We at Rideout Health are stewards of a valued community resource: a not-for-profit
health care system that serves everyone, regardless of income, and has
no shareholders expecting to profit from someone's illness or injury.
We at Rideout Health are also stewards of an organization that greatly
enhances the economic vitality of our community.
As stewards, we strive to use all of our resources effectively to preserve
and advance our mission: to improve the well-being of everyone in our
community through quality and compassionate health care.
It is an awesome responsibility, one we do not take lightly.
In medieval times, the steward was the individual entrusted to manage the
estate of the lord. The steward was the one who was given the authority
over--and held accountable for--every policy and procedure down to the
smallest detail. In modern times, stewardship is recognized as having
a much broader meaning: the responsibility to guide and keep safe that
which belongs to others, or to each of us.
Stewardship is one of our core values. It is our responsibility to advance
health care in our region by providing the full range of healthcare services
in an efficient manner, complete healthcare for everyone, for the benefit
of the entire community, including those who cannot afford to pay.
For a large part of our community's population, there would be no practical
option for healthcare without Rideout Health. At the Emergency Department
alone, we see approximately 55,000 patients a year, many who can't
afford to pay for care.
In Fiscal Year 2013-2014, Rideout Health provided $21 million in charity
care and unreimbursed hospital care at Fremont and Rideout hospitals.
We provided another $12.5 million in care billed to Medicare shortfalls,
and another $7 million for hospitalists, intensivists and surgicalist
physicians to care for hospital patients without their own physicians
and who were indigent or on Medi-Cal.
That's a lot of value. Add to that our more than $110 million annual
payroll and another $215,000 in sponsorships and donations to worthy community
causes, and the significance of Rideout Health to the health and economic
vitality of the community becomes clear.
So does the nature of our responsibility to make sure we do things right.
In the past few months, there has been a remarkable turnaround in the
culture at Rideout. Organizationally, we have always been focused on the
mission, but structurally we were not succeeding in all areas. However,
if the best steward is the one who feels the responsibility on the deepest
level, who identifies with the role and carries it out with devoted industry,
then I will say Rideout Health is in good hands.
We are fortunate to be in a position of clinical strength and financial
stability thanks to the great work of our health professionals, staff,
and our leadership. We have a razor sharp focus on making the improvements
necessary to open the expanded Emergency Department. And our major construction
project, Rideout Regional Medical Center, remains on target to open later
Many of you have expressed the different ways you are noticing the positive
changes and things we still need to improve on. We value the input from
the community. Your attention to what we do helps us be the best stewards possible.