Straight Talk - "Change"

February 28, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The pace of change continues to accelerate for healthcare in general and for NCH in particular. Here are a few examples.

  • Outpatient growth. Serving outpatients is the future of healthcare. Just picture having the equivalent of an office visit in the convenience and comfort of your own home using existing technology, such as an iPad with FaceTime or Skype (Telehealth). Imagine not having to be hospitalized for what is currently the most common reason for hospitalization, congestive heart failure (too much fluid in the body). Soon, patients will be treated and monitored at home, using existing wireless technology with daily visits by a nurse, physician’s assistant or even a physician. Chief Administrative Officer of the NCH Physician Group Zach Bostock and Chief Information Officer Helen Thompson are hard at work to make this level of outpatient care a reality at NCH.

  • Expanded, Renamed NCH Physician Group. Speaking of the NCH Healthcare Group, it now has a new name—NCH Physician Group—so that patients understand that our real function is ensuring wellness. The new NCH Physician Group encompasses our 25 excellent nurse practitioners and all our ancillary services, such as outpatient radiology (NCH Physician Group Radiology) and lab (NCH Physician Group Lab).

    Newest additions to NCH Physician Group are three experienced internists—Dr. Diana Daoud, who practiced for 7 years in Iowa before moving to Naples; Dr. Robert Folsom, who started on Marco Island at the same time I started practice in Naples in 1977 and Dr. Julie Southmayd, who has built a formidable practice with an interest in complementary and alternative medicine. Psychiatrist Dr. Alan Hagstrom, who has an expertise in pain management, also just joined Dr. Damian McGovern who has been with the team for over a year. We welcome these five most competent physicians and expect further additions to our NCH Physicians Group over the next few months.

  • Paperless employee transactions. NCH Human Resources, in our effort to become more efficient and effective, now is almost paperless for employee services. In keeping with our goal to provide the highest level of service to our colleagues, we are quickly moving towards a fully self-service environment for employee transactions. This will allow our employees immediate access to Human Resource information in the work area.

    Starting today, we will eliminate paper paychecks for the majority of us who direct deposit to our banks. This means that employees who have direct deposit will be able to see their bi-weekly earnings as early as Wednesday of pay week, although funds cannot be accessed until Friday. Employees who don’t have direct deposit will have their paychecks mailed. Within the next couple of months, employees will also have the ability to use the new HR Employee Self Service portal, which will allow you to make electronic changes to address, phone, emergency contact information and W4 information, as well as print W2 earning reports. This fall, we will introduce full, online open enrollment for benefits through the new Kronos HR Information System.

Finally, change also means transition. And recently both CFO Vicki Orr and CMO Dr. Aurora Estevez announced plans to leave NCH Healthcare. Vicki, after 12 years at NCH, wants to spend more time with her family. And Aurora, after five years here, is relocating out of the area.

Both have been prodigious contributors to the great achievements of NCH, and will always be welcome at NCH. I know you join me in wishing them both continued success and happiness in their new pursuits.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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