(From our most recent 2016 Annual Report to the Community)
Porter Medical Center 2016 Annual Report
Introduction: Dr. Fred Kniffin,President and CEO
Let us all agree from the start, 2016 was something between a wild ride and a long strange trip. In the first half of the year, we lost forty nurses; in the second half of the year we hired forty nurses. In the first half of the year, we lost ten primary care providers; in the second half of the year, we hired fourteen providers. I don’t need to tell anyone this is no way to run a hospital. Let us all plan on smoother sailing for 2017.
The theme since I started in this job on March 21 has been stabilizing and rebuilding and I am happy to say we have objective evidence of improvement. Progress has been incremental, baby step by baby step and much work remains to be done but progress has been made. Our finances are now on a positive trajectory. We have improved our standing with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), our major regulator. But most important, we have improved our operations. Our clinical services, both inpatient and out, are better staffed and better prepared to treat patients. In other words, as we close out the year, we are better able today to care for our community than we were one year ago.
Looking forward to 2017 we are planning on more progress and stability. The biggest issue ahead is the momentous decision regarding affiliation with the UVM Health Network. I am proud of the work we have done to date engaging our employees, medical staff, and community in a conversation about this important issue. We will continue to communicate on this and all important issues confronting the organization. After ninety-one years as an independent organization moving to affiliation will represent meaningful change. But I am confident if we continue to process this important issue in a thoughtful and thorough fashion, we will come to the right conclusion.
I would like to recognize a number of people without whose help we never would have survived 2016. First, I would like to thank our board of directors for placing their trust in me, as well as the great folks I work with on my leadership team who work tirelessly on behalf of Porter. I would like to thank all of our employees who lined up quickly behind me and provided unconditional support. I would like to thank our medical staff, which I describe as outstanding and am proud to consider colleagues. And lastly, I want to recognize our community. I have lived in Addison County and worked at Porter for the last 26 years. I always knew that Porter was an asset to our community and know that the community viewed it as such, but never in my wildest dreams understood exactly how much our community values their local hospital until this year when we all felt Porter was at risk. The support from our community has been amazing, unbelievable, nearly overwhelming. You, our community, have been the wind at our backs. I am proud to be a part of this great community and thank you for your support.
In my travels, the community has spoken; make sure there is a doctor in the office and be darn sure there is a hospital on South Street. We have heard your message loud and clear and will work day in and day out to meet our mission of caring for you.
Thank you all.
Dr. Fred Kniffin, President/CEO