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CEO Scott Kelly: From the depths of the pandemic, we will emerge stronger

COVID-19 has strained our workforce and our finances, but it also brought opportunity.

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If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we are stronger together, working as a team to overcome the challenges before us.

With the worst of COVID hopefully behind us, I believe we can move forward, embrace what the future holds for Asante and our employees, and meet the challenges head on — together.

Like most health systems across the country, the pandemic has strained our resources and created many challenges. It also has created new opportunities for our organization to evolve and become more united.

Together, we made it through two very difficult surges: delta and omicron. Not only did these surges take their toll on our community, our patients and our employees, they placed a huge burden on our health system’s finances.

For the past three months, Asante has lost money. Mostly, this is the result of us fighting COVID and all of its challenges for the past two years, now finally catching up to us. So far, we’ve managed the losses, but this is not a path we can continue. With direction and support from our executive and leadership teams, we are taking steps to help lower our costs and improve our income.

I Am #AsanteStrong LogoHere are just a few of the actions we’re putting into motion:

  • We’re targeting four outpatient services to boost the number of patients to what we had before the pandemic, including imaging, surgery, cath lab and endoscopy. The number of inpatient surgeries also will be bumped up.
  • We’re taking steps to collect all outstanding payments due to Asante, as well as reducing what it costs to collect payments due to our health system. Clients and vendors will have fewer days to submit their payments that are due to us.
  • We’re discharging inpatients to long-term care facilities in less time through state and other contracts.
  • We’re shortening the time it takes to discharge an inpatient to help reduce their length-of-stay using a new process that involves the whole care team.
  • We’re reducing labor expenses by taking steps to lower our need for contract labor (travelers).
  • We’re identifying future capital (construction) projects that can be delayed.

Our Human Resources Department continues to recruit and hire at a record pace to fill positions systemwide. Their efforts are helping to support many of the actions we’re taking.

In spite of our financial situation, there is still much we can celebrate. I’d like to recognize a recent accomplishment our employees can take great pride in. During the height of the pandemic, we opened not one, but two, new cancer centers!

Multiple teams across our organization spent several years working hand-in-hand to bring top-level cancer services to our communities, services that had not been available locally. Congratulations on your achievement!

Please know that our executive and leadership teams, Board of Directors and I are fully committed to managing our resources efficiently and ensuring the safety of our employees and patients.
Together, as we stand united in our Mission and Vision, I am confident we will weather this challenge and Asante will thrive to serve our community. Together, we are #AsanteStrong.

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