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February 4, 2013

Hospital set for name change

Public invited to Tuesday logo unveiling, fireworks planned

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff writer

What’s in a name? In the case of Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin, that will be decided in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

The unveiling of the new name, and a new logo for the facility will go on from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Outpatient Surgery Lobby of the medical center, located off the Cumberland Falls Highway at 1 Trillum Way.

Officials with BRMC said the event is open to the public, and begins with refreshments in the Outpatient Surgery Center. BRMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Larry Gray, will welcome those attending at 5:45 p.m. outside the Outpatient Surgery Center and, at 6 p.m., the guessing ends with the lighting of the new logo sign.

Gray said in an interview Friday the new sign and the new look are part of the new name for their parent company. Formerly known as Baptist Healthcare System, the company became Baptist Health last September.

“First, we are a large, influential health care system, and it’s time to tell our story better. Second, health care is changing to a more holistic approach and we’re more than just hospitals. Hospitals are just one component. We have Oak Tree, a long-term acute care hospital in our building. We have clinics, and a fitness center. We focus on preventive care and wellness. Hospitals won’t necessarily be the drivers of health care in the future, but we’re still the family, taking care of people with quality close to home,” noted Gray.

Baptist Health said their name was changed to reflect the scope of services offered at their eight hospitals and associated facilities across Kentucky. Besides BRMC, Baptist Health owns and operates seven hospitals in Louisville, Lexington, Paducah, La Grange, Richmond and Madisonville. The company also manages hospitals in Elizabethtown and Russell Springs.

Gray pointed out while the Corbin hospital has a strong local identity, they will use their sister hospitals to expand BRMC’s resources.

“In Kentucky, one of four babies are born in Baptist hospitals, and one of five new cancer patients are diagnosed and treated in Baptist hospitals. It’s a matter of pride who we are as a system, and we can draw from other resources in the Baptist Health system. We’re focused on expanding services in our market, like we did with our oncology services. We’re in the process of developing a breast care program and an interventional cardiology program. We want to expand into urology and women’s health care, and we’re looking at other specialists to back up our doctors here.”

In addition, Gray mentioned having strength in numbers allows the Corbin hospital to use Baptist Health’s other facilities for special types of care.

“You can’t duplicate services in each market. Doctors need to have the skills and resources in some areas, and we can refer them to our sister hospitals in, say, Lexington.”

System-wide in Kentucky, Baptist Health’s gross revenue was $1.6 billion in 2011. Gray said BRMC was financially stable, meeting its budget and with aggressive plans for the future.

“As a not-for-profit hospital, we do a significant amount of charity care and try to give back to our community in awareness education, special classes, critical medication for patients who can’t afford medication. We also have to keep an eye on money to replace equipment and improve services. The name change is not about revenues, but about celebrating who we are as a health care provider.”

Challenges in the era ahead include health care reform. Gray stated the hospital, and Baptist Health, are well aware of  the situation.

“We’re already addressing that in our plans, and we’re asking, ‘What are we doing to meet the changes and challenges. It depends on what Congress does. We need to look at how we partner with other health organizations to help each other keep people healthy. We are looking at value-based programs, which will give less hospitalization, the right treatment at the right time at the right location. That’s what we want. Our goal is higher efficiency, higher quality, more access and less cost.”

The roots of Baptist Regional Medical Center go back to the days when Smith Hospital was in existence. That grew into Corbin Municipal Hospital, then Southeastern Baptist Hospital, and in 1986, their present name and location.

A new chapter begins Tuesday with a new name. And with that, a new era for health care in Corbin. Larry Gray said he can’t wait.

“I’m excited about the challenges are out there. There’s not a dull day in health care. This is a wonderful community and I’m having a ball here. I’m excited about the level of commitment and knowledge in this organization. We’ve got great employees here, and we can face any challenge.”

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