Vidant employees talk about efforts to improve services

Published 1:07 am Saturday, February 11, 2017

Health coaches, a new doctor at Vidant Family Medicine-Chocowinity and other improvements related to providing better health care in Beaufort County are in the works, according to representatives of Vidant Medical Group of Beaufort County.

Among the reasons for the improvements are that Beaufort County is one of Vidant Health’s “biggest markets” and that the county’s residents need the enhanced medical coverage, according to the Vidant employees who spoke at the Down East Seniors meeting last week. “

“We have a lot of specialties. … We are very fortunate. We have things they don’t have in other markets — urology, GI, just to name a few,” said Penny Coltrain, Vidant Beaufort Hospital’s director of human resources. “For use here, we have just a gold mine in Beaufort County for the resources that we have and they way it’s tied together.”

Vidant Medical Group of Beaufort County operates 20 clinics with 58 full-time medical providers and 241 employees, according to Coltrain.

Coltrain said Vidant is recruiting health-care providers who desire to remain in the community on a long-term basis, adding that having those providers in the community for extended stays adds “stability” to the effort to provide reliable health care in the community. That stability is passed on to patients, according to Coltrain, because seeing the same health-care providers regularly gives them a feeling of stability, that those providers know who they are and their medical histories.

Coltrain said the group is following a philosophy of “continuous improvement” and “being better than last week” as it works to provide improved and more-efficient health-care services, programs and projects to the county.

Camille Jones, one of the group’s practice managers, said “health coaches” are being added to the clinics throughout the county. To better provide access to health care at its clinics, Jones noted, hours of operation have been extended. “We also have added health coaches to all our practices. That’s something that’s in cooperation with the quality department with Vidant over in Greenville. We have these health coaches to act almost like physician extenders. They work with our patients with their primary-care needs, be it high blood pressure, getting their diabetes under control … They’re available to help coach or patients back into better health,” Jones said.

Dr. Colin Smith is expected to joint Vidant Family Medicine-Chocowinity in July, which means that practice will be able to accept new patients.

Dr. Jeff Gibson joined Vidant Multispecialty Clinic-Belhaven last week.

In Washington, Vidant’s cardiology presence will increase from once a week to three times a week, according to Jason Berry, another practice manager.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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