Orthopedic surgery was another area that was clearly voiced as a need in the community by those who participated in our strategic planning initiative.
We have been actively recruiting for orthopedic surgery. Again, we have orthopedic surgeons in the community but, again, for whatever reason, when I look at my market data, almost 65 percent of every orthopedic case, both in- and out-patient leaves the community for services. As the person who’s responsible for the hospital, I can’t let that continue. Orthopedics is a critically important service line to be able to offer locally. Number one, it’s the right thing to do. It’s something that a community hospital should do very well. When you look at the bottom line of a hospital, orthopedics is going to generate probably your healthiest margin of any service area. It is critically important that we bring that back to this community.
We’ve had an orthopedic team, an orthopedic surgeon and a PA, a physician assistant, who has worked with this surgeon for many years. They have both looked here. They’ve been here twice, and I’m going to be making an offer to the surgeon tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed. My hope is that he’ll accept it, he’ll relocate here. If he doesn’t, we have two or three other orthopedic surgeons that we’re continuing to recruit. We are not going to give up on that. My vision, and the vision of our leadership team, is to build an orthopedic and rehabilitation center where we can offer orthopedic services combined with physical therapy, with pain management, with nonoperative care. We can do it, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be offered here in this community.
Almost 65 percent of orthopedic cases leave the community for services. In light of that figure, CRHS is in the process of recruiting more orthopedic surgeons. CEO Carla Hollis says that an orthopedic team, comprised of a surgeon and physical assistant, is being considered. The team has visited the hospital twice, and Hollis hopes to hire them, but says that there are other surgeons on the table as well.