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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of Jan 29 - Feb 4, 2003


St. Luke's committed
to providing best
care possible

By Bruce Jensen
Bruce Jensen is the CEO of St. Lukeís Regional Medical Center.

I would like to acknowledge the concern expressed by some community members regarding physician privileges at St. Luke's Wood River Medical center. I want to tell you that I understand your concerns. I myself have four children and also want the best medical care for them. I have every confidence in our hospital, our hospitalís Community Board, its Medical Staff, and the policies and procedures created and followed by them.

The Medical Staff bylaws and policies clearly outline the processes by which physicians are granted privileges and address the physicians' responsibilities when privileges are granted. Our Medical Staff bylaws and policies are similar to those followed by other hospitals and are strongly influenced by federal, state, and other regulatory bodies. They are developed by our Medical Staff members, the same physicians who must adhere to them. The bylaws state that our Medical Staff is self-governing and has the overall responsibility for the quality of the professional services provided by those individuals granted clinical privileges.

A physician is not entitled to membership on our Medical Staff or for privileges at our hospital simply because he/she is licensed to practice their profession and lives in the community. Rather, privileges at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, as at other hospital's, are based upon a physician's education, training, experience and current clinical competence. In addition, each physician is evaluated on an ongoing basis for his or her professional performance, judgment and clinical or technical skills.

As members of the Medical Staff, all physicians are reviewed in terms of the quality of care they provide to their patients. If concerns are identified, a group of their peers reviews the situation and, if appropriate, develops recommendations or guidelines that the physician is required to follow. These reviews are done by local physicians, or if requested by members of out hospital's Medical Staff leadership, by physicians located outside of our community.

As you know, hospital leadership, including members of our Community Board and Medical Staff are not able to go into further detail regarding the circumstances of any specific physician's situation due to federal and state rules that require us to treat all medical staff matters such as this as confidential. These rules were put in place in order to protect and respect not only physicians' rights but also to protect the confidentiality of their patients. As the CEO of this hospital, I fully support and honor these laws and guidelines.

What I can say is this. Our Community Board delegates the processes of reviewing physician quality to our hospital's Medical Staff since they are the best ones to determine if quality care has been provided. With regards to Dr. (Marel) Hanks, our medical staff leadership followed the Medical Staff Bylaws and policies, The Community Board and myself have full confidence in the processes followed and we trust and support our Medical Executive Committee in their recommendations and actions to provide for the highest level of care possible at this hospital,

I assure you, the community, that St. Luke's is committed to providing the best care possible to our patients. We all want the best care possible for those we care about.

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.