January 16, 2020

Critical Access Hospitals Serving Our Community: Q+A with Michele Pilon

Michele Pilon TRHBy Cherry Odom, BSN, RN-BC

Transylvania Regional Hospital (TRH) was selected as a 2019 Top 20 Critical Access Hospital, the fifth time in the last six years, and Blue Ridge Regional Hospital was named to the Top 100 Critical Access Hospital list. Michele Pilon, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CEO and CNO of Transylvania Regional Hospital, talks about why these recognitions are so important for our community.

Q: What is a critical access hospital?

A: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) serve rural areas where distance, mountainous terrain or secondary roads may limit access to medical care. They have twenty-five or fewer beds and are vital safety-net institutions in preserving the health of rural communities.

Q: What does this award mean for your patients?

A: It allows patients to be confident that they are receiving high quality, evidence-based care delivered by qualified, competent caregivers. TRH staff are here to serve their community, putting patients first.

Q: How does this designation benefit the community?

A: This repeated designation sends a message that community members can feel confident their hospital excels in patient care and patient satisfaction. They can count on excellence close to home.

Transylvania Regional Hospital achieved an overall score of 99.7, ranking 3rd overall in the nation, and ranked in the top 1 percent of all CAHs in the US. The Top 20 CAH’s eight categories are inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient satisfaction, cost, charge and financial stability. The Top 20 CAHs rank the highest in publicly available data in eight categories of hospital performance. These annual recognitions are given to hospitals across the United States by the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Health Policy Institute, iVantage Health Analytics and the Chartis Center for Rural Health.

Q: What does the award say about staff?

A: Every discipline contributes to this designation, including direct caregivers and indirect staff. TRH staff are a family who truly cares and strives to heal and comfort the mind, body and spirit.

Q: What does this mean to you personally?

A: We are very proud of this accomplishment. I am truly fortunate to work with such talented, compassionate nurses, clinical staff and nonclinical staff. Their efforts show in our good clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction.

Michele Pilon, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, is CEO and CNO of Transylvania Regional Hospital.

To learn more about services at Transylvania Regional Hospital, visit missionhealth.org/transylvania.