Recruiting is Key to Building Healthcare Team
Any avid Husker football fan knows how important recruiting is to building a winning team. Coaches determine the types of players they need to be successful. They identify those players and work to convince them to play for Nebraska. If they get players that can fill a need, the team improves. It’s the same approach taken by Columbus Community Hospital to recruit doctors.
Dr. Mike McGuire is an orthopedic surgeon who’s practiced in Boston, St. Louis, Omaha and, now, Columbus. Dr. McGuire practiced and taught at the Creighton University Medical Center for the last 20 years. But he was ready for something different.
A colleague with a practice in Columbus asked Dr. McGuire to help him out. Soon Amy Blaser, the vice president for physician relations at Columbus Community Hospital, approached him about practicing full-time in Columbus. And, as Dr. McGuire says, “It’s literally impossible to say no to Amy Blaser!” According to McGuire, excellent facilities and a strong group of physicians committed to the community have helped make his move to Columbus a success.
It might seem like a fortunate coincidence that Dr. McGuire found Columbus and vice versa. But it’s no accident. The process that led to his practice in Columbus started about two years ago with a strategic plan to build a stronger team of physicians at Columbus Community Hospital.
“Through the strategic planning process we identified areas where we needed to add doctors to serve the patients in our region,” said Mike Hansen, CEO of Columbus Community Hospital. “Once we identified those needs, we set out to find physicians who could provide that care and bring them to Columbus.” Hansen appointed Blaser to lead the recruiting effort, and he says the results are “phenomenal.”
Over the last 2 years CCH has recruited 33 doctors, a physician’s assistant, and two nurse practitioners to Columbus. Several are specialists in areas such as cardiology, orthopedics and maternal fetal medicine. Blaser works behind the scenes to target potential candidates and show them the benefits of practicing in Columbus. “It’s important to identify career opportunities for a physician’s spouse,” said Blaser. “And a strong and stable local economy is an advantage. Community partners also help us show the great quality of life we have here.”
Physician recruitment consultant Kriss Barlow doesn’t work for CCH, but she’s familiar with Nebraska hospitals. “What Columbus has achieved is very impressive,” Barlow said. “It shows what a community can do when they focus on needs and collaborate to meet those needs.”
According to Barlow, physician recruiting will continue to be important at all levels of healthcare. A report by the Association of American Colleges predicts that the United States will face a shortage of 91,500 doctors by 2020.
“We must continue to build our team of physicians to provide specialty care for the people in our region,” said Hansen. “That’s why we’ve made recruiting a priority. We’re looking ahead so we’ll be prepared to meet the needs of our patients.”
And that’s ultimately why Dr. McGuire is glad he’s practicing in Columbus. “My patients deserve to have orthopedic care close to home near family and friends. I’m glad I can provide that care at Columbus Community Hospital.”