Mission: Norton community hospital (nch) is committed to bringing loving care to health care. We exist to identify and respond to the health care needs of individuals and communities in our region and to assist them in attaining their highest possible level of health.
Programs: Norton community hospital (nch) is located in norton, virginia. Our 129-bed acute-care facility has served southwest virginia and southeastern kentucky since 1949. As the largest healthcare facility in the coalfield region, nch provides a wide array of services through highly trained physicians and support staff. Nch is the sole owner of dickenson community hospital, a critical access hospital located in clintwood, virginia. Nch is a subsidiary of mountain states health alliance. (cont'd on schedule o) (cont'd) nch is recognized for its outstanding inpatient rehabilitation services, an osteopathic internal medicine residency program, black lung treatment services, high-quality imaging technology, and many other service lines. Based on community need, nch incurred expense of 170,800 towards efforts to recruit physicians to our community and retain them. According to the association of american medical colleges, physician retirement is the primary factor behind the physician shortage in the u. S. About one-third of currently practicing physicians will be at least 65 years old within the next decade. In many cases, recruitment is due to physician retirement. Fy17 recruitment expense at nch is comprised of physician loan forgiveness, recruitment of a temporary locums position for our black lung program, and costs associated with recruitment efforts for a number of specialties. Loan forgiveness is an incentive for physicians to stay in our area providing health services to the community. Physician loans are forgiven over a period of years as a physician remains in our community. During fy17, our recruitment activities were directed toward specialty areas such as cardiology, general surgery, ob, orthopedic surgery, urology, family practice, hospitalists, and a nurse practitioner. Msha's recruitment department recruits on behalf of all its hospitals and the costs associated with recruitment for a particular hospital are expensed to the recruiting hospital. All physician recruitment activities are based on documented community need. Nch's black lung clinic offers the region's only program approved and federally certified by the u. S. Department of labor for the federal black lung program. We have eleven approved providers for our black lung program. Our black lung clinic offers disease screening/diagnostic testing and pulmonary rehabilitation services. Black lung disease, or coal worker's pneumoconiosis, is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal graphite, or man-made carbon over a long period of time. We provided nearly 12,000 black lung procedures this year. With financial assistance from a usda rural development grant, mountain states health alliance (msha) established a telemedicine network connecting icu doctors at johnson city medical center (msha's flagship hospital) with the system's six rural hospitals, including norton community hospital. Mountain states already practices telemedicine for pediatrics, emergency room and psychiatrics, providing a high-quality, live video and audio link between a provider at one facility and a patient and provider at another facility. The new usda grant is specifically for the intensive care unit, allowing specialists at jcmc to conduct real-time consultations with patients and caregivers in the icu at our rural hospitals. Many patients in rural towns do not have cars or disposable income to spend on gas, meals or lodging to come to jcmc for care, so telemedicine brings the care to them. This new service is projected to serve about 5,000 patients per year. The usda grant is one of the usda's distance learning and telemedicine projects. Msha's triumph cancer navigator program celebrated its one-year anniversary during fy17. The program has expanded its scope to include more msha hospitals and now includes norton community hospital. In addition, the navigation program expanded to cover all types of cancer. The program is designed to support cancer patients and their families, advocate for the patient, and to help coordinate the patient's care throughout the continuum of treatment - from diagnosis to survivorship. There is no charge for these services regardless of whether a patient chooses to receive their treatment at a msha facility or a different provider. Those that join the program receive one-on-one assistance from specially trained oncology professionals. Our cancer navigators communicate with the patient's doctor, will coordinate transportation, set up appointment reminders and provide emotional support for both the patient and the patient's family. Our navigators will also coordinate support services such as treatment planning, prosthesis selection, nutrition counseling, and identification of resources for spiritual care, financial assistance and other needs. Our navigators participate in community events such as health fairs, cancer education events, and cancer support groups. They visit physician offices, seniors' groups, attend meetings with local business organizations, and they work with many other organizations to explain the navigation program and provide cancer awareness/education throughout the community. The program has made an impact, with the triumph program receiving a patient satisfaction score of 93. Our hospital's triumph cancer navigator recognized a need in our community for some cancer patients struggling with their illness, while also dealing with financial worries so our navigator came up with the idea for a fundraiser. Working with mountain states foundation, two "soup and paint" events brought team members and community members together to enjoy warm soup and a craft project for a good cause. A local painting instructor donated her time for the two events. Money raised provided financial assistance to cancer patients for things like gas vouchers, taxi fares, non-covered medications, nutritional expenses, and personal care items. Depending on patients' greatest needs, important bills such as utilities have been covered. The university of virginia's college at wise hosted an inaugural girls day in stem-h for sixth-grade girls in the region to show the young girls that careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health (s-t- e-m-h) are not just for men. During the event, norton community hospital provided demonstrations and activities designed to spark an interest in math and science and perhaps introduce the girls to the possibility of pursuing careers in the health care field. Our team member activities and presentations covered the areas of pharmacy, occupational and physical therapy, laboratory technology, and emergency services. Studies show that young girls begin to lose interest in stem-h fields of study just before they reach high school. The numbers drop again in high school and in college. According to the united states department of commerce, women constitute slightly more than half of college educated workers but make up only 25 percent of college educated stem workers. In an effort to recruit more students into the health care field, team members from norton community hospital participated in a health care career expo for eighth-grade students who had expressed an interest in health care careers. The students were able to rotate through three health career scenarios to get a taste of a job in health care. The first scenario gave the students the opportunity to "gown up" for surgery, with instructions on surgical instruments and the importance of a sterile environment. The students witnessed the repair of a "bananaplasty", with our cno surgically repairing a partially peeled banana. The students got to witness types of stitches used in surgical cases and the types of instruments involved. The second scenario provided information related to a career in pharmacy with our pharmacy director walking the students through the educational requirements and processes involved with pursuing pharmacy degrees and facilitated a very competitive round of pharmacy bingo which introduced students to medical terminology related to pharmacy. In the third scenario, students were taught about heart and lung functions. Students viewed their own heart rhythms while learning about ekg patterns. They listened to breath sounds and respirations on a pediatric manikin and how to use a dinamap for monitoring blood pressure and checking pulse oximetry readings. The students were also taught how to manually check blood pressure readings. Norton community hospital partnered with dickenson community hospital, ridgeview middle school and southwest virginia area health education center to put the program together. Future programs are being planned for different age groups. Nch operates a physician clinic that is located in a rural, low-income area. The clinic is staffed primarily with medical residents. Without the clinic, community members would not have access to primary care. Nch's subsidy of the clinic this year exceeded 626,000. After completing an ext