“It’s important for our community to know they can choose to obtain their healthcare services locally, right here in Decatur County,” she said. “Many times, patients will see a doctor and the doctor suggests they go to Indianapolis or Cincinnati or elsewhere for specialized treatment. But we want patients to realize they have the same big-city options for care right here at home through DCMH. That’s why we did our Choose Campaign.”
The Choose Campaign, McDowell further explained, was launched by DCMH in January, as a way to inform Decatur Countians regarding the numerous healthcare options available at DCMH.
“The idea for that campaign,” McDowell explained, “came from a testimonial by [DCMH Patient] Amy Reynolds. Her doctor recommended she go to Indianapolis for painful wound-care treatments on her foot. She wasn’t satisfied and asked ‘are there local options?’ There WERE local options right here at DCMH. Receiving care here allowed her to avoid a painful, hour-long drive back and forth to Indianapolis for each treatment. We want Decatur Countians to know that we have those big-city medicine features.”
Initiatives like the Choose Campaign also factored into DCMH winning the Critical Access Hospital Recognition Award. The award, according to the press release, is bestowed, in part, for “leadership engagement and communicating with patients, partners, and the community.”
The award is also based in part on “excellence and innovation in initiatives for improving population health.” DCMH, McDowell said, operates many such initiatives, including the hospital’s free annual flu clinics, health fairs, mammogram assessment program and others.
The award also recognizes hospitals for effectively “gathering data from the community and incorporating results into project planning.” For DCMH, such data has been gathered through community focus groups hosted by Hospital CEO Linda Simmons.
“We hosted focus groups in the community beginning in 2012,” McDowell said. “Through those, we found out what people wanted from the hospital. Our proposed clinic at Lake Santee is a great example of a project that came out of those focus group. Our StayWELL Clinic is another great example.”