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Parkway Regional picks CEO, adds rehab program

BY KATHLEEN FOX kfox@paducahsun.com

Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton welcomed a new leader, began a pulmonary rehabilitation program and continues to secure national recognition. John Ballard was named chief executive officer of Parkway Regional in September. Prior to his new position, he served as assistant chief executive officer of Moberly Regional Medical Center in Moberly, Mo.

The facility also welcomed Dr. Bill Smith, an internal medicine physician, to its satellite campus in Clinton. Ballard said the hospital continues to grow and is looking to hire for the general surgery and cardiology departments.

The hospital, located at 2000 Holiday Lane in Fulton, is a 70-bed acute care hospital. The center employs about 200 medical professionals and about 15 physicians offering specialty care.

Ballard said Parkway Regional was again named a top performer of Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission and was one of 182 hospitals nationwide to receive the award three years in a row.

The institution was recognized for exemplary performance in using evidence-based, clinical processes to improve care for heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children's asthma, stroke, venous thrombo embolism and inpatient psychiatric services.

A pulmonary rehabilitation program that will teach patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) how to cope with daily life is set to debut later this year. Ballard said the program will focus on how to continue living a normal life despite limitations. Last year, the hospital also installed a new electronic record system.  The hospital was recognized in October by HealthStream Inc. with an Excellence Through Insight Award for overall employee satisfaction in the small hospitals category. Staff members continued to work toward achieving a Level IV Trauma certification in 2013, Ballard said.

In 2011, Parkway Regional purchased the community's Twin Cities Ambulance Service and renamed it Tri Cities Ambulance Service. The hospital is leasing the EMS service, which includes a fleet of six ambulances that respond to emergencies in Fulton, Hickman and Graves counties as well as South Fulton, Tenn.

The three-year contract will continue through the end of this year. Ballard said the relationship has been successful and the hospital would be interested in continuing it.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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