Two Missouri hospital executives have been honored by the Missouri Hospital Association for their contributions to improving the health of their communities.
Recipients of MHA’s 2010 Visionary Leadership Awards Steven C. Bjelich, FACHE-D, president and CEO of Saint Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and David Carpenter, president and CEO of North Kansas City Hospital.
The awards were presented Thursday, Nov. 4, during a dinner ceremony at MHA’s 88th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Osage Beach, Mo.
MHA recognized Steven Bjelich, FACHE-D, for his leadership in identifying community needs and structuring health services to address underserved populations.
“Saint Francis Healthcare Systems’ large service area and the region’s diverse demographics require astute investment in health services to meet the needs of underserved populations,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “Under Steve’s leadership, the health system identified key service lines and care delivery models to provide access to care generally only available in larger metropolitan areas. In addition, he focused on increased access to primary care. His mantra is ‘the right care, at the right time, in the right place.’”
Bjelich identified both neonatal and trauma care as areas of need in southeast Missouri. Through targeted physician recruiting and investment in facilities, Saint Francis opened the area’s first level III neonatal intensive care unit in 2001 and level III trauma center in 2004.
Access to primary care physician services also was identified by Bjelich as an area of communitywide need. Bjelich met the challenge head-on. Saint Francis partnered with the region’s largest primary care group to form Cape Physician Associates and recruited two physicians to create Cape Primary Care to meet the primary care demand. Saint Francis has partnered with local physicians to purchase Immediate Convenient Care, an urgent care center and a designated rural health clinic, and holds a minority interest in the local Doctors’ Express, a national urgent care company. Saint Francis has more than 19 joint ventures with physicians.
David Carpenter was honored by MHA for his leadership in increasing accessibility to care and supporting programs to strengthen area communities.
“David recognizes that health improvement is about more than just the services provided within the hospital walls — it requires a strong connection to the community,” Kuhn said. “Through his leadership, North Kansas City Hospital has developed programs to expand access to care for the uninsured and underinsured, partnered to expand prevention programs throughout northwest Missouri and helped fund community-centered programs to assist victims of abuse, the disabled, mentally ill individuals and the homeless.”
Under Carpenter’s leadership, North Kansas City Hospital has extended the reach of health services to residents in the 17 counties of Northwest Missouri. Through the Healthy Partnership program, the hospital helped fund 11 preventative health initiatives in northwest Missouri in partnership with Heartland Health System and The Heartland Foundation in St. Joseph, Mo.
Carpenter is a champion of for the Northland Healthcare Access Clinic which includes partnerships and programs including primary and specialty care access through a network of 460 private physicians. The clinic provides urgent and same day care for uninsured children, a community resource phone line for referral information, prenatal and delivery services for uninsured women who meet proscribed guidelines, and a family health partnership with a local health center, and high school district and two primary care clinics. Over the last 13 years, the hospital has contributed $1.4 million in support of the Northland Health Clinic.
The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 151 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public, as well as legislative representatives, about health care issues.