CEO likes community’s commitment to health care
Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Doug Stohblerg
When Marian Furlong reflects on 60 years of Hudson Hospital history, she is impressed and respectful of the community leaders who, over the years, have committed to the efforts to bring quality health care to the community.
“The leaders had the foresight to see that Hudson needed a hospital in the early 1950s,” said Furlong, president & CEO, Hudson Hospital and Clinic since 1999. “Leaders again stepped forward when it was time to build our new campus which is now 10 years old. Even before that, they recognized that our hospital could not stand alone and led the charge to team with Health Partners in 1999.”
She said community leaders have demonstrated thoughtfulness, foresight and leadership throughout the 60 year history of the Hudson Hospital.
“And, it’s not just the hospital, I hope people who are new to the community can see that Hudsonites have always had a commitment to the entire community,” Furlong said. “I appreciate what people have done, not only for the hospital, but for the school, faith community, services and much more. There is a commitment and pride that can be seen.”
Over the course of hospital history, Furlong said teaming with Health Partners was a big step in the success of the hospital.
It gave us the opportunity to offer a fully integrated system,” Furlong said. “With that comes care delivery options, specialists on our campus, easy access to Regions Hospital, electronic health records and much more.
“All the things Health Partners can help with is amazing—a small, stand-alone facility would struggle in today’s environment.”
What makes it even better, is that Health partners believes in keeping care local. The firm has invested heavily into the Hudson campus and operation.
“People, of course, want high-end level health care,” Furlong said. “They want access to the specialist – with Health Partners we can offer that level of care.”
The Hudson campus, of course, has gained an excellent reputation for some of the more normal care, be it births, routine surgeries, etc.
“But even with our routine care, because of Health Partners we have the high technical equipment right here in Hudson.”
When asked about highlights of care in Hudson, Furlong said her highest priority is the patient and their families.
“I enjoy it when somebody stops me in a store and says ‘I received good care. I was well taken care of and treated respectfully,” Furlong said. “I am pleased when we meet the needs of patients and their families.”
The numbers show that the Hudson Hospital continues to grow and thrive.
The number of patients and surgeries has increased dramatically in recent years and the campus now has two full-time surgeons, Drs. Kirk Jacobson and Paul Scott.
The Hudson Hospital Emergency Center is staffed with the region’s only 24/7 emergency medicine physicians. Last year the center had more than 11,000 visits.
The hospital’s Birth Center has become known for delivering the area’s premier birthing experiences, which is why Birth Center volumes have doubled in the last five years. Last year the hospital was well over 600 births and the facility offers epidural, vaginal birth after Cesarean Section (VBAC) and water birth options.
“When we first moved here 10 years ago, we were doing about 200 births a year and about 5,000 emergency room visits,” Furlong said. “Hudson Physicians has done a good job of hiring good physicians to meet the needs of our patients.
“Patients always have choices so you can’t sit on your laurels, but we have strong support from the St. Croix Valley – western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.
“We thank the community for trusting that we will care for them. We want to make sure that we listen to what patients and families need. We like getting feedback.”
The hospital currently has 374 employees.
“Health care is never done in isolation,” Furlong said. “It takes a true team. The employees are the ones who make this place go.”
The health care network continues to expand as Health Partners has also acquired Westfields Hospital in New Richmond and Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. Hudson is also part of the Cancer Center of Western Wisconsin, located in New Richmond. Six western Wisconsin hospitals collaborated in the effort. In addition to Hudson Hospitals and Clinics, the other partners are Amery Regional Medical Center, Baldwin Area Medical Center, Osceola Medical Center, St. Croix Regional Medical Center and Westfields Hospital (New Richmond).
Hudson Hospital is also in the midst of a large expansion project. With the increase in specialty service and the growth of Hudson Physicians, Hudson Hospital is constructing a new two-story, 41,000-square-foot structure on the campus. It is scheduled to open in November.
“We continue to focus on patient needs,” Furlong said. “We are always looking for the best way to deliver great care, in the most affordable way. If we keep focused on that, it will keep us on track.”