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Celebrating One Year as HH Lincoln Health

July 1, 2023 | Reading Time: 5 minutes

A Message from the President of HH Lincoln Health

Rolling ribbon cutting at Lincoln Medical Center with employees

This has been a year unlike any other for our Health System. Since joining Huntsville Hospital Health System to become HH Lincoln Health on July 1, 2022, we have been working hard to expand our services, update our facilities and attract more physicians to the area, while continuing our long tradition of providing safe, high-quality care that improves lives. I am excited to share this year’s update with our community!

Our employees are the heart of what makes HH Lincoln Health great! We are very proud of our staff and the work they do every day to care for our patients. In the past year, we have hired several talented leaders to help guide our System into the future: Emergency Department Director Matt Ulrich; Radiology Director Leah Cooper; Environmental Services Director Jennifer Claypool; Operating Room Director Carrie Finchum; Quality Director Shanna Rodriguez; Director of Clinics Nicole Alaweneh; and Compliance and Risk Coordinator Shay Ulrich, to name just a few. We also recently hired a new Chief Financial Officer who will start in August.

We were pleased to offer a salary adjustment to all employees as well as an added RN adjustment for our nurses. We also revised our EMS schedule to achieve a better work/life balance for our first responders. The new 24/72 schedule has allowed us to be fully staffed in our EMS Department, and we were able to re-open our South Station.

We recognize the need to grow our network of local physicians and are putting in tremendous effort to attract new doctors to Lincoln County. We are proud to say that in our first year, we successfully recruited a new podiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell; a new neurologist, Dr. Raymond Capps; a new urologist, Dr. Patrick Selph; a pulmonary telemedicine specialist, Dr. Prakashchanda Patel; and a new Nurse Practitioner for Fayetteville Medical Associates. In the coming months, we will continue to focus on recruiting more specialty, Internal Medicine and Family Medicine providers.

Joining Huntsville Hospital Health System has brought many positive changes. We formed a new hospital board comprised of 15 members who represent our community and medical staff. We have also updated our hospital bylaws to align more closely with other HH Health System facilities. And I hope you have noticed our new logo, signage and website! We also recently started a new initiative to become a High Reliability Organization that provides consistently excellent patient care with a focus on safety.

In our first year since joining Huntsville Hospital Health System, we had two visits from the state to survey our facilities. We are proud to say that Donalson Care Center, EMS and Home Health had no deficiencies. We also had a successful Joint Commission visit. We re-opened our ICU, which allows us to better care for our patients with higher-acuity needs. We have also been able to purchase a LUCAS chest compression system for our ER, a nuclear medicine camera, and new equipment for our Operating Rooms.

One of my favorite parts of our partnership with Huntsville Hospital Health System is how it has allowed us to strengthen our relationships with other hospitals. We are all working closely together and collaborating on ways we can better serve our communities. We had the privilege of hosting all the HH Health System presidents at Lincoln Health. We also hosted Scottsboro-based Highlands Health and Rehab at Donalson Care Center. The Huntsville Hospital Patient Experience team visited and gave us ideas on how to add to our patient experience and employee engagement. We have also been a resource to other hospitals with equipment needs.

Investing in the future health care needs of Lincoln County is very important to us. We are proud to say that we formed our first Student Advisory Board this year to provide advice and guidance to teenagers interested in the medical field. We partnered with all our local schools to allow job shadowing opportunities, and we are working with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) to bring a CNA program to Fayetteville. We also meet with all local community colleges, Motlow State, UT Southern and TCAT, about ways we can work together on recruitment and retention. It has been energizing to see so many students in our buildings! Our staff was also involved in many local career fairs, answering questions and recruiting new employees.

As always, keeping Lincoln County healthy remains our driving force. This year we conducted a community health needs assessment to discover how we can better serve our community. By doing this, we formed a networking group with other nonprofit organizations in our area. We also have enjoyed speaking to many community groups, churches and other organizations about all the exciting news in our health system. This list also included the County Mayor and the City Mayor and Alderman’s meetings. We had a lot of fun participating in First Fridays, The Trunk or Treat event, Host of Christmas Past, Bright Lights and Festive Nights, One Day of Hope, and the Lincoln County Fair! We donated thousands of snack items, as well as bedding, to the Hands of Mercy Outreach Center. We started a new occupation health venture for Ariens Corporation. And our Patrick Rehab & Wellness Center is now a Foster Friendly Business.

Not only have we been doing a lot of work on the inside of our buildings, but we have also made many structural improvements. At Lincoln Medical we have painted, replaced flooring, removed wallpaper, and repaired all the tornado damage. At the Patrick Rehab & Wellness Center, we have painted the outside, remodeled the lobby, and placed a new air handler. At Donalson Care Center we updated landscaping and painting. We also purchased the StoneBridge Medical building where new providers will be located.

Our Foundation has also been working hard this year. They have been increasing awareness about raising funds to provide resources for the health system. This year they were able to purchase new chairs for the outpatient waiting lobbies, chair lifts for all our EMS trucks, sponsor the Pediatric Sensory Room at the Patrick Rehab & Wellness and award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each. The Foundation has also established relationships with Ryker’s Rainbow and the Wells Clayton Whitworth Memorial Foundation. Both of these organizations are bringing needed resources to our OB Department.

We have had a very packed full first year as Huntsville Hospital Lincoln Health. We are so proud of all our staff and their passion to care for our patients. We had a wonderful time celebrating them during Hospital Week and Nurses Week. We also announced our very first Daisy Award winner!

We have already achieved incredible things, and we know this is just the beginning. We are moving forward and are thankful to have the opportunity to serve Lincoln County and the surrounding areas.

“I am proud to see the success that HH Lincoln Health has achieved this year. They have an incredible team that is passionate to serve their community” said Jeff Samz, CEO of Huntsville Hospital Health System.

To learn more about all we are doing, follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Thank you all for your support! This is only the beginning!

Mary Beth Seals, President of HH Lincoln Health

Mary Beth Seals, President of HH Lincoln Health