Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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December 2, 2013

Cosby offers thoughts on PVGH

emann@pvdemocrat.com — Of all of the elements tested during the various trials of Pauls Valley General Hospital, the one that has gone through the most changes as a result has been leadership.

Shaken up as much as any position helping govern the medical facility in the past few years has been the position of PVGH CEO, one that has been held for the past 10 months by Bridgette Cosby. Though her recently announced departure is the latest in this chapter of the institution’s transition, the circumstances could be described as much more positive for both involved parties with a mutual feeling on how the temporary partnership was beneficial.

“I appreciate my time here and what I’ve learned… I thoroughly enjoyed my time here even though we did not do as much as we wanted,” said Cosby. “It makes me feel much better stepping out.”

Since Cosby started back in February 2012 through a management agreement with St. Anthony, there have been quite a few rough spots dealing with chief concerns like years of accumulated debt and close calls with outside ownership possibilities that did not work out.

However, she believes the positive experiences far outweighed any disappointments, seeing strengths develop from a swing bed program which helped a lot of people get back to their lives at home quicker after medical treatment to staples that continued to generate revenue like hospice.

Cosby feels even more pride when talking about the experiences she had while working with the staff, who she believes made it possible to keep the hospital open and will continue to be important for any chance at longevity.

She pointed out how the atmosphere is much more positive now than when she first arrived and after meeting the individuals coming in through a new management agreement with New Light Health Care, feels confident they will continue an environment that appreciates their contributions to the overall picture.

“It’s nice to see them relax and see that there’s professionalism in health care,” said Cosby.

“When those things come up it’s going to take additional support.”

To ensure the hospital’s survival will also take sharing just as much good news and Cosby noted the examples are there nearly every day, even considering that not all cases stay there throughout a patient’s treatment.

She also believes a sales tax will be key to generating a much needed extra push, adding how there has not been a rural hospital she’s worked with that did not have some form of one in place.

“There are some told stories, but many more stories of how many lives we’ve saved,” said Cosby, adding how because of the changes in the medical landscape, funding is severely limited and that she’s seen how a sales tax can benefit capital improvements. The best example was Holdenville where that facility both rebuilt from a fire and found renewed stability.

“I have no doubt they will keep working as hard as they have been working.”

In the end, Cosby will never lose her love of working in rural environments with places like PVGH and believes all the right people are in the right place to make it happen.

Cosby’s next stop will be taking the position of administrative director of the St. Anthony Affiliate Network and after starting out with an office in Shawnee, she will eventually be setting up in Oklahoma City.

Her duties will have her traveling a lot through to the 19 hospitals in the network and the last day at the Pauls Valley facility was Nov. 27.

“That’s what I’ve always loved about the rural hospitals, you do get individualized care,” said Cosby.

“It can be critical, rural fills needs when larger hospitals get overwhelmed.”

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