We believe it would be difficult to overstate the significance that Southeastern Health’s teaching partnership with Campbell University will have to the local community, but we will give it a shot.
Eight days ago, the ribbon was cut on 10,000-square-foot renovation at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, a $1.6 million state-of-the-art medical education department that will become home for doctors in training. It includes lockers, classrooms, offices, an E-library that connects to Campbell’s online medical library, an on-call room and and even a lounge where video games can be enjoyed.
Currently there are 25 residents from various universities in three programs — family medicine, internal medicine and emergency medicine — and 40 students from Cambell’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine who are getting hands-on training at the hospital. Local officials say that during the next 20 years, as many as 1,000 physicians will have been trained at Southeastern Regional.
So what is the benefit to people who live in Robeson County and the wider area served by Southeastern Health?
Perhaps most importantly, there are 65 more trained health-care professionals at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. According to a study in the March 2015 Journal of Graduate Medical Education, teaching hospitals see higher patient satisfaction — in other words, better patient outcomes — and shorter hospital stays, which means lower costs to patients and hospitals.
“The greatest opportunity is going to be to the people in this region who are in need of compassionate, competent care from committed physicians,” said J. Bradley Creed, president of Campbell University.
Southeastern Health is optimistic that many of these residents or students will eventually set up practice in or near Robeson County. There is plenty of information suggesting that will happen.
Additionally, Southeastern Health will benefit from the prestige that is attached to Southeastern Regional becoming a teaching hospital, which should enhance its ability recruit top-shelf physicians to the area, which will further enhance medical services.
Then there is the economic benefit.
Immediately there are 65 young people living in or near Robeson County who need a place to live, will eat at local restaurants and will shop at local stores, giving the businesses they patronize what amounts to a booster shot. Certainly that is welcome in a community as poor as ours and with so many people who are either unemployed or unemployed.
But the real plus, as already noted, is that medical care in Robeson County and nearby will be enhanced, benefiting aging and vulnerable populations while improving the quality life for literally thousands of people.
Joann Anderson, the president and CEO of Southeastern Health, its board, Campbell University officials and others who had this vision and then made it happen deserve a round standing O and a round of applause. And that is not overstating it a single bit.