Fishermen’s Hospital -- Earning the Community’s Trust
By Michael Cunningham, President Fishermen’s Hospital Board of Trustees
Fishermen’s Hospital has come full circle. It started as a community-owned and –operated, not-for-profit in 1962, became a leased for profit hospital in 1986, and today is a nonprofit hospital again.
As a nonprofit, all revenues left over after the bills are paid will be reinvested in the hospital to better serve patients and the community. When Fishermen’s was a for profit hospital, profits earned here in the Keys were distributed to stockholders outside our community.
But this transition is about more than keeping profits at home. It’s about reconnecting the hospital to the community and restoring control and direction of the hospital to the community through its Board of Trustees. The board – comprised of business leaders, civic leaders, medical and legal professionals -- determined that a return to nonprofit status would put patients first and be an opportunity to accomplish specific objectives:
Communications: Fishermen’s will do a better job of explaining the hospital, its contributions, and its future. Because the community depends on the hospital for not only services but for health information as well, our website is undergoing a complete redesign to make it functional, interactive, easy to use (for everyone), and informative. The new web site will debut this fall. Our presence in the local news media will be expanded too. Existing and new services, outstanding health professionals, emerging health issues, and community health activities are all important aspects of the story we will tell the public.
Technology: New health care technologies can be extremely expensive. But careful analysis and by selecting only those that meet the specific health care needs of Keys residents can keep costs manageable. Our recent implementation of an advanced electronic health records system is an example – it enhances patient safety, diagnosis, and treatment for every patient and in every department.
Finances: The hospital will practice economic soundness. If a nonprofit hospital plans for only a financial breakeven, it will eventually be starved of necessary capital and will be unable to fulfill its mission. Thus, Fishermen’s will focus on efficiency to improve its financial position so that the hospital can maintain and expand the high quality health services desired by the community.
While this hospital will never have every conceivable medical specialty under its roof, what Fishermen’s does, it does exceedingly well. For health services that patients need but we don’t offer, we’ll make sure our patients quickly get to a medical center that can provide it.
When people are sick or hurt, it’s a matter of turning to someone they trust to provide the best medical care. With our new status, a revitalized Fishermen’s Hospital is ready to earn that trust, consistently deliver high quality care, and once again become your community hospital.
Mile Marker 48.7
3301 Overseas Highway
Marathon, Florida 33050
Fax: (305) 743-3962
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