Since Eugene A. Woods was appointed CEO, Roy L. Schneider Hospital 18 months ago, his full-time agenda has supported one vision: to make the hospital the provider of choice for the Caribbean.
"This hospital is on the move, and will look much different in every way three years from now," said Woods.
"When I came to St. Thomas, the health care system here in the Virgin Islands was about to go through a transition. It's a great opportunity to play a leadership role in this change."
Over the months, Woods has built a new health care team from the ground up, including a new medical director, general counsel, vice president, administration director, materials management director, patient accounts director, and pharmacy and information systems. director.
He has also been very successful at attracting new physicians to the hospital, bringing in board-eligible and board-certified doctors in key specialties.
"Because we have so much going on, we need staff with high-caliber backgrounds and expertise combined with high energy," said Woods.
Woods was also part of the key team involved in the intense lobbying effort for the semi-autonomy status of Roy L. Schneider Hospital, Juan F. Luis Hospital, and Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center. The results have been immediate, positive, and significant, and will soon include:
* A shared information system installed to improve the transfer of patient data between all three facilities.
* Common purchasing and common Human Resources policies.
* Healthcare videoconferencing equipment for telemedicine will connect Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center to Roy L. Schneider Hospital.
A large chunk of Wood's time has been devoted to developing a comprehensive, three-year strategic plan for the hospital. Currently in draft stages, the plan is scheduled for review by the Board, for release next spring.
"I want to move this facility forward, and get out of the (past) practice of crisis management," said Woods. "By introducing new services, making improvements in existing services, and listening to the feedback from our community, we can become a first class institution."
The beauty of a strategic plan is that it clearly identifies the next steps.
Those already underway, and others outlined for 2000 include:
* Establishing a $1 million capital improvement fund to replace/purchase equipment.
* Replacing entire monitoring system in the Intensive Care Unit, providing Internet capabilities so physicians can check on patients 24 hours a day.
* Attaining Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO) status for the hospital.
* Focusing on customer relations (from admitting to treatment to discharge).
* Involving the hospital in more community outreach and educational outreach, perhaps collaborating with the Health Department.
* Giving the hospital a "facelift" inside and out. Includes updating public areas (Emergency Room and OB waiting room); improving outside lighting; giving the exterior a new coat of paint.


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