CEO Linn Block Represents Lake City at IHA Hospital Day on the Hill

On March 6, the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) held its Hospital Day on the Hill at the Iowa State Capitol. The annual event drew in healthcare leaders from across the state for a chance to build relations with legislators and advocate for healthcare policies that affect their communities. Stewart Memorial Community Hospital (SMCH) CEO Linn Block was in attendance and met with District 7 State Rep. Mike Sexton to discuss current issues facing rural healthcare facilities including postpartum Medicaid coverage, violence against hospital employees, and overall sustainability.

“We know there are many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead,” Block said, “The bills currently being discussed will impact a tremendous number of Iowans and the facilities they utilize.”

Block has decades of experience in rural healthcare and is passionate about making sure rural facilities can continue serving their patients. According to IHA, more than 140 hospitals across the U.S. have closed in the last decade. This has created “ambulance deserts,” or areas in which emergency care is more than 25 minutes away, which threatens patient outcomes as well as the healthcare workforce.

“At SMCH, we’re able to provide an incredible variety of acute and specialty care, but many small communities are not so fortunate,” Block affirmed, “It’s critical we stand together in addressing the accessibility and affordability of healthcare in rural areas.”