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CMO receives Dr. John Anderson Memorial Award for Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner

Dr. Joseph Mattern, MD, FAAFP & HMDC, chief medical officer and primary care physician at Jefferson Healthcare was recently awarded the Dr. John Anderson Memorial Award for Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner from the Washington Rural Health Association.

 In addition to serving as the chief medical officer and active primary care provider for Jefferson Healthcare, Dr. Mattern serves as the utilization review medical director, chair of the Executive Quality Committee and he has led the hospitals work as part of an Accountable Care Organization.  He serves on several committees, including: Antimicrobial Stewardship, Infection Control, Provider Leadership, and Medical Staff Credentials committees.

“In a world that often focuses on the business of delivering care, Dr. Mattern is the voice of our providers – and represents the heart of medicine”, said Brandie Manuel, chief patient safety and quality officer at Jefferson Healthcare. Manuel nominated Dr. Mattern because Dr. Mattern “did not enter the role for the title or the income, but because of his genuine compassion and advocacy for our physicians and providers.  He has the unique ability to understand the importance of improving the experience for our providers delivering care,” she wrote in her nomination package to the Washington Rural Health Association.

As a leader in the Washington Rural Health Collaborative, Dr. Mattern has been a driving force for several critical access hospitals to participate in an Accountable Care Organization.  Through this work, rural hospitals have learned how to begin to address value-based care, population health and the importance of addressing social determinants of health.

Dr. Mattern is also the Medical Director for Home Health and Hospice and as part of his work in Home Health and Hospice he identified the need for a palliative care service line.  Jefferson county has the oldest demographic in the state of Washington, with high rates of chronic disease.  As a rural community, funding was a barrier for implementing a palliative care service.

In order to fill the identified care gap he began a Palliative Care pilot project and secured funding through the Jefferson Healthcare Hospice Foundation to hire a consultant from Stratis Health and bring his vision to life.  The pilot program was an overwhelming success.  Patients, who previously, were in and out of the provider’s offices, emergency department, or the hospital, were now being managed at home with a goal of patient-centered quality of life.  He took the work a step forward and pioneered a Palliative Care Telemedicine project with the Department of Health and began advocacy work to find ways to bring this much needed service to small rural communities.  Through his work he has touched thousands of lives, locally, regionally and throughout our state.

This award honors the late Dr. John Anderson, a dedicated physician and a leader in the development of a system to ensure physicians and other health care professionals can work in the rural communities of Washington State.  The award recognizes a direct service provider for leadership in bringing health services to rural populations.  Each year, the Washington Rural Health Association invites members to consider nominating an individual or organization that has made a significant positive impact on rural health in Washington State.

Recently, Jefferson Healthcare received a Five-Star rating from Medicare in the Hospital Compare listing, the 2018 Healthgrades Patient Safety award as well as a Five-Star rating from Healthgrades for Outstanding Hip Fracture outcomes.  These awards & recognitions demonstrate the hospitals ongoing commitment to create a healthier community.

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