As the President and Chief Administrative Officer at Cumberland Medical Center, I would like to take the opportunity to express my utmost appreciation to our employees as we celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6-12) and National Hospital Week (May 8-14). The past few years have been unforgettable, to say the least, yet I am proud of everyone’s resilient spirit. Although the pandemic has changed us in many ways, it has also helped us bring a variety of advancements to our local community.
National Nurses Week is held every year in May to honor nurses who have dedicated themselves to patient care. It also coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is credited as the founder of modern nursing. The American Hospital Association observes National Hospital Week every year in support of hospitals and health care workers and the innovative ways they care for their communities. We hold a variety of activities for our staff during these recognition weeks, and I enjoy the fellowship that is part of these events.
Our hospital was originally founded in 1950 as of a result of Dr. May Cravath Wharton’s dream to establish a hospital for the residents of the Cumberland Plateau. Her forward-thinking continues to bless us to this day, because we have a strong foundation of healthcare not usually found in a rural setting. We were also extremely fortunate in 2014 to become a member of Covenant Health, the region’s largest integrated healthcare delivery system.
These significant experiences have helped CMC expand its ability to serve our community as a non-profit, rural hospital. We are unique. In fact, the Tennessee Hospital Association’s Rural Hospital Viability report notes that 13 of the 16 hospitals that have closed in our state since 2010 were in rural communities.
Just as shopping with local businesses helps our local economy thrive, your decision to choose Cumberland Medical Center for your local healthcare also provides an enhanced opportunity to support and protect our healthcare community. We are able to “give back” through our services and to make investments in technologies that would likely not be possible otherwise. In addition, it is the philosophy of Covenant Health and its member hospitals that no one should be denied necessary medical care because of an inability to pay. In 2021, CMC provided more than $10.5 million in charity care for residents of the Cumberland Plateau.
Last year, we were also able to expand our telehealth capabilities, making advanced care even more available to patients through technology and remote services. In addition to tele-nephrology for inpatient dialysis, we worked with our health system to enhance telemedicine in both physician offices and in our hospital. I’m proud to say that we have also welcomed tele-ICU services to expand our existing critical care services, and added tele-psychiatry to support behavioral health.
I could not be more proud of the exceptional work our employees do each and every day. We have endured many changes during the pandemic; however, I feel strongly that those who choose to put personal needs aside and dedicate their efforts to serving our community’s healthcare needs are to be commended.
Not only is this where I choose to work, this is the hospital I entrust with my family’s care. I encourage you to be informed about your healthcare choices. There is a variety of hospital quality and patient safety information, such as HospitalSafetyGrade.org, available online.
I can assure you that our team of healthcare professionals are some of the most talented I have ever encountered in my 32 years in healthcare.
As you are able, please join me in expressing appreciation to our community’s healthcare workers. It is an honor and privilege to work alongside them in service to you…our community.
David V. Bunch
CMC President and Chief Administrative Officer
Letter published in the Friday, May 6, 2022 edition of the Crossville Chronicle Newspaper.