When it comes to the pricing and availability of drugs and retail goods as well as other means of support, independent pharmacies are often overlooked by the nation’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers. Many of these pharmacies are located in rural towns with small populations that are off the radar in the eyes of large distributors focused on global growth. 

The people in these towns are also largely underserved by big-box retailers or large national pharmacies, which usually set up shop in towns or major metropolitan areas with larger populations. Rather than drive several miles to the nearest Walmart, residents look to their local, independently owned pharmacies to fill their prescriptions and service their other healthcare needs. 

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Founded in 1978, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton specializes in hospice and palliative care. For generations, it has provided care and comfort to patients and families as they near the end of life’s journey. “We are always looking for ways to ensure the sustainability and relevancy of our mission,” President and CEO Kent Anderson says. 

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton has undergone a number of changes in recent years. It has been part of an effort to integrate with other hospice providers in the state. Today it is affiliated with Hospice of Central Ohio, Hospice of Miami County and Hospice of Butler and Warren Counties as part of the Ohio’s Hospice partnership. 

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A political subdivision of Henry County in Tennessee, Henry County Medical Center has operated since August 1953. Today, the medical center provides comprehensive healthcare services through the operation of an acute care hospital, nursing home, home health agency, emergency medical services agency and physician clinics. 

“For the primary service area of Benton, Carroll, Henry, Stewart and Weakley counties, we average 25 percent marketshare and are the No. 1 choice of patients,” Chief Financial Officer Lisa Casteel says. “We average 58 percent marketshare in Henry County.” 

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Providing healthcare services to the greater Rochester, N.H., community for nearly 100 years, Frisbie Memorial Hospital is today a general acute care community hospital. Founded in 1919, Frisbie Memorial Hospital provides an array of healthcare services to its community, regularly finding ways to add new services and programs while investing in the latest diagnostic and surgical technology available to meet the changing healthcare needs of the communities it serves. 

“A better descriptor of Frisbie is that we are really a small health system with general acute care services,” President and CEO John Marzinzik says. “Frisbie has several subsidiaries and additional entities that are part of the organization, such as a walk-in health center, a private-label laboratory, and Stafford Health Alliance, a women’s healthcare and sports therapy organization we own along with another community hospital. We are a strong community hospital that has all specialties covered other than radiation therapy.”

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After turning around its finances, Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago’s south suburbs is making a $137 million investment to consolidate medical services between its two hospitals. “We have solidified our position in the southland and this consolidation will help us ensure we’re here for the next 105 years,” CEO and President Arnie Kimmel says.

For most of its history, Franciscan St. James Health operated out of one hospital in Chicago Heights, Ill. But in 2000, it acquired a nearby osteopathic hospital in Olympia Fields and became a two-hospital system with a separate urgent care location in Chicago Heights as well as off-campus physician practices. 

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Seniors often are encouraged to stay active and involved, and at Fellowship Community they can do that by volunteering to help other residents or even by working on the payroll. “We have around 40 people over 70 years young living in the community who are employees on our payroll,” reveals President and CEO Bob Zentz, who also is a resident. “We encourage people to wear out, not rust out. Staying active is imperative for a healthy lifestyle. Many of our residents also volunteer on campus.”

Volunteers who reside in one of the community’s single-story independent-living townhomes will engage with those in the rehabilitation facility – who may be recovering from surgery and be any age – and the seniors in skilled nursing care by performing a variety of special projects for them, such as writing letters, playing games or stopping by for a friendly visit.

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Changing a large organization such as the Veterans Administration (VA) has been compared to turning a battleship around, and many of the VA’s patients and perhaps administrators may have had experience in doing just that. Although he has not had experience captaining battleships, CEO Glenn Costie is managing to turn his part of the VA, the Dayton VA Medical Center, around successfully.

“One of the challenges in any organization is changing the culture, because it’s a very soft skill and hard to measure your success with it,” Costie concedes. “We began this journey over seven years ago, and now we are starting to see measurable changes in our score on psychological safety. That is a measure of how comfortable our employees are feeling that they can bring up issues and concerns where peers are not doing something according to rules or regulations.”

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Across the United States, barriers often stand in the way of routine health care and access to primary and specialty care physicians. In eastern North Carolina, Vidant Health and its academic medical center in Greenville, N.C., are uniquely positioned to address and impact health care delivery in that region. 

“Over the last 40 years, Vidant Medical Center has evolved from a small, county hospital to a large teaching hospital,” relates Brian Floyd, president of Vidant Medical Center. “For more than 15 years, our parent corporation, Vidant Health, has grown to include eight hospitals, physician practices, home health, hospice and wellness centers that have enhanced local healthcare services and eliminated barriers involving time and distance.” 

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