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OCH Regional Medical Center celebrates 45 years of service this year, and the thriving facility works daily to fulfill its mission of delivering the highest quality care to those in the region, said OCH Administrator/CEO Richard Hilton.

“As we celebrate our 45th year, we reflect upon our success, as well as look to the future and how we can continue to meet the needs of our patients and our community,” Hilton said. “The hard work and dedication of our staff physicians and employees, as well as the leadership provided by our board of trustees, have enabled us to evolve from a single 46,000-square-foot facility to a total plant facility of 353,000 square feet, and we have grown our medical staff to represent 20 different areas of specialty; however, in today’s ever-changing health care environment, we must continue to grow and evolve if we are to remain successful.”

With Oktibbeha County voters’ affirming decision last fall for OCH to remain locally owned and operated, medical center leadership is working to evolve to meet the region’s needs by currently pursuing the best possible affiliation solution for OCH.

“By affiliating with a larger health system while remaining under local control, the community can be assured that the best health care possible is being made available to them locally,” Hilton said, noting that OCH has accomplished a great deal in the last year outside of the affiliation process.

OCH expanded services with the addition of board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eli Howell, who sees patients at the Center for Breast Health & Imaging and performs surgeries at OCH twice a month. Dr. Howell was recruited predominantly to provide breast reconstruction services for the center’s mastectomy patients, but also performs a variety of other reconstructive, elective and cosmetic procedures. His addition improves continuity of care for patients close to home.

Yet another new service is in-home sleep studies offered through the OCH Center for Sleep Medicine. Patients need only be referred to the center by their primary care provider to receive instructions and a kit no larger than a lunch box, which includes everything needed to complete a sleep study for the evaluation of obstructive sleep apnea at home. These in-home studies are less intimidating to patients and less expensive than the in-depth studies provided at the center.

Hilton said most importantly, OCH is in a continuous state of quality improvement.

“Our efforts to provide the highest quality care is evidenced through a number of things, not the least of which are the many certifications and ratings we hold,” he said. “The fact that we are one of less than 20 DNV-accredited facilities in the state and our ‘A’ safety rating from The Leapfrog Group are just two of these impressive accolades.”

Because the health care industry continues to undergo significant change, OCH will need to adapt and respond to the changes to remain successful, Hilton added.

“The teamwork that has made OCH what it is today will be essential to take us forward in this ever-changing healthcare environment,” he said. “Even though much has changed at OCH over the past 45 years, the most important element has stayed the same – putting patient care first. As long as we continue to do that, everything else should fall into place.”

Information in this article was provided by OCH Regional Medical Center.