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CEO: End of Year Reflections

December 29, 2023

Scott Thoreson, CCMH Chief Executive Officer

By Scott Thoreson, CCMH Chief Executive Officer

It is routinely shared that “time flies” and it seems as though when we age, time goes that much faster. Indeed, it does seem that 2023 flew by. As I reflect on what has all transpired in 2023, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were hosting Dr. Amy North and her husband Dan for a recruitment visit, which took place in February. We were ecstatic to learn of their decision to join our community with Dr. North starting in late June and Dan becoming the pastor at First Christian Church in Carrollton. We were also happy to recruit Marc Morgan, a nurse practitioner, from Florida and have him Marc start in July. We also saw the addition of Dr. Rishi Grewal, a gastroenterologist, who rejoined us and Dr. Andrew Frazier, a pain management specialist, begin practice in August.

In May, we received notice that CCMH was recognized as a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital (CAH) in the United States. There were eight measurement areas considered in this evaluation and CCMH was the only Missouri CAH to attain this high level of distinction. Especially noteworthy was that there are approximately 1,300 CAHs in the country, 34 being in Missouri, which places CCMH in the top 1.5 percent of all Critical Access Hospitals in the country. This is a testament to the efforts and dedication that our 258 team members bring to work each and every day and to the wisdom provided by the current and past board members and institutional leadership to lay the foundation for success.

We had the opportunity to celebrate a number of other accomplishments in 2023 as well. We recognized the 40-year career of Nancy Lock who has so aptly guided our Rehabilitation Department and made it so successful, as well as a place where patients come from miles away to be treated, many times passing by closer options. We also celebrated Margaret Railsback who provided CCMH with an 8-year career in our food services area helping to feed patients and staff and earning the title of “Dessert Queen” with her wonderful concoctions! Last, but certainly not least, we recently celebrated the retirement of Chris Patel, who served CCMH and our community for 14 years in our laboratory department. He also celebrated a 54-year career in laboratory services.

We appreciate that we have and continue to grow partnerships with many area organizations and groups in an effort to address issues that were identified in our Community Health Needs Assessment. The efforts in 2023 have benefited an approach with mental health and substance abuse, as well as obesity.

Operating a medical center such as CCMH is a complex undertaking and healthcare is not getting any easier. Articles that I shared over the past few months cited predictions that perhaps 30 percent of rural hospitals in Missouri are at risk of closure. At CCMH, we continue to be situated better than many of our rural hospital neighbors, and that is due to the tremendous staff that provide for the care of their family, friends and neighbors.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this past year. We continue to mature as an organization and spending our energy and resources on programs and services that we believe our service area needs. If you have a question you would like addressed in this column, please send it to I wish you good health!

More in this Series:

CEO: Coding Matters (Published November 22, 2023)

CEO: Maternity Care Desert (Published October 25, 2023)

CEO: Rural Emergency Hospitals (Published September 20, 2023)

CEO: Primary Care Provider (Published August 23, 2023)

CEO: Supply Shortages (Published June 28, 2023)

CEO: CCMH Named Top 20 Critical Access Hospital (Published June 14, 2023)

CEO: Hospital Week 2023 (Published May 3, 2023)

CEO: Prior Authorizations (Published April 5, 2023)

CEO: Staff Shortage and Open Positions (Published February 8, 2023)

CEO: End of Year 2022 (Published December 14, 2022)

CEO: Purpose of the Foundation (Published November 10, 2022)

CEO: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Published September 28, 2022)

CEO: CCMH Providers (Published August 24, 2022)

CEO: Financial Assistance (Published July 20, 2022)

CEO: Social Determinants of Health (Published June 29, 2022)

CEO: National Hospital Week (Published May 11, 2022)

CEO: Why Healthcare is Expensive (Published May 4, 2022)

CEO: A Hospital is Still a Business (Published March 16, 2022)

CEO: Different Types of Hospital Ownership (Published February 1, 2022)

CEO: Holiday Message (Published December 20, 2021)