in Austin on May 3 at Bass Concert Hall to receive their awards.

“As a nonprofit consulting company focused on promoting quality health and health care, TMF proudly recognizes these hospitals for promoting improvement activities and their senior management for promoting a quality culture,” said Tom Manley, CEO of TMF Health Quality Institute. “Quality improvement is a complex and demanding process, and we thank these hospitals for their commitment to improving the health of Texans and the efficiency of health care in our state.”

TMF Health Quality Institute, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Texas, established the awards program in partnership with the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals and Texas Osteopathic Medical Association.

Hospitals self-nominate for participation in the non-competitive program and agree to focus on making improvements in clinical areas that include acute myocardial infarction or AMI (heart attack), heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Improvement in these areas has been designated a priority for U.S. health
care by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit, standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

Of 214 Texas hospitals participating in the awards program, two met the criteria of the highest award, the Gold Award, and another 129 earned the Silver Award. Thirty-six hospitals’ improvement qualified them for the Bronze Award. A list of the TORCH-honored hospitals is provided below. For a full list, please visit the TMF Health Quality Institute awards web site.

For more information on the awards, see the TMF Health Quality Institute awards web site.

Childress Regional Medical Center, Childress
Connally Memorial Medical Center, Floresville
Graham Regional Medical Center, Graham
Hill Country Memorial Hospital, Fredericksburg
Matagorda Regional Medical Center, Bay City
Moore County Hospital, Dumas
Mother Frances Hospital Jacksonville, Jacksonville
Reagan Memorial Hospital, Big Lake
Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Sweetwater
Scott & White Hospital – Brenham, Brenham
Scott & White Hospital – Llano, Llano
Seton Edgar B. Davis Hospital, Luling
Seton Highland Lakes Hospital, Burnet
Wise Regional Health System, Decatur

Bowie Memorial Hospital, Bowie
Columbus Community Hospital, Columbus
East Texas Medical Center Jacksonville, Jacksonville
Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton
Lavaca Medical Center, Hallettsville
Madison St. Joseph Health Center, Madisonville
North Texas Medical Center, Gainesville
Smithville Regional Hospital, Smithville
Yoakum Community Hospital, Yoakum

Last Chance! One Week To Go Until the TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

We are just one week away from the start of the TORCH Annual Conference and Trade Show on April 11-13 in Dallas at the new Omni Hotel. A block of rooms is reserved for TORCH conference participants at the Omni Hotel Dallas, 555 South Lamar, Dallas, TX 75202. Even though the deadline has passed, the hotel is still honoring the reduced rate of $159 (single/double), so please call the hotel right away at (214) 744-6664. The conference agenda and registration form are both available on our Web site or you can register online.

This year’s theme “Working Together To Improve Rural Healthcare” will focus on finding ways to join forces with one another to help rural hospitals and other health care providers achieve even greater success. The constantly changing landscape of rural health care requires knowledge, data, vigilance and collaboration. As hospitals continue to deal with issues related to reimbursement, workforce, technology and quality, we must work together to find the right solutions to ensure our future viability. Throughout the 2012 TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show, we will explore each of these opportunities in great depth in order to help rural hospital executives; trustees and other stakeholders succeed both financially and operationally.

As always, quality education sessions and networking opportunities for rural hospital leaders and decision-makers are scheduled throughout the event. We feel that this is what makes the TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show truly distinctive. The knowledgeable professionals that are invited to speak and represent their companies are certain to provide you with all of the skills and advice you need. Best of all, they’re all here in one place, at one time. Never has protecting and improving your facility been so convenient and affordable.

Please plan to be a part of the largest TORCH event dedicated exclusively to rural and community hospital administration, finance, education and advocacy. We promise that by attending the 2012 TORCH Annual Conference & Trade Show, you are making an investment that will pay dividends in the months and years ahead. We invite you to come prepared to learn, network and discover how by working together with TORCH and other providers, we can strengthen rural healthcare for many years to come. Thank you for your participation and we’ll be seeing you at the new Omni Hotel Dallas!

The TORCH Early Bird Golf Tournament – April 10, 2012
We will be teeing off at The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony at Noon on Tuesday, April 10. If you’ve ever dreamed of playing St. Andrews, Troon and Carnoustie, dream no more. The Tribute brings the ultimate in Scottish golf tradition to Dallas.

We invite you all to please join us for the 2012 TORCH Early Bird Golf Tournament, the day before the our annual conference begins. If you’d like to play golf this year, all you need to do is fill out the attached form and return it along with your payment information.

Trustee Education at the TORCH Conference – April 11, 2012
Trustees of rural hospitals have special demands that Texas Healthcare Trustees and TORCH understand. That’s why we’re offering a half-day session just for trustees on the opening day of the TORCH Conference. Come join Kevin Reed and Fletcher Brown from Davis & Wilkerson, and Michael Oatman from BKD, for an insightful morning with your Texas Healthcare Trustees peers followed by lunch. Here are some of the takeaways you’ll bring home to put into practice in your boardroom:

• New/Current Issues and Trends in Health Care.
• Ten Best Practices in Governance.
• The Board’s Role in Driving Quality and Patient Safety.
• What is Enterprise Risk Management and Why Does it Matter?
• Key Financial Indicators for Board Focus.
• Trends in Texas Community Hospital Finances 2002-2012

Click here to register or send the attached form in to the TORCH office with your payment information and we’ll see you bright and early on the morning of Wednesday, April 11.