RUTLAND—In spite of snowy conditions, over 150 local community members and luminaries gathered together for Rutland Regional Medical Center’s 2018 annual corporators meeting and retirement celebration for president and CEO Tom Huebner. Following the regular board business and remarks by Governor Phil Scott, bigger news emerged.
Rutland Regional Health Services and Rutland Regional Medical Center Board Chair John Casella announced that in honor of Huebner’s 28 years of unwavering leadership, vision, and dedication, they would name Rutland Regional’s newest facility the “Thomas W. Huebner Medical Office Building.”
As a symbolic gesture, Huebner was given a shovel that will be used to break ground on the building, which is scheduled to take place late summer or early fall of this year. The building is expected to be completed by May 2020.
“Tom, you’ve built a great hospital and health care system in this community,” Casella said.
“They will forever remain visible, tangible reminders of your leadership, vision and dedication. … The new building will be a beautiful, functional resource in our great health care system for both our staff and members of the community. While no object of any size or value can properly express our community’s gratitude to you, we are pleased to honor you, and ensure that your name and legacy will remain familiar to future generations in the Rutland region. Congratulations and thank you.”
Tom Huebner was also presented with a rocking chair, the “Coolidge Rocker,” custom made by Clear Lake Furniture in Ludlow, a retirement gift from the medical staff.
Sitting in his new chair, Tom Huebner offered these reflections: “I’ve had such a wonderful career. Over the past months people have said to me, you’ve worked so hard to get to retirement. That’s not how I think about it. I work hard because I love it. We get to do work together for our community that makes a difference. Never forget why we’re here. It’s not about financial outcome. It’s about the patients. It’s always about the patients.”
Words of praise and thanks came from others during the evening. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch remarked via video that Huebner’s leadership was “one that will have a lasting impact on the community of Rutland and the landscape of health systems throughout Vermont for many years to come.”
Echoing these sentiments, also via video, was Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. In his remarks he referenced Huebner’s huge impact on the healthcare conversation both locally and nationally, stating “the medical community will miss your leadership and so will I.”
Governor Phil Scott’s remarks touched on a true story from last year where collaboration and cooperation came together in order to help a young patient. This revolved around Rutland Regional clinicians, Regional Ambulance drivers and the plow trucks from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, all working together to get a young patient 70 miles north to the University of Vermont Medical Center.
“It took team chemistry to make that happen and it takes a certain kind of person with that gut feel to put the right people together in order to open hearts and minds. So while this story may seem special to most of us, I’m sure there are many more like it left to be told, which exemplifies the care and support each one of you provide to this community. So I want to thank you for your leadership and commitment and being a role model to many, because what this state, what this country, what this world needs are role models,” Scott said.
Other highlights from the 2018 corporators meeting included the election of Rutland Regional Health Services board and Rutland Regional Medical Center board members: Denise Clark (additional term), Mark Foley Jr. (additional term), Dr. Mike Kenosh (additional term), Joe Kraus (additional term) and Mike Solimano (additional term).
Outgoing board members Dr. Todd Gregory and Larry Jensen were recognized for their dedicated service. John Casella will be stepping down as board chair, to be succeeded by Vice Chair Mike Solimano.
The newly elected 2018 corporators are Laurie Mecier Brochu and Michael Brochu, Richard Bryne, Michelle Cordeiro, Andrew Lamb, Lexi and Don Moore, Traci and Scott Moore, Antonin and Erin Robbason, Debbie Schoch and Steve Walsh, Karen Scolforo, Marcia Stoller, and Carol Van Guilder.
Rutland Hospital incorporated in 1892 and opened with four physicians and 10 beds in 1896. Its current mail building was dedicated in 1958 and renamed Rutland Regional Medical Center in 1983. RRMC is now the largest community hospital and the second largest health care facility in Vermont with a medical staff of 256 physicians trained in 37 specialties. Rutland Regional was honored as “Best Regional Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for 2017-2018 and recognized as “high performing” in four procedures and conditions: heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hip replacement, and knee replacement.
Rutland Regional was the first hospital in Vermont to receive both the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence and Magnet Recognition® for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. In 2016 and 2017, RRMC also received Healthcare’s Most Wired® award for the exceptional way the hospital uses technology to build patient engagement.
Photo courtesy of RRMC
Architectural rendering of the new Thomas W. Huebner Medical Office Building.