POINT PLEASANT — Now that Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH) and Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) have decided they are “Better Together” they’ve also decided Glen Washington is the man to manifest that destiny on PVH’s end.
Washington was named CEO of PVH late last year. Since 2007, he has served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of CHH, where he was responsible for overseeing hospital operations and clinical areas, with an emphasis on information technology and physician recruitment and retention. Washington graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., with a bachelor’s degree in science, then earned a master’s degree in Health Administration at the Medical College of Virginia at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. He is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for health care leaders, and currently serves as a Regent for the state of West Virginia and southwest Virginia.
Still, a man is more than his degrees and titles.
Washington recently sat down with the Point Pleasant Register to talk about his vision as CEO and how he hopes to fit into the community.
He said one of the elements that drove himself and staff at CHH when faced with making a decision, was asking (and answering) “What’s in the best interest of the patient?” He said he plans to bring that element, which he also calls a “sacred trust” with him to PVH.
Secondly, he hopes to bring with him from CHH the element of “the relentless pursuit of quality” when it comes to health care. He called this a “journey” that never ends but requires a “relentless focus.”
Now, Washington is placing that “focus” squarely on PVH’s affiliation with CHH. He said patients at PVH will seamlessly become part of the CHH network of professionals which will provide greater access to services and specialties closer to home. He also stressed, as much as possible will be done at PVH on the main campus.
“All services that can be done here should be done here,” Washington said, when explaining how this affiliation between the two hospitals will work.
“This is a sensible, symbiotic relationship,” he further explained the benefits to both institutions.
Some of the benefits, besides providing referral and specialty services, will be access to the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health which is already a partner with CHH. Washington said its hoped the MU School of Medicine can start a residency program at PVH in 2015. In turn, this exposure of young doctors to the medical needs of people who live in more rural areas may mean more retention of those doctors in these areas.
Washington said he asked for this assignment at PVH, calling it an “exciting opportunity.”
Of course “exciting opportunities” often come out of challenging times such as those that have affected the health care industry, an industry that is “changing” as Washington put it. He said like many independent businesses, it’s difficult to “stand alone” in this marketplace and that like most anything else in life, you need a “strong partner.” He said CHH recognized PVH as being that strong, viable partner - both facilities were the only two in the area to win the recognition of Top Performer of the Joint Commission.
PVH is still its own entity though it is now affiliated with CHH. PVH is to serve as an anchor for the area’s health care and it’s important to keep its autonomy, Washington maintained.
Having grown up in a small town in Virginia with around the same population as Point Pleasant, Washington said he’s been made to feel welcome since arriving - and he’s arrived with the knowledge that “access to quality health care should not be dependant on where you live.”