Chamber Viewpoint: What a community hospital means to a community

This Chamber Viewpoint is focused on education and its impact on our economic future. The Chamber Board developed an Education Committee to explore and explain the connection between Strong schools, prosperous businesses, and flourishing communities. Once a month the Marietta Chamber’s Viewpoint column will highlight a specific area, with the articles written by a variety of people, who are in business or in the education system. This article focuses on opportunities in the health care and the information provided by Memorial Health System.

When you hear the word “hospital,” what is the first word that comes to mind? More times than not, the word doctor or nurse comes to the forefront. You may picture a doctor speaking with a patient about a test result or a nurse checking a patient’s blood pressure. Yet, the word hospital encompasses much more, to those who work there and the community that surrounds it.

One word that is synonymous with the word hospital is health care. The health care industry is expected to be a stable industry in the coming decade and with the baby boomer population looking to retire, there will be a growth in job opportunities.

Understanding this growth, hospitals are hiring educated and skilled employees who can deliver the highest quality of care and provide the best patient experience available, and the Memorial Health System – including Marietta Memorial and Selby General hospitals – is no different. When it comes to hiring the best employees for the position, Memorial Health System is in search of those individuals who work with the stethoscope and beyond.

The doctors and nurses who work tirelessly to provide the highest quality of care within the Memorial Health System are facets in our local health care, but so are the 1,200 employees who are part of the Memorial Health System umbrella. Many of you are familiar with the clinical side of health care – doctors, nurses, therapists, lab and radiology technicians, but the “behind the scenes” positions are just as central to providing community care. These departments include accounting, billing, human resources, social work, dietary, medical records, utilization management, maintenance, housekeeping, marketing, just to name a few.

With a vast array of local opportunities in health care, the educational advancements needed for these positions are available right here in our community as well, with a variety of degree opportunities available at Washington State Community College, Marietta College, Hocking College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Ohio University.

The Memorial Health System, comprised of a network of two hospitals, outpatient service sites, assisted and long-term care facilities, a foundation and retirement community, is not only one of the largest employers in Washington County, the system and its services are fixtures in the Mid-Ohio Valley community, providing first-class local health care. So the next time you hear the word hospital, you will better understand what it means to a community, starting right here.

Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president and chief executive officer of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears Mondays on Opinion.