Every day I have the privilege of interacting and working with great people as we go about the daily work of caring for patients, residents, and our community as a whole. Every day we experience the joys and heartaches that life brings to all of us. Through it all, our medical providers, clinicians and staff are juggling the enormous changes in healthcare and advancing better ways to care for, support and partner with patients. They do not seek accolades or recognition for what they do – caring for the sick and vulnerable, saving lives, and being here when the need arises is a calling.

Many of you may have noticed the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals banner displayed high on our building facing Mankato Avenue and highway 61. It was placed there when we earned a spot on the nation’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals list in 2017. Winona Health was recognized again in 2018 through the continued hard work of our entire staff. We did not seek this recognition – it was an outcome of following our mission. I am keenly aware that Winona Health is a Top 100 hospital thanks to talent, dedication and hard work of our medical staff, clinicians, staff and volunteers. It reflects perseverance in focusing on the right work to benefit our patients and community. I am proud of everyone at Winona Health; they absolutely deserve this recognition.

What this means to you, our patients and our community, is that everyone at Winona Health, no matter what role they play in your care, is committed to providing the best healthcare experience possible while maintaining an efficient, effective and sustainable organization. This does not mean we are perfect – we are the first ones to say we have opportunities for improvement. It is embracing continuous improvement that ensures our success. We aggressively work to improve processes and are not afraid of piloting new solutions. Whether these improvements succeed or fail, we learn something – and patient feedback has been an important contributor to this work.

The Top 100 list uses The Hospital Strength INDEX, which gathers and compares objective data to provide a benchmark for performance. The INDEX measures healthcare organizations across eight pillars: Inpatient Share Ranking, Outpatient Share Ranking, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspective, and Financial Stability. When analyzing these indicators, evaluators found that the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals are establishing a new standard for how to deliver higher quality care to their communities despite an unpredictable healthcare environment. This has been and continues to be our goal at Winona Health.

As an independent, community-focused, rural healthcare organization, Winona Health provides a safety net to patients and families. We are committed to our mission of improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. When talking with family and friends about the many wonderful things going on in Winona, I hope you’ll feel a sense of community pride in the fact that your healthcare system has again been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals.

Rachelle Schultz, EdD

Through this digital column, I hope to shine a light on what we’re working on both internally and beyond our walls in collaboration with other community-focused organizations.

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