The CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center confirms that the hospital and other properties are still for sale but stresses that the day-to-day concern at the Blue Springs hospital is patient care.
“We’re certainly open for business,” Annette Small said at Tuesday’s Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, which was held at St. Mary’s.
Last year, Ascension Health announced plans to sell Carondelet Health to HCA Midwest, but that deal was called off in January. Carondelet owns St. Mary’s, St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City and other health facilities.
“We are back on the market,” Small said. “Ascension Health is looking for a new buyer. ... They are casting a wide net, both locally and nationally.”
So the hospital, she said, is focused on the day-to-day work of improving patient health, and she pointed to significant gains in reducing its readmission rate, which at one time was rated as the worst in the metro area.
“So we put a lot of good things that we were doing into a much broader format,” she said. For instance, each patient has a “navigator” to help coordinate care before, during and after a hospital visit.
She said the hospital is adapting to the needs and demands of the community. That means all private rooms, for instance. Also, last year the birthing unit was closed – births were down significantly from years past – and the Joint and Spine Surgical Institute opened, more in line with the kind of care that’s increasingly in demand.
“We’ve had a lot of great feedback from our patients and families,” she said.
Small also made strong pitch for self-care, preventive care and early treatment. For example, know and heed earliest signs of stroke or heart attack. Call 911 right away. The hospital can begin to take steps while a patient is still at home before an ambulance arrives.
“Time is muscle. Time is brain,” she said.
Quicker action saves lives and saves suffering.
“We make miracles happen every single day,” she said.
She mentioned that the hospital’s annual family health fair – it’s free – is coming up from 9 a.m. to noon April 26. Screenings include carotid artery, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index and bone density. There is grip strength testing, a stroke risk assessment, balance testing, foot screening and sleep assessment. There are activities for the kids and goodie bags.
Small also invited the public to make use of the hospital’s track, which is three-tenths of a mile around.
“We invite the community: Come be on our campus,” she said.