Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT) presented Kathy Ann Watson, BSN, RN, a patient educator with Cumberland Medical Center, its 2017 Collaboration Award. She was honored for working jointly with others toward the betterment of rural health.
“We received several nominations for our Collaboration Award this year, and were amazed by Kathy Ann’s commitment to excellence,” says Rebecca Jolley, RHAT executive director. “She consistently develops processes to improve the health of rural Tennesseans.”
The Collaboration Award demonstrates a team spirit that has motivated others to work with a positive synergy to cross disciplines or regions. It emphasizes a positive attitude and spirt of cooperation to ensure progress is being made toward meeting the needs of our rural health communities.
“Kathy Ann joined us in 2008 and is an integral part of our team,” says Rebecca Foster, CMC Chief Nursing Officer. “Not only does she do an amazing job with our patients, but also serves our community as a whole. She helps us collaborate with nursing homes, home health, and other local agencies that are also an integral part of the care our patients receive. We are fortunate to have her!”
In 2016, Watson collaborated with the COPD Foundation to launch a monthly COPD support group at CMC. In an effort to help patients and caregivers with essential education, she utilized “zones” which are color-coded, easy to understand guidelines that help to alert those with congestive heart failure, pneumonia or COPD to seek early intervention. In addition, she developed a follow-up call system to follow up with patients after they go home to help with any additional health-related questions or needs that may arise.
As a result of her commitment to providing excellent healthcare, Cumberland Medical Center achieved two years of no readmission penalties according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services criteria. This reinforces Watson’s effectiveness in her role with patients and other healthcare agencies to ensure patients are receiving proper care and treatment.
“It was an honor to help support Kathy Ann’s nomination for this award,” says Mike Denney, WyndRidge Health & Rehabilitation Center administrator. “I think she’s an excellent person and does a great job for our community. I appreciate her willingness to always go above-and-beyond to help us ‘join forces’ and collaborate together.”
Earlier this year, Cumberland Medical Center received our region’s only Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital award by iVantage Health Analytics, an independent agency. This confirmed CMC’s quality of care is in the top 10 percent of rural and community hospitals nationwide.
The Rural Health Association of Tennessee is a non‐profit membership organization that strives to be the trusted resource to effect a positive change in the health and well‐being of all rural Tennesseans. Its mission is to improve the health of rural Tennesseans through advocacy, communication, education, and legislation for rural concerns such as access to healthcare, substance abuse, behavioral health, disease prevention, and oral health. For more information, visit www.rhat.org or call (615) 907-9707.