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Embarking on the second segment of our ‘Virtual’ Town Hall Meetings, we reunite with Landmark Medical Center’s CEO, Mike Souza.

This session takes a reflective stance, delving into the pivotal moments and accomplishments of 2023 while casting an anticipatory gaze upon the promising horizons of 2024. Read more to unravel the insights, achievements, and future initiatives that define Landmark’s journey under the visionary leadership of Mike Souza.

 

As we reflect on the achievements of Landmark Medical Center in 2023, can you highlight some notable wins or successes that have significantly contributed to our hospital’s progress and positive impact on patient care?

MS: “I believe first, just like every other hospital in the state and maybe country, we’ve struggled with staffing. Despite the universal staffing challenges, however, our team’s collective effort ensured exceptional patient care, earning Landmark another Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade A for the 8th consecutive period. Facility improvements in 2023, such as the remodeled Landmark Café and upgrades in nuclear medicine, showcase our commitment to enhancing patient experiences.

Behind the scenes, collaboration with State Legislators secured crucial funding, notably supporting our Residency Program through Senator Picard’s efforts. The Residency Program achieved a significant milestone with a full 10-year accreditation from ACGME, marking a substantial success for Landmark as a teaching hospital.
Additionally, an achievement in 2023 was the new frontier explored with an expanded marketing initiative, reaching beyond our local sphere into other parts of the state and southern Massachusetts. This strategic approach, including partnerships with Channel 10 and Channel 12, has proven fruitful, contributing to our success in campaigns like ‘Highschool Hoops’ and promoting innovative services like Aquablation in urology. The expansion in marketing has been a substantial win for Landmark, broadening our reach and impact.”

 

Looking back at the year, what specific challenges did Landmark Medical Center face in 2023, and how did our collective efforts overcome these hurdles? Reflecting on these experiences, what valuable lessons can we carry forward into the new year?

MS: “Our primary challenge, as with many hospitals nationwide, has been staffing shortages. Despite various recruitment efforts, our success lies in the dedication of our existing staff. Their commitment to exceptional patient care is evident in the numerous positive Google Reviews spanning various departments. Moving forward, the valuable lesson learned is the importance of maintaining our unique family atmosphere. Landmark’s relaxed and friendly culture, showcased through events like the recent Holiday Week, Employee Cookout, and Trunk-or-Treat, contributes to staff satisfaction, positively impacting patient experiences. As we enter the new year, nurturing this culture remains a key priority.”

 

Looking ahead to the new year, are there specific areas or aspects at Landmark Medical Center that you believe could benefit from improvement or further attention in 2024?

MS: “There are three key areas for improvement. First, addressing staffing challenges remains a top priority. With around 25 agency staff members and double the vacancies across the hospital, our focus on recruitment will persist into 2024. Early next year, we plan to engage with Rhode Island and Massachusetts schools to attract talent and will continue our biweekly “Walk in Wednesday” events, online job postings, and foreign recruitment efforts to ensure full staffing.

The second area is physician recruitment, crucial for building diverse specialties. We’ve successfully enhanced our Residency Program and recently welcomed Dr. Colette Whitby, MD, a certified general and breast surgeon, joining us in January. Dr. Whitby, a Woonsocket native, brings valuable community connection and expertise.
Lastly, while we’ve effectively served Northern Rhode Island, an opportunity lies in expanding our reach to Massachusetts areas like Bellingham, Blackstone, Franklin, and Wrentham. As staffing levels improve and our physician base diversifies, we anticipate a significant opportunity for expansion in the southern Massachusetts region.”

 

Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives in 2024 that you are particularly excited about? Whether it’s a new facility, collaboration, or technological advancement, we’d love to hear about the developments that will shape Landmark’s trajectory in the coming year.

MS: “In the near future, Landmark is set to unveil a state-of-the-art C-Section operating room within the maternity unit, improving efficiency and patient care. Additionally, the completion of the new Cancer Center, relocating to Landmark Plaza, promises a comprehensive, convenient “one-stop shop” for cancer-related services, office visits, and prescriptions, enhancing accessibility for both staff and patients.

Looking ahead to 2024, three key projects are in the works. First, elevator replacements outside Registration aim to resolve inconsistent functionality by fall. The completion of Interventional Radiology will mark the final phase of the comprehensive radiology upgrade, introducing a new suite by the end of 2024. Lastly, the plan includes the introduction of CATH Lab Room 2, reinforcing Landmark’s cardiac and STEMI programs with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. These developments signify Landmark’s commitment to advancing facilities and services in the upcoming year.”

 

With 2023 now behind us, what message or words of appreciation and encouragement would you like to share with the dedicated staff members here at Landmark for the new year?

MS: “With the conclusion 2023, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to every dedicated member of the Landmark team. Your daily commitment, warm greetings in the halls, exceptional patient care, and the assurance you provide to our patients reflect the right decision in choosing Landmark. Despite the challenges, your teamwork and the positive culture have enabled significant achievements, including our Grade A score from the Leapfrog Group and the accreditation of our Residency Program in the past year. Your collective efforts define Landmark’s strength, akin to a cohesive family working together.”

 

We encourage and welcome your active participation by sharing any questions you may have regarding Landmark. If you have any ideas for future segments, please reach out to me, your Business Development and Marketing Coordinator, Chan Chhem, via phone at extension 2042 or through email at cchhem@primehealthcare.com. Your queries might be featured and addressed by our distinguished directors, executives, or esteemed physicians in our forthcoming town hall meetings.