Marcia Hendricks feels that all paths her leadership teams have built over the last five years at Adair County and Madison County Health Systems have led them to be able to operate with their own leadership.
Hendricks will take over July 7 leading only Madison County Health System. Catherine Hillestad starts then leading Adair County Health System.
Hendricks, already serving Madison County at the time, took over in Adair County’s hospital at a time when MercyOne, which both hospitals are affiliated with, felt that small regional hospitals in close proximity should work together more to better serve their patients.
“I talked to my team in Winterset, and some of the providers, and they all said they were supportive [of me leading both hospitals] and said we’ve always wanted to build a relationship with Adair County but it’s just a little more difficult when it’s two separate entities,” Hendricks said. “So, that’s kind of how it started, as a pilot project, and honestly we’ve been so busy and have shared so many resources.”
Hendricks said that one highlight in that relationship between the two health systems has been sharing a materials manager position. Instead of ordering materials once for each hospital, they’re ordered together, which Hendricks says streamlines that process.
“It’s a great example of a shared position that works well,” Hendricks said. “You’re negotiating contracts and ordering similar equipment for both hospitals, do it once for both hospitals. It makes a lot of sense.”
Other notable sharing agreements are that they’ve been able to trade environmental services or dietary employees back and forth in times one hospital is short staffed, they share a general surgeon and an orthopedic surgeon.
Going forward, Hendricks said she only sees the relationship between the two hospitals growing, even though they’ll have two different leaders. A wound care clinic in Adair County that Hendricks says has been “very, very successful” is already receiving patients from Madison County.
“Our physicians and providers in Winterset are referring patients to Adair County for that service. While we could certainly start one in Winterset, the decision has been made not to. Let’s support Adair County’s wound care clinic, and down the road, perhaps there’s something Madison County will start and Adair County won’t, then they can support ours, so then you really maximize your service lines at both hospitals,” Hendricks said. “It’s that kind of stuff I want to continue to have collaborative conversations with Catherine about moving forward so we know what’s on each other’s radar. Instead of looking at each other as competition, we look at each other as complimentary to each hospital.”
In Adair County, Hendricks is proud of projects that have come to fruition during her time here, such as the moving of Senior Life Solutions to the new Havens Building, the creation of urgent care services and the continued recruitment and retention of quality family care providers.
“There have just been a lot of great things that have happened in the last five years, and I’m kind of proud of that. I’m going to miss the team at Adair County. There’s a lot of great people in Adair County,” Hendricks said. “Adair County is also really fortunate to have a great board of trustees. That board is so engaged with the success of that hospital. I’ve been very impressed with how engaged they are, under Willard’s leadership, and they really care, not only about the hospital’s success, but the people who work there and the entire community. I’m impressed with that group of people. They’ve been very good to work with.”