Published on July 04, 2021

Nash UNC Health Care makes strides during challenging year

Over the last year, Nash UNC has continued to provide superior quality health care during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic while also adding new services that our community needs.

As chairman of the Nash UNC Board of Commissioners, I am pleased to review many of those new services, accomplishments and improvements with you.

As the COVID-19 pandemic reached its peak in our community, Nash UNC was prepared and responded quickly under the leadership of the board, executive team and a COVID-19 Task Force that included physicians, staff and departmental leaders. This team guided our organization during one of the most challenging times to face our hospital and community.

We continued to provide needed medical care in a safe and clean environment for our patients, community and staff and also developed new services to help address the pandemic. Nash UNC developed a state-of-the-art COVID unit and opened an outpatient COVID infusion clinic that administers monoclonal antibody treatments to COVID patients to reduce their risk of hospitalization.

We also focused on a community COVID-19 vaccination program to ensure an equitable and accessible rollout of the vaccine in our area. Nash UNC’s mobile vaccine team administered more than 3,000 vaccines at community events, area businesses, faith-based organizations and the walk-in clinic at Nash Day Hospital. Including our staff vaccination clinic and community clinic at Eastern North Carolina Medical Group, more than 17,000 vaccines have been administered. We remain committed to vaccine education and equitable vaccination opportunities for our entire community.

Though we were faced with a challenging year, we also made strides in expanding health services. By working with UNC Health and our community, we added new providers to expand service offerings in cardiology, ENT, orthopedics, general surgery, urology, infectious disease and more. These new providers have made our area their home and are enjoying being involved in our community.

New partnerships expanded the services we are able to offer our community. The Nash Breast Care Center and OIC Family Medical Center teamed up to offer 3D mammography services at the Specialty Care Center in the Rocky Mount Event Center.

A new partnership with Rocky Mount Urology allows us to provide care to our growing urological patient population. Our general surgery practice has grown from two providers to five, and UNC Orthopedics at Nash moved into an expanded space with on-site orthopedic physical therapy.

Thanks to the Nash UNC Health Care Foundation, we expanded our community paramedic program and developed an inpatient food pantry to address social determinants of health, such as access to home medical care and proper nutrition. The foundation raised more than $230,000 to support programs that improve health outcomes and access to health care in our community.

This past year, we received national quality of care recognitions. The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization that collects and reports hospital performance data each year, gave Nash UNC an A rating for both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 reporting periods. We also received national recognition for our heart and stroke care.

We provided 14 scholarships for nursing students at Nash and Edgecombe community colleges, as part of our Nurse Scholars program. As community events ramped back up, we provided health education, vaccines and employee volunteers to support.

We could not have accomplished this much during such a challenging year without the dedication of our staff and medical providers. I am excited to continue working together with our community to continue improving how we meet your health care needs in a safe, accessible and high quality manner.

John A. Barker is the chairman of the Nash UNC Health Care Board of Commissioners.