Shared values were the foundation of a great relationship

Thursday afternoon, the wind was swirling outside of the Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) Cancer Center where CRMC officials, government officials and officials from Vanderbilt University gathered to celebrate an agreement between CRMC and Vanderbilt.

Through the agreement, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Oncologists and other pros will be the exclusive providers of Cancer services for Cookeville’s hospital. Speakers included Buffy Key, CEO, of Cookeville Regional Medical Center and Dr. Ben Park, MD PhD, Director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

The process has taken about nine months.

“That’s pretty good,” said Key. “When we received an email several months ago that some of our providers were moving on to other areas of the country, Dr. Ben Park and I sat in a room, looked at each other and said, we can do this. I believed him.”

She smiled at the crowd.

“We’ve done this,” she said.

Ribbon cutting – CRMC CEO Buffy Key speaks at ribbon cutting celebrating the partnership between the hospital and Vanderbilt–Ingram Cancer Center.

Key says collaboration is driving the future of health care.

“None of us will get out of the health care system alone,” she said.

The pandemic caused workforce shortages and cost increases.

“Here at the CRMC Cancer Center we are always in pursuit of the highest quality care,” she continued. “So today, we celebrate. …”

Research shows that patients receiving care close to home are more likely to complete the treatment on schedule and on time, according to Key.

“There is nothing like being at home,” she said. “So, to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, welcome to our home.”

As of July 1, the deal was done, and now Vanderbilt is the exclusive provider. Park said shared values were the foundation of a great relationship.

“It really starts with relationship building,” said Park. “That is where Buffy and I really hit it off. We instantly saw in each other a mirror of shared values, and of what we want this place to look like and be. … I can’t think of a better partner than Cookeville.”

He is grateful for the speed at which the agreement came together.

“I am so grateful for our team and your team coming together and becoming one team,” he said. “I promise you all that we will never stop striving for perfection. VIP stands for Vanderbilt-Ingram Patient. I mean that and want to extend that to every one of you.”

Park says you shouldn’t spend as much time on the road to visits as on the treatment itself.

“You shouldn’t have to travel hours and long distances to get state-of-the-art testing and state-of-the-art cancer care. That should be available to everyone. As of July 1, we are counting Cookeville in that bucket of people who are getting the very best care.”

UCBJ Photos.

Copyright 2024 The Upper Cumberland Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Other stories you may want to check out:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.