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Interim CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center shares take-away impression after first few weeks

It hasn’t take long for the interim CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center to pick up on the hospital’s biggest strengths: high-quality doctors and broad community support.


“We are very excited about those two fundamental things,” Richard Grogan told a roomful of local leaders recently. “It is very impressive to see a hospital of this size with this caliber of medical staff. These are physicians that could be anywhere in the country but they have chosen to be here because they love this area and love this community.”

Grogan also said he has been impressed with how revered the hospital is within the larger community.

Grogan took the podium last Monday at a quarterly dinner get together of elected officials in Haywood County, including county commissioners and town aldermen from Waynesville, Canton, Maggie Valley and Clyde.

Grogan came on board in early August, shortly after Haywood Regional was bought by Duke LifePoint.

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Since LifePoint took ownership Aug. 1, the main goal has been an inside-out analysis of the hospital: its strengths and weakness, its culture, its needs, its financials, its work flow, its protocols and quality controls, its medical community and its patient base.

Following an acquisition, LifePoint embarks on a “deep dive,” Grogan said, including an extensive interview process with medical staff, setting up internal work groups and bringing in visiting teams of experts.

“We want a real true sense of what everyone is thinking,” Grogan said. “As part of the acquisition, we have a due diligence process. However, it’s not until you have a chance to really interview everybody and really look at the mountains of material that are generated in a hospital that you can really start doing the deep dive.”


After that? 

“Our investment is to ensure the physicians and staff of the hospital have the resources they need. It is an ongoing process,” Grogan said. “We don’t come in and do some initial training, throw out some cash and then we’re done.”

Grogan entertained questions, but was surprised when no one brought up the recently announced expansion of Mission Health in Haywood County.

“Everybody was being very polite and I appreciate it,” Grogan said.

Although no one was audacious enough to put Grogan on the spot with the Mission question, Grogan volunteered to comment on it anyway, essentially dismissing Mission’s proposed medical complex and doctors office suite down the road from HRMC as a non-threat.

“Really, you know, it has no bearing on us,” Grogan said. “It doesn’t change anything. We are going to build a good solid community hospital and we are going to stay focused on that.”

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