On Aug. 2, the Medical Arts Clinic P.C. and Fairfield Clinic P.C. merged in name and joined together as one clinic called JCHC Clinics.
In September, the entire health center converted to a new electronic health record called EPIC. The health center and clinics are now able to share the same medical records for patients. These records are also part of the same system used by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
A physical merger in the clinic, in the way of a remodel, is currently under construction. A common registration desk and waiting room is nearing completion. Although the staff is already working together as a team, this will physically unite the clinic. The most common theme that Ryan Ford, director of clinics, hears from the staff is that they are amazed that they are more alike than they are different. Patients are able to see the same providers that were in their clinic as before. The difference is the clinics now have 19 providers between JCHC Clinic and the JCHC Walk-In Clinic to accommodate patients’ needs.
Health center CEO Bryan Hunger remarked, “The merger of Medical Arts and Fairfield Clinic strengthens our health systems foundation, which is the primary care providers. It increases access to care for patients, unites our medical group, improves our chances of physician recruitment, allows for the sharing of resources, and positions JCHC to meet population health challenges.”
Ford said, “The reason for the change is to better serve our community and their health care needs and to strengthen JCHC’s mission, which is: To optimize the health and wellbeing of the people and communities we serve by providing safe, high quality, compassionate services.”
Members of the JCHC Clinics, formed from the merger of the Medical Arts Clinic and Fairfield Clinic, are, from left, front row: Dr. Jay Heistman, and Sarah Brecount, Molly Layton and Mary McClenathan, all advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP); back row: Dr. Nilfar Karimova, Dr. Donal Hill, Michael Schleicher (ARNP), Dr. David Larson, Dr. Jim Buck, Joni Hanshaw (ARNP), Dr. Sebastian Harris and Dr. Michael Greiner. Not Pictured: Dr. Michael Poole, Jeffrey Waddell (ARNP), Ashley Harmon (ARNP), Dr. Terry Cochran, Dr. James Trent, Brenda Halls (ARNP) and Emily Helling (ARNP).
The Jefferson County Health Center’s new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine was moved into the building Wednesday with the aid of a crane. The machine will replace the mobile MRI truck the health center has used for the past 10 years. MRI is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within the patient’s body.
The Jefferson County Health Center will undergo a changing of the guard this week when current CEO Deb Cardin hands over the reins to her successor Bryan Hunger. Although Hunger stepped into the role April 18, he will officially take over Cardin’s responsibilities Friday. Hunger, whose most recent role was the chief provider services officer for the Regional Medical Center in Manchester, said he’s impressed with the health center. “There’s already a really strong foundation for success here. We already have a good medical staff and great leadership,” he said, adding that his goal would be to maintain the course the facility is on. “We just want to stay on top of current trends — health care is constantly changing. We need to be ready to adapt, and stay on top of legislative changes,” he said.
Hunger grew up in the rural southeast Iowa town of Mt. Union and graduated from Winfield-Mt. Union High School. “I played basketball in high school and I competed in Fairfield against Maharishi School,” he said. After graduating, Hunger went on a two-year church mission trip to Sacramento, California. “That was a real eye-opener for me,” he said. “I realized that there were a lot of people out there in need of help. It gave me a nice perspective on doing more than focusing on myself.” After his time in California, Hunger attended Southeastern Community College in West Burlington for one year before transferring to Brigham Young University-Idaho. “I loved it; it was a great experience. I met my wife, Angela, there,” he said of Brigham Young University. He graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in economics. However, it was during his time at Southeastern that he realized he had a passion for working in the health care field. “I spent some time volunteering at Great River Medical Center — it was right across the street from the college,” Hunger said. “I got to see different areas of the hospital — its whole mission is to help people.” Though Hunger learned he had a passion for helping others, he also discovered that it wouldn’t be by the bedside. “I figured out that I’m not a science person,” he said laughing. “I’m a business person. I wanted to be involved but medicine wasn’t for me. I knew administration was for me.” Hunger graduated from Ohio University in 2007 with a master’s degree in health administration.
With Angela being from Texas originally, the couple moved to Galveston, where Hunger worked as a practice manager for The University of Texas Medical Branch. “I managed three family practices within a correctional facility,” Hunger said. After about a year in Texas, Hunger moved his family a little closer to where he grew up. Hunger’s most recent role was at Regional Medical Center in Manchester, Iowa, as chief provider services officer. “Angela has always liked a small-town atmosphere,” he said, adding that Iowa was a great place to raise their five children. The Hunger family lived in Manchester for seven years. Hunger said his children would attend schools within the Fairfield Community School District. “The older ones will miss their friends,” he said. “But they love the idea of being near their grandparents, who live in Washington.”
Hunger, who was initially selected by the health center’s search committee and then later by the board, was Cardin’s first choice as a successor. “He was mentored by a CEO I admired the most in my career,” Cardin said. “[Hunger’s] brother is a CEO at the Washington County Hospitals and Clinics. I respect him. I thought they would be able to bring in collaborative efforts.” Cardin, who has been a nurse for 40 years and with the health center since 1999, said she has “mixed feelings” about retiring. She said she will miss checking on the patients every morning. “We’ve developed a culture here. People here are here for the right reasons. It doesn’t matter whether it’s nursing, dietary, maintenance or housekeeping, they know as a team how to deliver quality and compassionate care — I will miss that the most,” she said. “It’s really been an honor and a privilege to lead this organization.” Now, Cardin said that she and her husband, Mike, a permanent substitute for Cardinal Community School District, and their dog Bogy, a therapy dog at the school, plan to move to Pella to their new home on Red Rock Lake. “The kids were in tears,” she said of Mike and Bogy’s exit from Cardinal. “It was a really emotional day for them.” The couple plans to spend time with their grandchildren during retirement. Hunger, whose time at the health center is just beginning, is ready for the challenge.
The Board of Trustees of Jefferson County Health Center announced today the appointment of Bryan T. Hunger as new Chief Executive Officer effective April 18, 2016. Mr. Hunger brings more than 9 years of health care experience to this role.
“The JCHC Board of Trustees is confident that Bryan Hunger is the right leader to continue to meet the needs of our patients and the communities we serve.” says board president Renee Rebling. “We welcome Mr. Hunger and his family to JCHC and to Fairfield”.
Mr. Hunger graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and went on to earn his Masters in Health Administration from Ohio University in 2007. Mr. Hunger earned the Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) board certification in medical practice management in 2014. His most recent role was at Regional Medical Center in Manchester, Iowa as Chief Provider Services Officer.
“It is very important to me to have a smooth transition in the leadership and I will continue to serve in my role until the end of April to ensure that Jefferson County Health Center is best positioned for future success”, says Deb Cardin retiring CEO. I believe that Bryan Hunger is very capable and ready to lead JCHC into the future and to the next level of success.”
"I'm honored, and I'm grateful to the JCHC board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional , dedicated and talented staff of professionals," said Mr. Hunger. "This is a terrific opportunity that any leader would welcome.”
Completed thorough review process
CHICAGO, IL — Jefferson County Health Center, Fairfield, Iowa has demonstrated its commitment to patient safety by gaining accreditation from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). AAAASF just celebrated its 35th year of promoting the highest quality patient safety in the ambulatory surgery setting (office-based or outpatient), as well as rehabilitation and outpatient therapy agencies and rural health clinics. AAAASF requires 100 percent compliance with all accreditation standards and does not offer partial accreditation. If a facility fails to meet any standard, it must correct the deficiency or risk denial or loss of accreditation.
To earn its accreditation, Jefferson County Health Center passed inspection on hundreds of important criteria concerning patient safety. AAAASF facility inspectors are board certified medical specialists trained to perform a thorough and complete facility inspection. AAAASF facility inspectors follow a regimented procedure to inspect an outpatient surgery facility in the following categories:
About the AAAASF
The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) was established in 1980 to standardize and improve the quality of medical and surgical care in outpatient facilities and assure the public that patient safety is top priority in an accredited facility. More than 2,300 outpatient facilities are accredited by AAAASF, one of the largest not-for-profit accrediting organizations in the United States. Surgeons, legislators, state and national health agencies and patients acknowledge that AAAASF sets the "gold standard" for quality patient care.
AAAASF programs include surgical, procedural, oral maxillofacial, international surgical and dental. AAAASF is also deemed by Medicare to accredit ambulatory surgery centers, rehabilitation and outpatient therapy agencies and rural health clinics.
For more information, visit American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc.