Weems Receives National Technical Assistance Grant

Weems Memorial Hospital is one of five hospitals across the country selected to receive a national technical assistance grant to help the hospital and county leaders identify areas for improvement, strategize potential solutions, and develop a specific action plan for sustainability. 

The grant is made available through the Texas A&M University Center for Optimizing Rural Health (CORH), and is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  The COHR grant will provide guidance and assistance in reaching the hospital’s goals, including on-site visits, active support for a 12-month period and availability for continued assistance on an as-needed basis going forward.

The technical assistance include Community Forum/Q&A Sessions, the first of which was held on Tuesday,  January 21 at the Franklin County Courthouse Annex located at 34 Forbes Street, Apalachicola.

The January 21 forum covered topics including the state of rural health, value of having a local critical access hospital, the role of the community in supporting a local hospital and a Q&A session. 

“We expect this assistance will help enhance Weems’ provision of high quality, local care and assure that the people we serve have access as needed to the high-tech care of the 21st century,” said David Walker, Weems interim CEO. 

According to COHR, changes in the healthcare delivery system have left smaller, more isolated hospitals in precarious situations as health care has become more dependent on technology and specialization in medicine; however, even as much care has moved to centralized centers, quality care is highly dependent upon local access to excellent primary care, timely transfer when a higher level of care is needed, and reliable communication across levels of care. 

Weems was selected for the grant as part of COHR’s  annual selection process to assist small, rural hospitals to identify and address issues that may be contributing to their future viability or financial vulnerability.