Health and well-being are at the very heart of creating economic vibrancy in a community. That is why Brian Floyd, chief operating officer of ECU Health and president of ECU Health Medical Center, joined a group of statewide health care leaders at the NC Chamber Health Care Conference on a panel titled “Working Together to Create Healthier Communities” on Sept. 14 in Durham.
Speaking to a packed room of health care, business, industry and government leaders from across the state, Floyd spoke about ECU Health’s unique position in eastern North Carolina as both the largest health care system and employer in the 29 county region, and the importance of maintaining high quality and high value care in rural communities.
“Thinking about the NC Chamber and what we’re here to talk about today, it’s important to remember North Carolina is the second largest rural state in the country,” said Floyd. “One-in-three people in North Carolina lives in a rural community so rural health care is a very critical and very personal endeavor. At ECU Health, we take our mission seriously to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina, which is a region with some of the highest levels of poverty in the state.”
ECU Health is a leader in rural health care, Floyd said, and is constantly exploring new ways to improve access to care for rural communities. Speaking to topics such as improving mental health resources, partnering closely with schools, colleges and universities and investing in the health and well-being of team members, Floyd made it clear ECU Health’s role in the East goes far beyond just delivering health care.
“ECU Health is a health care provider, an educator and an economic engine for our 29 county region and we understand that collaboration is key to solving health care challenges,” Floyd said. “When I think about what we do, the reason we have a 974 bed hospital in a town of more than 80,000 people is because of the tremendous burden of disease in the communities we serve. Improving quality and cost is our goal and our clinical care component certainly plays a role in that, but we know that value is created by improving wellness through initiatives that tackle social determinants of health.”
Floyd was joined on the panel by Dr. Art Apolinario, board president of the N.C. Medical Society, Dr. Creagh Milford, senior vice president of retail health for CVS Health and Jennifer Sacks, associate director of the clinical operations program lead for Biogen. The panel was moderated by Gary Salamido, president and CEO of the NC Chamber.