Technical assistance

Clark Fork Valley Hospital employee chosen as national mentor


An employee of Clark Fork Valley Hospital has been selected to serve as a national healthcare mentor.

Kitty Strowbridge, performance improvement manager for Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains, was selected from a dozen national mentors for virtual quality improvement.

Stratis Health recently announced 12 critical access hospital staff who will serve for two years as national mentors in an initiative that widely transfers the knowledge of quality improvement leaders to others. Across the country.

“We are proud of the work Kitty does to ensure quality care here at CFVH,” said Gregory Hanson, President and CEO of CFVH. “Because of his leadership in quality improvement and his collaborative relationship with our engaged suppliers, we are continually focused on how we can better serve our family, friends and neighbors. “

The initiative is organized by Technical Assistance for Rural Quality Improvement, a Stratis Health program supported by the Federal Office for Rural Health Policy.

The 12 Outstanding Mentors were chosen from a pool of applicants across the country who have been named by their respective State Flex Programs as Quality Improvement Leaders.

Each of them reports and successfully uses data to support quality improvement activities in their small rural hospitals. They represent the diversity of critical access hospitals across the country, with rural areas, service lines and varying patient volumes, which average 4.16 to 15 patients per day and 2,322 to 13,681 visits. to emergencies per year.

“I have been involved in quality and performance improvement in the critical access hospital environment since 2005. My frontline experience at the board level of the MT Performance Improvement Network, including j “Being a member for several years has allowed me to be actively involved in telling the story of Critical Access Hospitals (CAH),” said Strowbridge. “Ensuring that HPCs have a say in the development of regulations is important so that they can align with the services and capacities of our rural health systems. Shared Strowbridge. “Being involved in the Virtual Quality Improvement Mentor program with Stratis Health will allow me to share what I have learned with new quality and performance improvement professionals. Plus, it’s an opportunity to represent our organization as an industry leader in quality reporting and to continue our efforts to network with other industry leaders to establish best practices that award quality care to our patients here locally, ”said she added.

“Critical Access Hospital” is a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services designation assigned to eligible rural hospitals, with 25 beds or less, to reduce financial vulnerability and improve access to health care by maintaining essential services in local areas. rural communities.

“Our first cohort of virtual quality improvement mentors shared many notable examples of how they have been successful in advancing quality in their critical access hospitals,” said Janelle Shearer, Stratis Program Manager Health. “We are excited to build on this success with this new group of IQ leaders. “

The new virtual mentors for quality improvement are:

  • Katrina “Kitty” Strowbridge, Clark Fork Valley Hospital, Plains
  • Gloria Barth, Harrison County Hospital, Corydon, Indiana
  • Caryn Bommersbach, Carris Health – Redwood, Redwood Falls, Minnesota
  • Katherine Bryant, Covington County Hospital, Collins, Mississippi
  • Cara Cruz, Carson Valley Medical Center, Gardnerville, Nevada
  • Marilyn Denno, Community Memorial Hospital, Cloquet, Minnesota
  • Stacey Karvoski, Wallowa Memorial Hospital, Enterprise, Oregon
  • Jenifer Monzo, McKenzie Health System, Sandusky, Michigan
  • Elly Shaw, Knoxville Hospital and Clinics, Knoxville, Iowa
  • Tammy Suchy, TriCounty Health Care, Wadena, Minnesota
  • Tammy Sudtelgte, Floyd Valley Healthcare, LeMars, Iowa
  • Linda Webb, Pulaski Memorial Hospital, Winamac, Indiana

Virtual Quality Improvement Mentors will build on the examples and guidance of their predecessors to address common quality improvement challenges that arise in critical access hospitals. These strategies, tips and ideas will be widely disseminated to others in critical access hospital grade roles.