Misty Drake’s first year as chief operating officer of Piedmont Health has been a busy one.
In September of 2015, Piedmont opened the IFC Community Health Center at the Inter-Faith Council @ SECU Community house, a homeless shelter. The health center is operating under an innovative partnership with innovative Inter-Faith Council.
In June of 2015, Piedmont completed an 8,700-square-foot, $400,000 renovation and expansion of the Charles Drew Community Health Center in Burlington.
During the summer of 2015, Piedmont Health developed new partnerships with Allied Churches – a homeless shelter in Burlington and other safety net partners in Alamance County.
Piedmont is continuing to grow: A new community health center is in the works for Chapel Hill North, and an expansion of the Carrboro Community Health Center is being planned.
The success has been a result of preparation and hard work, Drake said.
“The growth has happened because the federal government has been supportive” with grants, she said. “Without that support, the growth would not have been as much as it was.”
But Piedmont had to be prepared to receive the grants, Drake said. “We’ve been really fortunate to have the resources to respond to those grants,” she added.
Drake said the expansion means that Piedmont Health is keeping up with demand, for now, but that they must keep exploring ways to meet patient demand. “As we get new patients, we’re starting to realize that, at some point, we’re going to max out at Burlington,” she said. “There’s a lot of demand in that area.”
“We’re just trying to keep up with the demand,” she said. “The partnership with UNC Family Medicine Residency Program has been of tremendous help in recruiting providers to Prospect Hill. We would like to see this benefit extended to Piedmont’s other rural health centers – in Moncure, Siler City and Alamance County – recruitment and retention is a consistent challenge”, Drake said.
Overall, Drake said, she is continuing to strive for employee satisfaction, patient satisfaction and fiscal responsibility.
One thing that has not been a challenge to Drake, who moved to Chapel Hill from Chicago in the summer of 2014, is getting used to this area. She and her husband love it here, especially Jordan Lake, which she said is “peaceful and beautiful.”