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2011 Fall Marillac Clinic Director's Corner

Staff Update - Retirement Announcement

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Steve Hurd, PhD - Marillac Clinic External Executive Director

Marillac adjusts to changes in healthcare as well as changes in personnel and staff...

Thank you for your gracious welcome when I returned to Grand Junction after my heart attack. Thank you for the support, encouragement and prayers you continue to provide me during my recovery time. My spirits are lifted and I'm confident of resuming an active and full life.

During my extended absence this year, Kristy Schmidt capably assumed the role of Interim Executive Director. Kristy and I have worked together at Marillac since 2003 and we both enthusiastically embrace Marillac's mission.

Short Term View

Our sponsor, SCLHS and Marillac's Board of Directors asked Kristy and me to divide the duties of the Executive Director according to our respective strengths while accommodating my twenty hour per week work restriction. The Board asked me to assume the external duties of the Executive Director role. This involves Marillac's advocacy to improve delivery of health care at the local, state and national levels. I will communicate frequently with foundations, legislators and public officials to implement reimbursement systems that align incentives among patients, providers, and payers. Another role is to provide a voice for the special needs of the uninsured, those with low incomes and complex needs. Health reform must work for everyone. 

The Board asked Kristy to assume the internal duties of the Executive Director. Her primary duty is to manage the daily operations of the clinic. Her work will help ensure that every Marillac patient experiences high quality care in a respectful manner. She will also carefully manage our precious resources – our talent and our treasure.

Long Term View

When I returned to work this past summer, I informed the Board of my desire to retire in July, 2012. Announcing my retirement is bittersweet. My passion to advocate for models of care that works for the poor and vulnerable remains strong. The end of "The Great Recession" is unknown. A large part of me wants to help address the immense challenge of serving an increasing number of Mesa County residents at a time when state funding has significantly declined and grants from foundations become even more competitive. However, life has taught me a most important lesson – don’t lose sight of my own health.

In reviewing the job description of the Executive Director, the Board realized that this position has not evolved to coincide with the considerable growth of the clinic since its inception. Important organizational changes will be made in the immediate future.

Active recruitment for my replace- ment will begin early next year. During this period of transition, Kristy and I remain jointly committed to support our most precious resources - our staff and our volunteers - while faithfully serving as good stewards of your trust.

Our Outlook is Optimistic

In 2012, Marillac will adopt an electronic health record that will enable us to measure the quality and value of our services more rigorously. An electronic health record will improve the coordination of care within our clinic and within our community.

Marillac will begin delivering care to a small number of our existing patients that have Medicaid in the coming year to develop new coding and billing processes to comply with state and federal regulations.

We must prepare for 2014, when the Affordable Care Act makes over 50% of our current patients eligible for Medicaid. Marillac will continue its commitment to serve the low income, uninsured members of our community who don't qualify for Medicaid. We are currently seeking a grant to help us build our team-based model of care and to demonstrate the value of organizing health care for members of our community with complex health and psychosocial needs in an innovative way that increases healthy behaviors of our patients.

In Summary

Marillac Clinic is our community's creative response to a basic human need. Together, we have organized a compassionate response to deliver health care to vulnerable members who live among us. Our community can rightfully feel proud that this unique clinic is an integral part of a health care delivery system that is widely respected throughout the country.

Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!