Owensboro Health President/CEO Mark Marsh said this week that the organization has big plans for 2023. In addition to opening of the Commonwealth West Healthcare Workforce Innovation Center, OH is adding geriatric doctors and is potentially expanding into the western side of Owensboro.
In giving an annual update to the Owensboro City Commission and Daviess County Fiscal Court, Marsh noted that OH had more than 650,000 clinical visits across all their locations, including nearly 94,000 visits to the emergency room.
Looking ahead, Marsh said one way OH is expanding is with the addition of two geriatric doctors.
Dr. Francis DuFrayne, OH Executive VP/CMO, said they recently hired one who just finished his fellowship and another that is set to start in 6 weeks. They hope to eventually have four geriatricians in order to begin a geriatric service line.
“We’re starting something called a geriatric service line so we can reach out to the communities and also serve those populations. That is already in the works,” DuFrayne said.
City Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright asked Marsh if there were any plans to open a satellite emergency room or clinic on the west side of the city.
Marsh said there have been discussions in the past month including specific potential locations, but could not disclose more because it’s early in the process.
“That’s been something near and dear to our heart. … There’s something in the works, I hope. We can’t say we promise, but I feel really strongly that in the next 6 months, you’re gonna see some activity happening around that in some of these underserved areas,” Marsh said.
Marsh also noted that they are working toward offering more mobile clinics to help serve those who are not able to travel the distance to a nearby center.
A large part of the mobile visits will also be tied into the Commonwealth West Healthcare Workforce Innovation Center, which is currently expected to open this fall under the leadership of former Kentucky Wesleyan College President Bart Darrell. Marsh said they still have some renovations to complete at the Business Center at 2511 Frederica Street.
Officials hope to grow the healthcare field by 1,000 workers each year through the program. They are partnering with 10 of the region’s colleges and universities and more than 40 high schools to put the program together.
“There is enthusiasm when Bart [Darrell] comes back every day after he gets to talk with these guidance counselors and high school superintendents,” Marsh said. “They are ready. They ask ‘when can we get it started?’ So there’s a lot there and it’s happening.”