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Building a Healthy Community Supporting Local Healthcare
March 12, 2009

For over 45 years, Madison County Hospital has been a part of the community. Just like many of the area businesses, MCH has made many positive contributions to our quality of life and to our community. The hospital serves as a health care provider, economic driver, charitable organization, employer, educator and community advocate.

Every hour of every day, there are people who depend on Madison County Hospital's physicians, caregivers and staff to cure their illnesses, mend their injuries and ease their pain.

There are hospitals in 78 of Ohio's 88 counties. Hospitals have a tremendous impact on the Ohio economy with over 320,000 jobs in our hospital's healthcare systems. In rural areas, like Madison County, hospitals help attract and retain college graduates by providing high-tech jobs for young people that might otherwise leave communities heavily dependent on agriculture. Rural hospitals also help support other health care jobs in the area by recruiting physicians and pharmacists that might not otherwise be needed in the absence of a hospital.

Hospitals play a strong role in the thriving economy of an area and a flourishing hospital adds to the appeal of a community as a place to settle, locate a business or retire.

Charity Care
Unlike any other business, MCH meets the health care needs of the community before considerations about payment. Extending care to all those who come through the hospital doors is in accordance with the hospital's mission. In 2007, the hospital provided over $540,000 of charity care.

Community Programs and Education
In 2007, the hospital tackled the county's dismal breast cancer statistics, which indicate that Madison County has the highest breast cancer death rate in the state of Ohio. MCH quickly went to work educating area women about the importance of early detection and expanding local breast care services. Since the campaign began, the hospital has participated in over 60 community events to raise awareness about breast cancer in our community.

In response to the immense need for prevention and treatment of the disease, Madison County Hospital celebrated the grand opening of the Battelle Breast Cancer Center in the fall of 2008.

In addition to providing resources for breast care, the hospital also offers the New Beginnings Prenatal Clinic every Friday to help new moms prepare for the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Clinic fees are determined by the patient's ability to pay.

The hospital also offers two important and potentially life-saving classes in CPR and First Aid. These classes teach valuable skills that may help a community member save someone's life in the event of an emergency.

Each year, MCH provides free health screenings, including cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, bone density and sun damage at various area health fairs and local businesses.

Community Support
Through its marketing programs, Madison County Hospital regularly supports community groups including the American Cancer Society as a corporate sponsor for Relay for Life. The hospital also supports United Way, London Public library, our local schools, the London Rotary Club, local youth sporting leagues, and a variety of community events.

Support Groups
MCH recognizes that caring for patients often goes beyond treating the physical illness. The hospital hosts two unique support groups to help bring patients and families together with similar experiences to help in the healing process.

Coping with Cancer is designed to bring cancer patients and survivors together. Coping with Cancer meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of the month, September through November and January through May, in the Harley Room at Madison County Hospital. Everyone whose life has been touched by any type of cancer is invited to attend.

The Madison County Hospital Home Health Hospice program offers a Loss Support Group to those who are grieving a loved one. The support group is free and open to the public.

Training for Future Healthcare Workers
The hospital regularly opens its doors to nursing students from Columbus State and Clark State Community Colleges for the vital practice of training future nurses through hands-on experiences.

Other departments, including Administration and Marketing, have hosted summer interns to prepare students for work in the field of healthcare.

Disaster Preparedness
Hospitals everywhere play a critical role in the event of a disaster. Hospital workers are often the first to send supplies, manpower, and money either locally or across the globe. Madison County Hospital's Director of Nursing, Patrick Baker, is currently serving a hospital in Iraq as part of his duty with the National Guard.

MCH is also involved in disaster preparedness locally, participating in local disaster drills and conducting them regularly to make sure all staff is ready to respond to community needs in the event of a real calamity.

Caring for the Community
Last year, thousands entered the through the doors of Madison County Hospital.

In 2008, over 14,000 people were treated in the emergency room. The hospital also welcomed 260 babies in our maternity suites.

MCH medical staff performed surgery on over 380 inpatients and over 1,000 outpatients.

Hospital employees are proud of the work being done each day at their facility. Over 80% of hospital employees give a portion of their salary back to the hospital through the employee giving club, HEARTS. The money is then used to help co-workers in times of need or to support hospital initiatives and purchase equipment.

Reality of Healthcare in Today's Economy
When patients need care, hospitals don't and can't turn away those with bad credit or those lacking insurance or the ability to pay. In 2007, MCH had $1.75 million in bad debt. Bad debt results when patients do not pay bills for which payment was expected or when uninsured patients have incomes above the guidelines for charity care, but still cannot afford the cost of their care.  Bad debt and charity care combined resulted in $2.3 million in unreimbursed care being provided by MCH in 2007. This is an important factor in understanding the total picture of financial stresses faced by hospitals including ours.  Regardless, Madison County Hospital never turns a patient away just because of financial limitations.

Unfortunately, health care is not immune to the current economic crisis going on in our country.  Half the nation's hospitals are running at a loss, dealing with difficult decisions about how to reduce expenses and still continue to provide needed services. It isn't that the demand for health care services is diminishing. In fact, the need for particular services is growing. But in all areas of health care, it is becoming more and more difficult for hospitals and physicians to cover even the costs of doing business today.

What would life be line in Madison County without the hospital?  Imagine one of our community members suffering a heart attack in the car while trying to reach a Columbus hospital emergency department.  Think about all the generations of mothers who have greeted their brand new babies in the hospital's family-centered birthing center. Consider what it would be like to drive to the city, pay to park, and walk a long distance, just for an outpatient surgery, a CT scan, an MRI, physical therapy or lab services.

Every member of our community should take pride in our local hospital and take advantage of the services offered there. The hospital and its medical staff are here to welcome new life into the world, provide comfort when losing a loved one, and be the steady hands that provide life-saving surgery. MCH gives back to the community ~ not just in medical care, but also through countless services and programs that make our community strong and healthy.  By turning to Madison County Hospital for our health care needs, everyone plays an important role in assuring the hospital will be here to serve us and future generations.

Related info
Madison County Hospital
210 North Main Street
London, Ohio 43140
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