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Hospital chief balances Southern Crescent, Iowa duties

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Jan Hamilton-Crawford has her work cut out for her. She was recently appointed regional administrator for the Dubuis Health System.

In addition to running Southern Crescent Hospital for Specialty Care -- an extended-stay medical facility located on the sixth floor of Southern Regional Medical Center -- Hamilton-Crawford also is responsible for starting the new Continuing Care Hospital at St. Luke's, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"About 40 percent of my time is spent there [in Iowa]," said Hamilton-Crawford, who lives in Fayetteville. "I'm spending time at both because it's in the implementation stage.

"It's very exciting, but it's a lot of work," the administrator said. "There are a lot of puzzle pieces that have to come together."

Prior to the expected Oct. 13 grand opening of the hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Hamilton-Crawford is working to bring in doctors, hire staff, order supplies and equipment, and fill out state and federal certification forms.

At the same time, she manages 75 employees at Southern Crescent Hospital. Working as the hospital's administrator since May 2004, Hamilton-Crawford said she enjoys the work because the facility can provide some services Southern Regional Medical Center cannot.

"Most people don't understand that you have to be really, really sick to come to us," said Hamilton-Crawford. "It's care for patients who require a longer stay ... usually 25 days or longer. Southern Crescent provides that next continuum for patients who need longer to heal."

Eighty percent of the patients at Southern Crescent Hospital are on Medicare, said Hamilton-Crawford. She said the hospital primarily deals with people who are ventilator-dependent patients, those in rehabilitation from a stroke or heart attack, those suffering with wounds caused by diabetes and other diseases, or patients diagnosed with a myriad of problems.

Hamilton-Crawford said her favorite part of working for Dubuis Health System is being able to provide a percentage of the population with charity care. Affiliated with CHRISTUS Health -- a 150 year-old, non-profit health organization started by Catholic Nuns in Texas -- hospitals under the Dubuis Health System are often able to provide treatment at a reduced cost.

"It's part of our mission, and values, that we take care of the poor," said Hamilton-Crawford. "We can't take care of everyone, but we do our part."