Straight Talk

March 5, 2015


Dear Friend and Colleagues,

Records are made to be broken. And boy, are we breaking records at a record pace!

Boston is expected this week to surpass 108” of snow, the most snow since records have been kept. Much of the nation is also experiencing an historically cold and snowy winter. Meanwhile, Florida has become the third most populous state in the nation with 20 million citizens and, incredibly, an estimated 100 million visitors this year, according to Bill Johnson, our new Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that NCH is experiencing its busiest season ever. Our North Naples ER is 10% busier than last year, Downtown 9% up, Intensive Care Units an astounding 17% fuller, surgery increased 21%, overall system admissions up 8% and the NCH Physician Group growing 13%.

One reason we’re growing is the quality we deliver. We’re the only system in southwest Florida to be named as best in the region by U.S. News & World Report for three years in a row; first in Florida to be a Mayo Clinic Affiliate; top 10% from the Society of Thoracic Surgery for bypass, aortic valve replacement and bypass with aortic valve replacement; top category for Information Technology, Healthcare Information Management Systems (HIMSS) Level 7, putting us among the top 175 in the nation; Comprehensive Total Joint Replacement Program; “A” rating by Leapfrog for quality and safety, the best in southwest Florida; and NCH Physicians Group, the only outpatient physicians’ offices certified by the Joint Commission, which makes a measurable and distinct difference as patients choose physicians. There are even more distinctions pending from respected third-party reviewers, such as the Agency for Healthcare Administration and the American College of Surgeons.

As we grow, our financial performance improves, priming the pump for expansion and even better and more comprehensive services. One case-in-point is our newest project, a 40,000-square foot, two-story, freestanding Emergency Room with full radiology and offices for 12 physicians at the corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Blvd. Eighty percent of healthcare systems are being downgraded, but Moody’s bond rating service upgraded us from A2 negative to A2 stable. As we await our review from Fitch, we are cautiously optimistic for similar positive results.

The primary reason for all this record-breaking news, the asset that differentiates NCH from all others, is the 4,000 dedicated men and women who this season are working harder than ever to serve all of us. Over the past two months, NCH has added more than 200 new colleagues. The community depends on us to be ready every minute of every day, and we are. Last Saturday, in a pre-dawn hour, I sat with a most competent and youthful team of downtown night ICU nurses. I appreciated their candor in recounting their professional aspirations, needs, and concerns. Our job as leaders is to do all we can to help make our colleagues successful.

In this context, all of our directors and members of the leadership team have been rounding more frequently to support the front lines. In my visits over the weekend with our night and day crews, I was reminded of their hard work, great attitude, compassion and competence during this busiest of NCH seasons. Mark Anthony Henderson, an experienced downtown ER tech, summarized that attitude at 4:30 Saturday morning. He told me, “We will get through the season, we always do, we just have to stay focused and positive.” Mark’s sage observation underscores the NCH mission and explains, in a simple sentence, why we are, indeed, “record breakers.”

Respectfully,

Allen Weiss, M.D. Signature

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO


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