Montgomery Business Journal

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Jackson Hospital & Clinic Growing Through Partnerships

January 2014

By David Zaslawsky

Photography by Robert Fouts

Jackson Hospital & Clinic is growing again, although differently than in the past, when there were large brick-and-mortar expansions. There is ample space on the Jackson Hospital grounds to expand, but don’t expect to see new buildings.

One area of focus is primary care clinics, and Jackson launched two last year – one in Prattville and one in East Montgomery on Chantilly Parkway. The Prattville site on East Main Street, which opened a year ago, features two physicians as well as a third, independent doctor. The two Jackson Hospital-affiliated physicians see about 70 patients daily, according to Joe Riley, president and CEO of Jackson Hospital & Clinic.

The clinic in East Montgomery just opened in November with one physician and one physician’s assistant. There will be extended hours for urgent care – 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and a half-day Saturday.

There are plans to open additional primary care clinics in the outlying areas, Riley said.

Another key area of Jackson’s focus and strategy is adding services through partnerships with other medical providers. “It’s about relationships and working with the external medical community,” Riley said.

The hospital has current joint ventures with Rehab Associates at Jackson Hospital; Jackson Surgical Center; Jackson Imaging Center; a sleep center; and Jackson Mid-South, which handles durable medical equipment.

More than 75 patients receive physical therapy daily at Rehab Associates. The surgical center is a joint venture with Jackson physicians and the imaging center is a joint venture with the hospital’s radiology group.

“We are looking at any and all opportunities to partner with (other medical firms),” Riley said. “Our focus is on the continuum of care after hospitalization, whether that’s home health, prosthetics, rehab.” He said there have been a lot of discussions about assisted living/long-term care partnerships.

With a shortage of physicians nationwide, Jackson Hospital also concentrated its efforts on recruitment and over the past couple of years has added:

> Three family medicine physicians

> Two internal medicine physicians

> Two nurse practitioners

> Physician assistant

> Neurologist

> General surgeon

> Endocrinologist

> Vascular surgeon

> Neurosurgeon

Jackson Hospital & Clinic is a large River Region employer with a work force of about 1,400. The company’s combined salaries/benefits totaled $72 million-plus in 2012 and Jackson spent almost $40 million on supplies and medications, not to mention another $16.6 million of services and nearly $3.8 million on utilities. You can see why Riley said the hospital’s imprint is “large.”

Yet as one of the primary health care providers, Jackson also has a significant non-economic impact in the River Region. “It is a huge impact, providing the care that communities need in their everyday lives whether it’s an emergency department visit or a surgical procedure or an office visit with a physician,” Riley said. “That’s our biggest impact and our mission is to take care of the communities we serve.”

One of the ways is through the hospital’s robust robotic and minimally-invasive surgery program. While there are several services that use robotics – urology, gynecology and general surgery – the program also includes neurosurgery and orthopedics. The robotics program means shorter recovery times for patients; smaller incisions; and less pain after surgery, according to Riley.

The key to the success of Jackson Hospital, which opened 67 years ago with 37 beds and five physicians, “is the team that is in place and that cares about the communities we serve and want to provide that care,” Riley said. That team is made of nearly 330 physicians; 1,400 employees; 76 volunteers; and the 11-member board of trustees. “It’s such a loyal family culture that cares about our communities.”

 

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