Sioux Valley officials define health care goals

Sioux Valley officials define health care goals Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, told Vermillion citizens Tuesday that Sioux Valley is adopting a team approach in offering health care throughout South Dakota. by David Lias Changes in health care mean the way that it is delivered must adapt to remain efficient.

That was the message that Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, brought to Vermillion Tuesday.

Krabbenhoft spoke at the Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation Inaugural Builders Club Leadership Luncheon, held at noon Tuesday in the Coyote Student Center.

"Sioux Valley feels a very passionate, a very significant commitment to this community and to the university because of what it represents here," he said, noting that Vermillion is unique because it is home to both a place of higher learning and a school of medicine.

Historically, medical care in this region was offered on a very independent basis, beginning with the early days of frontier medicine, he said.

"Different parts of health care then just mushroomed. People were trained very independently, and what we're learning more and more is that it's a team sport," Krabbenhoft said. "So what we're seeing is a slow and gradual transition from what was an individualized, autonomous, totally independent

the medical schools have to train people to work as teams. They have to be interdependent on one another."

Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, he said, is following the paths of some of the most prestigious health care facilities in the nation, such as the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic. "They became what they became in a time span of over 100 years," he said. "We're trying to get it done in 12 years. The expense is much more, the publicity and the angst is much more acute when you do anything that fast, but we feel we're on the right track."

John Paulson, CEO of the Vermillion Medical Campus, spoke of the successes being experienced here.

"The surgery program has grown by 35 percent, the nursing home is full and the congregate housing program is nearly full," he said. "We've seen a really big increase in births. It seems that every time it snows, we have a couple more births, so we've had a busy time in the OB department."

The Sioux Valley Vermillion

Medical Campus has five priorities, Paulson said:

* To provide excellent patient resident care.

* To achieve excellent employee satisfaction so the campus can recruit, retain and empower the best staff possible and introduce new services and programs.

* To insure financial stability to preserve over time the facilities and services that the campus provides and improve the ability to keep pace with technology.

* To reach out to the community with its partner, the Dakota Hospital Association and also with The University of South Dakota to build relationships that will enable the campus to provide better care and more services in the future.

Paulson is particularly proud of the partnership the campus has formed with USD and its medical school.

"Certainly for the state and region, this partnership makes available sophisticated specialized medical care and health research," he said. "Most importantly it provides for the excellent education of our future health care professionals our state and region needs if we're going to continue to truly enjoy the continuation of good health and be able to pass that on as a legacy to generations to come."

Paulson said the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Campus is close to reaching the status of a full-fledged medical center.

"Vermillion has the best chance ever in developing into a medical center in its own right," he said. "I'd like to equate it to the area medical centers you see in communities like Watertown, Pierre and Yankton."

The Vermillion campus is reaching medical center status, Paulson added, because its service area has grown, because it contains the most modern health care facilities in the state of South Dakota of their kind, and because of its staff.

"I see the determination and the commitment of our staff and our physicians to provide more and better care, and in addition, we're enhanced by our partnership with the university and with the Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation."

"The mission of Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation is to improve the health of the communities and the individuals we serve," said Fern Kaufman, its president. "We believe that mission is being well accomplished through the partnership we have with Sioux Valley Hospital and Health Systems in the operation of our Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical campus."

Kaufman said she is excited by the fact that the local campus is served by nine local physicians and 20 others who visit Vermillion regularly to provide speciality services.

"This means that we can have health care for the whole family close to home," she said.

Tuesday's meeting was an opportunity for Kaufman and other representatives of the hospital to invite citizens to become members of the DHA&F Builders Club through annual donations.

The monetary gifts, she said, will be used by the association and foundation to meet clinical, education, charity and capital needs of the health care facilities.

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