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Posted: November 02, 2009

Top Company: healthcare

Centura Health

Lisa Ryckman

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As far as Centura Health is concerned, the fewer people in its hospital beds - the better.

As the state's largest health-care provider, Centura's goal is not only to heal the sick but to make sure people stay healthy in the first place, CEO Gary Campbell says. And Centura is putting its money where its mission is: Over the past three years, it has invested more than $700 million in the health of urban and rural communities from the mountains to the Front Range.

"We've demonstrated we're more than a hospital system," Campbell says. "We're truly a health system promoting health in the community."
Centura is also a nonprofit faith-based organization sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Adventist Health, a fact that guides and informs its decisions.

More than 500,000 Coloradans receive care from 13,000 employees at its 12 hospitals, seven senior living communities, and home health and hospice services. In fiscal 2009, $57 million went toward uncompensated care to the poor, elderly and uninsured.

"We have a mission that goes beyond purely financial interests," Campbell says. "That's what our mission calls us to do, but we have to do it in a fiscally responsible way. There is a balance."

Centura contributed nearly $16 million to 300 community service activities throughout the state this year, including parish nurse programs, flu shot clinics, blood drives and family education classes. In the Denver metro area, Centura's 10,000-member Health Passport program offers wellness classes and programs to help people manage chronic diseases or prevent falls by the elderly.

Its statewide Ask-A-Nurse call center gives communities a direct link to health-care resources, and Centura is dedicated to expanding that kind of outreach, Campbell says.

This year, Centura has partnered with UnitedHealthcare, the Colorado Rural Health Center and the Colorado Community Health Network to set up telehealth clinics, featuring sophisticated audio, video and health-care technologies to connect doctors with underserved areas. The Connected Care sites, which will be installed in several Centura Health facilities as well as federally qualified community health centers in 2010, will make it possible for rural residents to have access to specialists they might otherwise never see.

"We believe all Coloradans should have the same access to high quality specialized health-care service, regardless of where they live," Campbell says.

A recently completed strategic plan, Centura Health 2020, focuses on strengthening Centura's services as it continues to reach out across the state.

"We want to create systems of care that provide Colorado with a network of services," Campbell says. "Centura feels a commitment to move from a sickness care system to a health-care system."

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Lisa Ryckman is the Associate Editor/Online at ColoradoBiz. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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