July 19, 2018

Jackie Medland: Highlands-Cashiers Hospital’s Present and Future

By Jackie Medland
President/CNO, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

From our Highlands-Cashiers Hospital “Evening With the Docs” forums to fireworks, July is the marvelous midpoint of summer – a moment where transformation may be more subtle than when the Plateau’s trees are catching visual fire in autumn, but no less important. Are you sensing a pattern? Fireworks, forums, and the future – and there’s another word that begins with “F” and that’s “foundation.” The seasonal fireworks we enjoy are now being complemented by institutional ones whose brilliance will be intensified by a significant, anticipated organizational change.

I’ve referenced in many past columns how our community and the HCH Foundation have steadfastly supported HCH, the Eckerd Living Center, and our affiliated practices – from day one right up to this moment. Community members have afforded us a distinct and extraordinary history and continue to guide our future. They’ve supported critical initiatives, from providing advanced technology and supporting volunteer programs, to making our state-of-the-art new Emergency Department a reality.

Most community members are aware that the contemplated transaction with HCA Healthcare will usher in a new phase of growth for our system. One result of this alignment, assuming it is completed, will be the creation of a new and transformational community resource: the Dogwood Health Trust. This independently run foundation will devote itself to meaningfully analyzing and tackling the social determinants of health such as chronic illness, hunger, lack of insurance, addiction, overall access to care, education housing and more. Dr. William Hathaway, Mission Health Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, recently noted at June’s Mountains of Hope event, that community leaders will be called upon to play pivotal roles as local healthcare evolves within this new and exciting framework. I’m excited for that, too.

I continue to be inspired by our community’s collaborative spirit, unified vision, and astounding generosity. Please remember that, as we travel toward our future, you and your unique needs will remain front and center. To that end, we will be hosting a series of focus groups to hear your needs, scheduled for Wednesday, September 19th and Thursday, September 20th; locations and times will be determined and posted on our website by August. We will ask you to be definers and designers as we shape programs, facilities, and services with a gero-centric focus (services targeted at adults age 65 and older). I know I can count on you to help us chart new territory and keep our eyes on what we all desire: healthcare on the Plateau that’s superb, accessible, and tailored to this special community.

I look forward to being out in the community a lot in the coming months, and I know we’ll have many chances to discuss the new Foundation. Through it all, please remain assured that making our community stronger and healthier will always remain our priority. Happy summer!


Jacqueline Medland, PhD, RN, is the President/Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. Jackie has enjoyed a career as a healthcare leader for over 30 years, including positions in direct patient care, advanced practice nursing, nursing management and hospital administration. Jackie received her MSN from the University of Illinois, College of Nursing, and her PhD in Organization Development from Benedictine University. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Organization of Nurses Executives, the Illinois Organization of Nursing Leaders and Sigma Theta Tau. Jackie’s unique leadership and mentorship was recognized by the University of Illinois, College of Nursing with the Sage Award.

For more information on Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, please visit hchospital.org.

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