Columbus Regional Toasting 100 Years

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Columbus Regional Hospital is the flagship of a system that serves 10 Indiana counties. Columbus Regional Hospital is the flagship of a system that serves 10 Indiana counties.
COLUMBUS -

A nearly 2,500-employee health system that sprouted from one of the state's first county hospitals will celebrate a milestone next month The nearly 100-year history of the former Bartholomew County Hospital, now known as Columbus Regional Health, includes the hospital's first delivery: Beatrice Mildred Cummins, a daughter of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) founder Clessie Cummins. The health care provider currently serves some 250,000 patients annually, compared to the first year where its small staff cared for 351 patients.

Chief Executive Officer Jim Bickel says the connection to the community will be key as Columbus Regional Health enters its second century. He tells Inside INdiana Business the health system is "immersed together" with the people in its 10-county footprint as it works to solve issues. "Whether it's drug addiction, mental health issues, other types of medical care, a lot of those become community problems," he said. "Very often, the health system is seen as a convener to help address those type of issues." Bickel says continuing to its embedded role in the region will be critical moving into the future.

Bickel says he sees its long tradition of hospital-based care continuing, but adds Columbus Regional Health will have to adapt to how services are administered across the "care continuum." He adds "especially with new technology coming out, what I see is a real sense of growing consumerism in health care with much of the health care out-of-pocket costs going up, and other elements about how health care is paid for and more and more of that coming out of the consumer pocket, I think we're going to start to see shifts in how patients, consumers access health care beyond what we've seen traditionally." Bickel believes the future holds more coordination of care across all the places where health services and decisions take place, including in the home.

The official anniversary is February 6. Since 1917, the system has seen six chief executive officer transitions, major renovations and expansions and multiple name changes. Columbus Regional Health says plans are in place to honor "100 Years of Caring" throughout 2017. You can connect to more about the 100th anniversary by clicking here.

Chief Executive Officer Jim Bickel says the connection to the community will be key as Columbus Regional Health enters its second century.
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