2012-08-22 / Front Page

Pioneer growing health community

In addition to noting Pioneer had added 24 employees since coming to Blakely, the announcement of the opening of an inpatient Geropsychiatric Unit was one of the highlights of the “State of Pioneer” presentation earlier this month at the ECHS cafeteria.

The Geropsychiatric Unit, scheduled to open Oct. 1, will provide a medically supervised program designed for people 65 and older who experience acute behavioral and emotional changes.

The new program will compliment the outpatient Behavorial Health treatment program for people suffering from psychiatric symptoms and disorders which opened in August 2011.

Pioneer Health Services officially assumed operation of Early Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home Oct. 1, 2010, following the end of a management agreement with Archbold Hospital.

“Pioneer Health Services of Early County is devoted to enhancing the quality of life for all we serve by delivering exceptional, high quality, hometown healthcare,” stated administrator Adam Willmann.

Willmann noted in order to achieve the high level of hometown healthcare the community expects, everyone at Pioneer has to focus on core values, including excellent customer service, integrity, responsibility of ownership, community commitment and teamwork.

Pioneer healthcare services include: a swing bed unit (skilled nursing care), pharmacy, laboratory, radiology (MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-ray), emergency services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, two primary clinics and a 127-bed nursing home.

Pioneer Community Hospital of Early’s total 2011 expenses were $19,777,930, including salaries of $7,728,433 for 220 employees.


Indigent care during 2011 totalled $3.2 million. See the pie chart for the 2011 payor mix.

The hospital admitted 676 patients in 2011 and logged 3,656 patient days. During the first six months in 2012 there have been 396 patients who spent 1,951 days in the hospital.

There were 6,446 visits to the emergency room in 2011, 3,185 so far in 2012.

Visits to doctors clinic in 2011 totalled 6,972 in 2011, 4,204 in 2012.

Lab services: 2011- 21,441; 2012 - 11,012. Radiology: 2011 - 4,791; 2012 - 2,622; and Respiratory services: 2011-10,270; 2012 - 4,145.

Physical therapy services: Inpatient - 2011 - 6,167; 2012 - 3,333; Outpatient - 2011 - 10,860; 2012 - 4,983.

Ambulance runs: 2011 - 1,359; 2012 - 731.

Equipment & services

The advances in healthcare implemented by Pioneer during 2011 included a new, larger Physical Therapy Department with more room and new modern equipment to serve patients. The expansion was complimented by a new physical therapist which joined the PT department this month.

New diagnostic equipment included a Philips MX - 16 CT which arrived arrived in November 2011, a new ultrasound, new mammography services using digital technology through a partnership with Southeast Alabama Medical Center. Expanded MRI service was expanded to two days a week (Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons) this month.

Doctors and more

The move by Drs. Clifford, Bennett and Julie Hornsby to their new clinic was announced year.

Pioneer has since recruited Dr. Vincent Barker who began his practice in October 2011, Dr. Lamar Brand whose practice opened Aug. 1 and Brandy Floyd, PA-C, who started this week.

Other improvements included new Clinic Lab billing procedures and installation of a nursing home fire sprinkler system.

Plans for the future

To ensure quality healthcare in the community in the future, Pioneer will continue to recruit a pediatrician, establish Specialty Clinic, developing master facilities plan, plans to provide outpatient surgery, complete Electronic Medical Records, expand of services with satellite clinics, renovate the hospital patient rooms and provide a Memory Care Unit in the nursing home.

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