“Ideally, you find somebody that has a little more longevity, but there’s going to be situations where there is change like this,” he said.
The constants at the hospital — the board and the medical staff — mean the community won’t see a blip in their medical care, he said.
“For the majority of people in the community, this will be an invisible change,” he said.
The board and hospital’s goal, Haas said, is to continue quality health care close to home.
“Honest to goodness, that is our goal,” he said. “We want to consistently and reliably do that and have people be able to count on that.”
Why was it sold in the first place?
It’s difficult for independent hospitals to survive, Haas said.
“We needed access to capital to make the improvements in the facility and in the technology at a faster rate than we could do on our own as an individual hospital,” he said.
Since the sale, the hospital has undergone a lot of physical changes: a renovated emergency room, updated Intensive Care Unit, new medical offices north of the hospital, a new CAT scanner, new equipment, two new ambulances and more.
But, Haas clarified, the hospital is not for sale as rumors suggest.
“The hospital is not for sale, end of discussion,” he said.
The group of internal medicine and family practice health professionals who were associated with Iowa Health System (now UnityPoint Health) are now associated with Mercy Medical Center. This does not, in turn, make ORHC a Mercy affiliate.
Balancing recruitment with layoffs
“One of the keys going forward is to continue expansion of the medical staff,” Atwood said. “We’re backfilling some of the primary care base. For years there wasn’t active primary care; folks had to leave town for primary care. These last few years, we had to rebuild that primary care base so folks can stay in town.”