Interview with HSHS CEO Discussing HSHS and Prevea Closures

In an interview with Catholic Health World’s Julie Minda, Damond Boatwright, President and CEO of HSHS, discussed the closure of HSHS and Prevea locations in western Wisconsin and its implications for rural health care. Boatwright highlighted that more than 60% of vulnerable populations, including Medicaid and Medicare patients, utilized HSHS hospitals. He spoke about efforts the organization made to improve the situation before deciding on closure, such as launching its own insurance company.

Boatwright acknowledged that the market was oversupplied, which contributed to the challenges faced by HSHS. During the interview, he also mentioned HSHS’s attempts to partner with Catholic systems and non-Catholic partners, but none were interested or able to make an agreement. When discussing the community’s reaction to the closures, Boatwright noted that it mirrored the stages of grief, with people moving through denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance.

Despite the challenges, Boatwright emphasized HSHS’s commitment to its values and to doing the right thing for the community. He expressed a sense of responsibility and dedication to ensuring a positive outcome for all involved. Boatwright highlighted other organizations in similar situations may have simply left the market without considering the impact on the community.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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