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Dr. Brian Atwood and Gina Thomas improve performance by working together as dyad partners at CRMH

Dr. Brian Atwood and Gina Thomas improve performance by working together as dyad partners at CRMH

June 26, 2019

Brian Atwood, M.D.

Carle Richland Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that it has formed its first dyad partnership by naming Brian Atwood, M.D. as Associate Medical Director for CRMH. This new role will ensure the continued development of a culture, whereby physician leadership is integrated within the administrative team of the hospital, aligning the goals of high quality clinical care and business practices.

His dyad partner for this role will be Gina Thomas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer for CRMH.

Dr. Atwood and Thomas will work together on the progressive development of the integrated clinical services within our hospital and development of new clinical services to better serve our patients. 

This formal physician/administrator partnership ensure both physicians and management provide input for strategic and operational processes, so that both clinical and business needs are considered. Hospital leaders are accountable for operational and financial performance as well as quality and the patient experience.

This collaborative structure helps us manage the changes needed to deal with changes in healthcare today and tomorrow – and ultimately provide better patient care.

The dyad structure provides:

  • Integration of hospital and clinic delivery system
    Gina Thomas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
  • Ability to provide patients with seamless coordination of care
  • Increased efficiencies through improved communication
  • More direct physician/nursing relationships
  • Consistency in the size and complexity of the service areas
  • Improved ability to implement quality improvement initiatives

Dr. Atwood will serve as the physician administrator for CRMH and its affiliated clinics; working directly with medical staff members to develop metrics that will assure high quality care, using modern best practices.

Dr. Atwood will work directly with other members of the medical leadership team to meet the goals of the CRMH strategic plan. He has been serving Richland County and the surrounding area as a family medicine physician for the past 15 years. He is knowledgeable in all aspects of both inpatient and outpatient medicine. CRMH is pleased to have Dr. Atwood in his new role as associate medical director for CRMH.

“I’m excited to accept this position and collaborate with other peer physicians on improving the needs of our patients.  I hope to increase the scope of services offered within the hospital and continue the quality services that we already provide,” says Dr. Atwood

Physicians will no longer report to the CEO, but to Dr. Atwood, so a physician to physician reporting structure will be implemented. Hospital physicians will have another physician to talk to when they have a concern as opposed to just administration.

“This will implement change faster. There will be a clear, unified message from both parties. This will in turn build relationships faster, ensure better compliance and improve quality initiatives,” Thomas said.

“Dr. Atwood has years of experience that will allow him to reach out to new physicians, as well as those that have been practicing for many years. Being in private practice for so many years, he understands what it takes from a business, operational and independent standpoint to be successful,” Harry Brockus, system vice president of Regional Health and chief executive officer, Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center and Carle Richland Memorial Hospital, said.

“I really enjoy working with Dr. Atwood. We have the same core values and believe patients come first. We have a mutual respect for one another. We know where we are today and what we need to do to champion change and drive evidence-based practice improvements to facilitate future growth,” Thomas said.

This partnership will have a major impact on CRMH, as healthcare practices and needs continue to change. Programs like this ensure that our employees put the organization in a position to succeed – regardless of the challenge ahead. Additionally, the Carle health system is the only vertically integrated health system in the state of Illinois, and one of the few in the nation. Being vertically integrated means that we have our hospitals, providers and a health plan all under one umbrella. This helps us to partner with other hospitals and physician groups.

Dr. Atwood and Thomas will be meeting with each other on a regular basis, but are always accessible to each other if there are any patient care issues that need discussed.  Being from Olney and raising their families here, they have an investment in our hospital and our community and are working together to ensure the best for all involved.