President's Message


President's Message  - Winter 2013

Amidst the whirlwind of holiday celebrations, events and shopping, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the successes and milestones of our past year and look forward to the unlimited promise 2014 has in store for our communities.

Reflecting on Our Gifts and Accomplishments


We are given many gifts throughout the year, most notably the gifts of time, which allows us to achieve many accomplishments through our collective efforts and contagious enthusiasm.


Over the past year, we have had the opportunity and the challenge to bring together our two respected hospitals, Heywood Hospital and Athol Hospital, to form a new locally-focused healthcare organization, Heywood Healthcare.


As we approach the one-year anniversary, we have been able to leverage the strengths of both hospitals to provide more needed services to our communities – including improved MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) abilities, expanded clinical specialties, new communications/technologies and patient-centered, eco-friendly improvements that align health promotion with responsible stewardship of resources.


Our partnership has brought cardiology services, including on-site physician appointments, to Athol Hospital. We have created an Emergency Department collaborative that shares physicians and emphasizes quality, providing convenient, effective emergency medicine at both Athol and Heywood locations.


We are leveraging Athol Hospital’s federal designation as a critical access hospital, which enables its beds to transition from acute to post-acute status, to create the Center for Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. Now Athol Hospital has the ability to offer Medicare patients convenient, on-site, comprehensive post-acute care to aid in recovery from serious illness, surgery, injury and stroke.


In response to an important community health priority, Heywood Healthcare is focusing efforts on raising awareness and improving access to mental health care in our region. The Suicide Prevention Taskforce and our inaugural Healthy Harvest 5K are providing much needed educational prevention information to school-age children and our new Mental Health Partial Hospitalization Program at Heywood in Gardner is offering a valuable new outpatient mental health resource in our area.


At Heywood Hospital, we continue to improve patient access by creating a convenient outpatient center at our South Entrance (old Emergency entrance). By locating our Center for Specialty Care, our recently renovated Patient Registration Center, our laboratory, radiology and wound care services in one area of the hospital, patients are offered more convenience and ease of access.


A Holiday Wish for Our Community


In closing, I would like to take a moment to remember the safety provided by our local police and firefighters, the dedication of our EMS workers and emergency personnel, the selfless commitment of those serving in the Armed Forces, and the compassionate care provided by our Heywood Healthcare physicians, staff and volunteers. It is our privilege to share these immeasurable gifts with our community all year through.


From all of us at Heywood Healthcare - Athol Hospital, Heywood Hospital, Winchendon Health Center, Murdock School-based Health Center, Heywood Rehabilitation Center, the West River Health Center in Orange and the Heywood Medical Group - we wish you a healthy and joyous holiday season, brightened by friends and family, with cherished memories to last a lifetime.


May the comfort and peace of the holiday season live in your heart all year through.


Happy Holidays, 


Winfield S. Brown, MSB, MHA, FACHE
President & CEO
Heywood Healthcare

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