As Augusta Health considers what is ahead, it will never lose track of the committed professionals who have made the hospital the community resource it is today, says Mark LaRosa, vice president of business development and chief strategy officer at Augusta Health.
“For the past year, we’ve been working on Journey 2025, a strategic plan that builds upon the foundation laid
over the last 25 years,” he says. “Although the plan has a number of different elements, they all overlap with one main theme: delivering an unrivaled patient experience.”
Opportunities for Growth
Augusta Health was formed based on the vision that the strengths of two smaller hospitals would grow specialized distinctive care for the region, including a Heart and Vascular Center, Centers for Cancers and Blood Disorders, Urgent Care Centers, Primary Care and Specialty Physician Practices, a new Multi-Specialty Practice in Lexington and an expanded Emergency Department. Now, the organization is at a key point where it has the opportunity to expand care even more.
“We can be a national model for delivering healthcare in a semi-rural community,” says LaRosa. “We’re now ready to take that next step.”
The strategic plan, Journey 2025, is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive plans Augusta Health has seen since its founding. The plan encompasses all aspects of operations, from clinical areas and virtual health to potential partnerships, all to enhance coordinated care.
For example, LaRosa anticipates the development of an app for patients that will enable convenient access to Augusta Health resources and operational enhancements for guiding patients through a complex healthcare environment. Augusta Health plans to expand its navigation program in multiple service lines. Today, Augusta Health’s oncology navigators assist patients every step of the way through their oncological journey of diagnosis, treatment, outpatient, home and aftercare, which makes them feel reassured and supported. Having more navigators in other departments can do the same for all patients, LaRosa says.
Employees are part of the plan, too! Our team members want the best healthcare for the community, and we want them to have the professional toolbox of resources to support their commitment to the community. The goal is to engage employees, so they’re further invested in the mission of the organization.
“We are looking at all the ways we can help the community be healthy,” LaRosa says. “We want to make sure we sustain our personalized approach to care while connecting patients through a system of frictionless care.”
Strategies of Execution
The driving strategies of Journey 2025 are rooted in these principles:
- Patient experience is the first priority.
- Promote specialized capabilities.
- Enhance access for patients.
- Enhance patient navigation services.
- Invest in the team members.
- Leverage financial strength for community health.
“Yes, we have ambitious goals, but we have 2,000 dedicated team members who are here for a healthy community,” says LaRosa. “We are excited to invest, develop and deliver Journey 2025 to our patients and community.”