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Fred Stabbert III | Democrat

Catskill Regional Medical Center CEO Steve Ruwoldt, left, at head of table, and Corporate Compliance Officer and Grover Hermann Division Administrator Robert Fisher (next to Ruwoldt), met with the Callicoon Business Association at Lander’s Café in Callicoon on Friday.

Catskill Regional unveils big plans

By Fred Stabbert III
CALLICOON — February 15, 2011 — They are two men on a mission.
Steve Ruwoldt and Robert Fisher have a great vision for Catskill Regional Medical Center, Sullivan County’s largest healthcare provider.
The two men met with 20 members of the Callicoon business community Friday morning at Lander’s Cafe to outline the many improvements coming this year to the hospital, which has been the mainstay of local healthcare for nearly half a century.
“When I joined the hospital three-and-a-half years ago, it was in distress,” CRMC CEO Ruwoldt said. “Today we are healthy and improving every day.”
Ruwoldt cited some impressive statistics:
• In the last three years CRMC has made money every year, reducing its debt by nearly 20 percent;
• Crystal Run Healthcare and CRMC now enjoy a good relationship. The President of the Medical Staff, Dr. Jeffrey Gray, is a Crystal Run physician;
• The number of Sullivan County residents using the hospital has increased by eight percent; and
• CRMC recently earned the Joint Commission’s National Quality Approval rating, a nationwide symbol of healthcare excellence.
But they aren’t stopping there.
“We need to nail down customer service,” Ruwoldt explained “We have instituted extensive customer service programs with our employees and we also started surveying our patients.
“We want to be the No. 1 hospital in Sullivan County,” he said.
Ruwoldt went on to outline the many changes at the hospital’s main campus in Harris.
“We needed a new CCU (Critical Care Unit), so we updated that,” he said. “The OB unit was redone a year before I came here and we recently doubled our capacity on telemetry.”
CRMC recently purchased a very sophisticated 64-slice CAT Scanner, which helps physicians make diagnosis.
“It also has one of the lowest doses of radiation of any CT in the Hudson Valley,” Ruwoldt said.
And currently CRMC is in the midst of a expanding its Emergency Room.
“It was originally built to accommodate 18,000 patients yearly and is now serving 26,000,” Ruwoldt said. “If you go to the hospital you will notice the construction is underway.”
Luckily, Ruwoldt said, the construction company was able to get walls up and a roof on before the vicious winter weather set in, allowing workers to work on the inside.
The $6 million expansion project will more than double the size of the ER, expanding from 7,500 square feet to 17,500 square feet, and will dramatically enhance the level of service by treating more patients and shortening visit times.
“Our goal is when a patient hits the door, they see a doctor in 20 minutes,” he said.
The number of fast track bays for minor injuries will be increased from four to eight. Additionally, the current eight acute care bays and one mental health bay will be expanded and redistributed to sixteen bays. The new department is expected to be open this summer.
Ruwoldt was also proud of the community’s unwavering support of the hospital, donating enough money to allow the facility to buy many pieces of valuable equipment through the years.
Grover Hermann Division also expanding services
Robert Fisher, who doubles as the hospital’s Corporate Compliance Officer as well as Grover Hermann’s Administrator, said, “We’re here to take care of our neighbors and visitors.
“We have inpatient and outpatient services as well as a lab and x-ray capabilities,” Fisher said. “We are very well equipped.”
Part of that ‘very well equipped’ includes a new and improved Physical Therapy Unit, which recently took over the former operating room.
And the Grover Hermann Division, located on Route 97 two miles south of Callicoon, recently unveiled the Family Health Center headed by Nurse Practitioner Nan Eschenberg.
Located at the rear of the hospital on the ground floor, the Callicoon Family Health Center will host an open house on Thursday, February 24 from 2 to 6 p.m.
“We are also planning on investing $2.6 million in the Callicoon facility this coming year,” Fisher said.
Local contractor Justin McElroy is scheduled to build a $1.8 million new 4,000 square foot Family Health Center which will be located to the front left of the existing hospital. Parking will also be added to accommodate the increased traffic.
Fisher added that the Grover Hermann Division also implemented “swing beds,” for patients “who don’t necessarily need the hospital but can’t go home yet.”
And in keeping with improved healthcare, Grover Hermann is getting a 16-slice CAT Scanner and also adding a new waiting area for the emergency room.
Additional equipment coming to Callicoon this year includes digital mammography, bone densitometer, telemetry and ultrasound.
“These new services will help us recruit physicians,” Fisher said. “It is going to be a very exciting year.’
Ruwoldt agreed.
“The success of our organization is growth,” he said. “We are one of the largest employers in the county with a $105 million operating budget and $56 million in salaries and wages.
“We have a real sense of commitment to Sullivan County,” he said.
And with the help and cooperation of 1,000 talented staff, CRMC is growing, one satisfied patient at a time.
Heart-a-thon to benefit CRMC
HARRIS – The 33rd annual WSUL-WVOS Heart-a-thon will be Saturday, February 26. On that Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., volunteers will gather for the live broadcast at the garden level food court at Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris.
This year, the funding will help purchase computer software for a CT scanner. CT stands for computed tomography. The unit can determine plaque formation in coronary arteries. It can also detect other possible causes of symptoms, such as narrowing of the arteries.
To make a pledge now, call 794-9898 extension 301. The day of the event, call 794-9898. The calls will be forwarded to the Heart-a-thon. Paper hearts may also be purchased at area businesses.”

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