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Marsh Named in Becker's Top 130 Women in Health Care

Date: Monday, February 22, 2016
Leslie Marsh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Lexington Regional Health Center (LRHC) was recently named in the Becker's Hospital Review as one of the nation's top 130 women working in health care. Each year, Becker's selects women leaders based on their management and leadership skills, along with career accomplishments.

"I am truly humbled to be one of the individuals on this list," said Marsh. "While I am honored to be named, I think it is important to acknowledge that the achievements of LRHC would not have been possible without the help of our dedicated and high-functioning team."

In 2010 Marsh assumed the position of CEO at LRHC and since then has made great strides in improving the access to care for the community and surrounding area. During her tenure, LRHC has transformed not only physically, with its previous and current expansion projects, but has also seen a great transition in vision, mission and strategic plans. Under Marsh's guidance and leadership LRHC has successfully opened an Urgent/Primary Care clinic and a Family Medicine clinic. Marsh has also been instrumental in recruiting new providers to Lexington. Today there are ten full-time providers on staff.

While Marsh has been instrumental in making many of these changes, it is important to note the entire team at LRHC has played a key role in building a brighter future. In 2015, LRHC added two orthopedic surgeons and a urologist to their growing list of visiting specialists. In March, LRHC will be expanding services to Elwood as they open a new clinic.

Quality of care has also improved at LRHC. Since 2011 LRHC has seen a 40 percent reduction in readmissions, which means patients are provided with the care they need and education on how to stay healthy when returning home. There has also been a 60 percent reduction in harm, meaning there has been a decrease in infections, adverse drug events and falls, along with other key areas. This rate represents the team's drive to make LRHC a place where patients can receive safe, high-quality care. Last year LRHC implemented a Patient and Family Advisory Council. This group of community members and LRHC team members work together to improve the quality of care LRHC offers and improve the patient and family experience while receiving care at LRHC.

In addition to all of the physical changes at LRHC, Marsh has been instrumental in improving the overall culture at LRHC by providing her team with tools to help everyone strive for excellence. In 2010, LRHC implemented Studer principles. These are evidence-based principles which have helped LRHC reduce patient readmissions and overall harm. This past year, LRHC embarked on a two year journey to become a Virtuous Organization with the help of Lee Elliott.

"Under Leslie's leadership, the culture of the hospital has changed over the past 5 ½ years," said Nicole Thorell, Chief Nursing Officer at LRHC. "She has empowered all employees to bring forth ideas and impact the care provided at LRHC. Leslie has supported and led the team approach in which every employee at LRHC knows they are a valued part of the team. She is very modest in taking credit for the outcomes we have achieved, sharing that credit with the whole team, and while it is the whole team who affects the outcomes, it is her leadership that has lead us there."

The community has also benefited from LRHC's leadership through programs such as the Community Fitness Initiative (CFI). This program focuses on encouraging fitness in youth to prevent childhood obesity. Lexington Regional partners with the city and school system to host the following activities: wrestling, football, dance camps, volleyball camps and dash and splash. CFI also hosts "Catch Kids," an after school program that teaches elementary-age students about nutrition and helps them prepare healthy snacks and food options.

LRHC assumed responsibility of the community garden and all departments are responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting the fresh produce; all produce is taken to the local food pantry. In recruitment of a recent physician, LRHC has helped expand the sports outreach to local communities. Lexington Regional will be partnering with area schools to hold sports clinics and be on site during athletic events to provide care. LRHC sponsored Lexington High School's Impact Program to ensure the safety of athletes and the prevention of concussions.

Marsh is also extremely involved within the health care industry by serving on various councils and boards. She has been involved with the Nebraska Hospital Association (District IV Chair/Medicaid Reform Issue Strategy Group/Policy Development Committee/NHA Board Member), University of Nebraska Medical Center (Public Health Advisory Council), Dawson County Council of Economic Development (past President/past board member), the Federal Office of Rural Health's Funded Technical Assistance Service Center, the Regional Health Equity Council, the Nebraska State Office of Minority Health and the National Rural Health Association (Critical Access Hospital Leadership Team) along with many other organizations and groups.

The entire team at LRHC is committed to building a brighter future for the Lexington community and surrounding area. "We will continue our journey to excellence; supporting one another, providing excellent, compassionate care and creating a warm, inviting and progressive place for people to receive care. A place where friends, family and faith are a part of everyone's healthcare experience," said Marsh.