The event offered a chance to look back at the accomplishments of Athol and Heywood Hospitals, as well as the newly formed Heywood Healthcare system, as the first year of the collaboration came to a close.
At the event, Heywood Healthcare honored James W. Meehan with the Heywood Healthcare Community Health Hero Award, which recognizes an individual who significantly impacts the health and well-being of the North Central and North Quabbin Communities. The GVNA HealthCare, Inc. received the Heywood Healthcare Collaborator’
Jim Meehan served as Chairman of the Board for Athol Hospital through financial challenges, merger negotiations and the serious illness and premature retirement of Athol’s President and CEO Steve Penka. With a lifetime of management and community experience, Mr. Meehan agreed to the unorthodox request by the board of trustees to step in as interim president and CEO.
Using his solid business experience, Meehan worked with the State to help financially stabilize the hospital and began to consider alternative partnership options. He was aware of the many positive changes that had taken place at Heywood Hospital.
Together, Jim Meehan and Win Brown, president and CEO of Heywood Healthcare, saw significant potential in the partnership, which would form a locally-owned regional healthcare system. In an unprecedented move,. Meehan helped negotiate a friendly and mutually acceptable exit from the hospital’s Vanguard agreement, enabling Athol and Heywood to create a strategic alliance between the two hospitals.
Meehan found opportunity in a situation that may have deterred others, and through his unique foresight and board leadership, made an immeasurable contribution to the health and economy of Athol and the North Quabbin communities - proving himself a true Community Health Hero.
The GVNA HealthCare, Inc. (GVNA) has partnered with Heywood Healthcare for many years, as well as collaborating with agencies from throughout the North Central and North Quabbin regions of Massachusetts to provide a continuum of quality, compassionate care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
Honoring its mission to build healthy communities by delivering high quality health and social services, the GVNA has long been a leading healthcare force, serving as a partner on the Heywood Hospital medical ethics committee, patient advisory board, STARR Committee and the Gardner Area Interagency Team – GAIT.
Its staff is dedicated to working collaboratively to improve care transitions and is embracing new technology in partnership with Heywood Healthcare and the greater healthcare community, including MassHIway, to improve secure interagency sharing of patient information, enhancing the care experience.
In 2013, GVNA HealthCare was recognized among the top 25% of agencies of their kind in the country for patient satisfaction and patient referral.
This dedicated organization is integral to providing high quality healthcare that improves the lives of patients in our region, earning the GVNA the first Heywood Healthcare Collaborator’
About Heywood Healthcare
Heywood Healthcare is an independent, community-owned healthcare system located in the North Central region of Massachusetts. It is comprised of Heywood Hospital, a non-profit, 134-bed acute-care hospital in Gardner, MA; Athol Hospital, a 25 bed not-for-profit, Critical Access Hospital in Athol, MA; Heywood Medical Group with primary care physicians and specialists located throughout the region; and four satellite facilities -Winchendon Health Center and Murdock School-based Health Center in Winchendon, West River Health Center in Orange and Heywood Rehabilitation Center in Gardner.
About Athol Hospital
A member of the Heywood Healthcare system, Athol Hospital is a 25-bed non-profit, acute care and outpatient facility serving the communities of the North Quabbin region of Massachusetts. It is designated as a Critical Access Hospital and Primary Stroke Center, licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and accredited by the Joint Commission.
About Heywood Hospital
Part of the Heywood Healthcare system, Heywood Hospital is a 134-bed acute care hospital in Gardner, MA, which provides a broad range of high quality medical, surgical, obstetrical, pediatric and behavioral health services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The hospital’s Centers of Excellence include the Watkins Center for Emergency and Acute Care; the LaChance Maternity Center; the Diabetes Center; and the Heywood Heart Center, an affiliate of the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence at UMass Memorial Health Care.