The Journal Gazette
Sunday, January 12, 2020 1:00 am

Community vision sustains Parkview mission

Dave Haist

In 2015, the Parkview Health Board of Directors drafted a plan for the future. We called it Parkview 2020. While 2020 seemed far away, we knew it was imperative to cast a vision for how we could support the changing needs of our region.

With 2020 upon us, it is rewarding to see how Parkview's vision has come to life and how much has been accomplished in the past five years. More importantly, I wanted to share some insight into how our organization arrived where we are today, and where we're heading.

To start, let's look at Parkview's mission.

The Parkview Health mission statement begins: “As a community-owned, not-for-profit organization ...” This is our foundation and it sets the stage for everything we do.

Community-owned means exactly what it implies. No individual or entity owns Parkview; the community owns Parkview. Day-to-day operations are handled by executive leaders, and those leaders report to a board of directors, a diverse group of representatives from across our region. Though many of us have business experience, we are also volunteers and community leaders. We are people with a passion for improving the health and well-being of our region.

In addition to the Parkview Health Board of Directors, which consists of 23 members who guide strategic decisions on a system level, each individual hospital has its own local board of directors, with members who have a finger on the pulse of their respective communities.

Being led by people from within our communities helps us do what's best for our communities. It's also what makes our not-for-profit status equally important. For-profit health care organizations have an obligation to produce profits and please shareholders. But at Parkview, board members can make decisions that are focused on meeting the needs of the people we serve.

Part of that need is sustainability. With more and more people choosing Parkview and depending on us for high-quality care, sustainability is a necessity that requires strategic planning and investment.

Sustainable health care means not only ensuring we're meeting people where they are today, providing high-quality care when and where they need it. It also means looking ahead to where we'll be – offering more services, recruiting new specialists, building new facilities and developing strategic plans – to ensure we continue to meet the region's growing need for excellent health care.

In the end, it means focusing on patient experience, value and quality to create outcomes that can't be found on a balance sheet.

I've been a board member for nearly 20 years, first as a hospital board member and then as health system board member. During that time, I've witnessed firsthand Parkview's dedication to sustainability, patient experience, quality and value. The conversations at the board level are not focused on profits; they're focused on financial stewardship, ensuring we continue doing what's best for our region.

One example lies in my hometown of Wabash. Before joining Parkview Health, the local hospital hadn't been able to offer obstetrics services for more than a decade. The board and leaders there knew that a labor and delivery unit wouldn't be profitable, but it was vital to the health and growth of the community. At a time when many rural hospitals are eliminating services or even closing, Parkview Wabash Hospital brought back much-needed obstetrics services to the people in the community.

Throughout the Parkview region, our board members and leaders have made tremendous strides in meeting needs. Externally, this has resulted in visible growth – new facilities, more providers and a presence in more communities. Internally, it has resulted in a culture that focuses on excellent care for every person, every day.

In 2020, Parkview will roll out new ideas, projects and plans that help fulfill our mission statement, the rest of which reads, “... Parkview Health is dedicated to improving your health and inspiring your well-being.”

None of it is the result of a need for profits. All of it is a result of being community-owned and mission-focused.

More importantly, everyone – from all of our hospital board members to our more than 13,000 co-workers – will be here to serve the community, in 2020 and well into the future.

Dave Haist is chair of the Parkview Health Board of Directors. Formerly executive vice president and COO of Do it Best Corp., he also serves as a board member or adviser to several other area business, civic and charitable organizations.

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