To our patients and families,

On behalf of our board, leadership team and all the staff of Scotland County Hospital and Clinics, here’s a hearty “thank you” to the community we serve.  Every day I walk through the halls of the hospital and our clinics and take the pulse of what’s happening here.  I see staff healing, caring for, and serving patients and their families in ways big and small.  And every day I thank God for the supportive community which affirms our talented staff’s caring mission. 

Gratitude is in short supply these days in America.  The more I witness the present struggles folks have in supporting their local healthcare organization with hard earned funds at times when they are ill, vulnerable and threatened with sickness, it’s obvious I, we at SCH, owe YOU our neighbors gratitude for choosing us first, so that we can be there for you when you need us.  Through thick and thin you’re with us.  That means a lot.  Thank you for your patience and empathy for the occasional gaps, and gracious recognition of all that is good about SCH.  We are humbled that you let us serve. Genuinely humbled.  

And thank you, too, for being a part of our improvement.  Improvement can be painful, but as we’ve proven recently with a citation-free surprise relicensing survey from the State of Missouri on behalf of The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I can confidently assure you that our team delivers care that is safe and of high quality.  Of course, no one nor any organization is perfect, but such a “clean” survey is unheard of these days.  Especially when it is a multi-day deep dive involving real time inspection of our staff at work, interviews with them, and review of patient charts and our systems.  So, we are in “best practices” territory.  Why?  Because you believe in us and support us.

That leads to my sincere gratitude for those who offer well-intended constructive criticism, and demand answers.  Often, the gaps we have result from a mismatch of resources and the spiraling complexity of delivering and funding the care we give.  Other times hypothetical concerns arise because of uncertainty and fear of the unknown as we respond to rapid healthcare industry changes.  Totally understandable.  Sadly, often we simply don’t have answers for things out of our control or to which we are responding. Sometimes we can’t react quickly enough to satisfy you, or us!  This is the case with our reform toward best practices in our financial services over the last year.  It’s been painful for you we know.  It’s been daunting for us too.  Nonetheless, we are thankful for the scrutiny that promotes self-inspection and a sense of urgency.  In essence, it is like the biblical “refiner’s fire”.  It keeps purifying us.  Which brings me to a meaningful metaphor.

Recently, I attended a presentation on servant leadership by Professor Tom Thibodeau.  He likened a healthy organization… like ours… to the eye of a hurricane.  A place of safety, quiet, yet in the middle of a life-threatening storm.  All the while, the surrounding hurricane is chaos; menacing, unpredictable, and powerful.  But the eye draws energy from the surrounding cataclysm.  And the eye moves with it.  The connection hit me:  We at SCH are here to be your eye in the storm, a place of safety and respite.  When your world is threatened, with ill health, a new and undiagnosed symptom, or the financial challenges in paying for care, we are mobilized to serve and restore stability for you.  Yes, in all these circumstances, we find joy in being your safe harbor, trying at all times to ‘keep you healthy, with services close to home’.  It’s our mission.  That energizes us.  And no matter how the local, state or national healthcare policy makers or market forces move you and us, we will adjust, draw energy from the storm, and move with it…maintaining a protected space in the middle of it all. 

I’ll wrap with a quote this same sage left with the audience.  In defining ‘service’, he offered that “SERVICE is LOVE made VISIBLE”. At SCH, our staff love all our community neighbors in Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa and strive to make that visible in every way, every time we meet.  Thanks for letting us serve you!

Randy Tobler, MD

CEO

Scotland County Hospital