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SNVMC President Kathie Johnson on how Potomac Hospital, now Sentara, is ‘45 years new’

 

Johnson

Sentara Susan Bahorich sat down for an interview with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center President Kathie Johnson.

Not only did Kathie celebrate her one year anniversary this summer, but Sentara is also preparing for our 45th hospital anniversary this fall, and she spoke frankly on several different topics and is very engaging and informative.

SB: You’ve been at the helm just over a year now. How has your first year gone?

KJ: It’s been absolutely wonderful. Very exciting- there are terrific people here to help with things and we’ve achieved a lot in one very short year.

SB: You’ve accomplished a lot in one year. What’s next?

KJ: Our vision is to be the healthcare provider of choice in our market, which is Northern Virginia. And what we’ve done is work with our community to identify services they would like us to bring to the community. Our goal is that people should not have to travel for healthcare, they should be able to get what they need right here. And, that’s actually what our #MySentara is all about – this is our hospital, we own it, we love it, we want it to be the best that it is and it’s also our community’s hospital, so we want to be here for the community and whatever they need.  

SB: What does that look like for the hospital and patients?

KJ: We have renovation projects going everywhere to support our ability to deliver the best and highest quality care to our patients. We’re also recruiting new providers to this market and bringing in new programs, so it’s very exciting. We’ve done a whole lot in a pretty short time.

SB: This year we’re celebrating our 45th Anniversary- not only remembering our past but looking to the future.

KJ: When you look to the future what we’re going to see is more services more acute services more preventative services, more outreach to our community. Our mission is to improve healthcare every day so we’re not just here when people get ill, we’re here to keep people well and work with our community to do that. We have a lot of partners in the community to help us there and that’s just a lot of strength that we can build on to be successful.

SB: Already there are a lot of people who have shared their love of Potomac, but there’s a lot of strength in Sentara and what we’ve been able to build and craft here.

KJ: Certainly, there are a lot of people who love Potomac. There are a lot of people who remember Potomac and when it started and have been here for many years and have dedicated a lot of services and a lot of heart and a lot of commitment to the hospital and to our patients, but the future is coming. Healthcare is changing. It’s growing, there are new therapies, there are new ways to stay healthy, there are new cures and we want to be at the forefront of bringing all of that to our community.

SB: As a not for profit hospital, what does that mean for our patients?

KJ: By not for profit, it means that any money that we receive, that doesn’t go for expenses, is invested back into the hospital so that we can continue providing services to our patients. We provide a lot of care that we do not receive payment for which is part of our mission is to reach out and do that for the community. We are very proud that we are able to do that and support other not for profit partners in the community in providing that care. So, not for profit means there are no shareholders or anything like that. It means that any money that we are able to keep, after all of our expenses, were able to give back to our patients and community.

SB: And, that means that no patient is ever turned away. 

KJ: We absolutely serve everyone who walks through our doors. We never turn people away. If people have financial needs we try to work with them to make sure those needs are met. And certainly, that is a concern of many people in our community these days –insurance is uncertain in the future. A lot of people have big copayments or out of pocket payments for healthcare, so it’s part of our mission in that regard. We want everyone to get the care that they need, we do our absolute best to make sure that happens.

SB: What makes this birthday special? You coined the phrase, 45 years new.’

KJ: Its special for the community to have this opportunity to reflect back on the rich history of Potomac Hospital and all it has brought to the community over the years. It’s special for our employees who have been here for a while to remember all their coworkers and people who have come before. It’s really special for me, I’ve been here for 15 months and to be able to work in an institution that has such a rich heritage and well as a bright future is very special for me. So, 45 years new– we’re building on the past and moving toward an even better future

SB: What would you want to share with everyone, that I didn’t give you the opportunity to talk about?

KJ: I would just like to thank the community for their tremendous support of this hospital. Everywhere I go people are asking me what’s new, what’s going on – a lot of interest, a lot of support, a lot of enthusiasm about the new programs and people we’re bringing to the community, so thank you to everybody in Woodbridge and Northern Virginia.

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