Five Questions with Lakeland Regional's Danielle Drummond
Dec. 18--LAKELAND -- In four years, Danielle Drummond has made a difference at Lakeland Regional Health.
She started at the local organization that runs Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center in 2013 as chief strategy and growth officer. It wasn't long before she was promoted in May 2016 to executive vice president and chief operating officer, a new position.
"Lakeland Regional Health is truly blessed to have Danielle Drummond sharing her biomedical engineering and healthcare technology talents and skills to lead one of the premier health systems in Florida and the U.S," said LRH President and Chief Executive Officer Elaine Thompson.
"Her steadfast visionary, strategic and collaborative focus brings exemplary results, and I am tremendously honored to work alongside such a gifted and dedicated leader each day, " she said.
In her role, she oversees a variety of areas, including the LRH Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center, the Physician Group, and design and construction at the hospital. She has been instrumental in developing and planning the new women's and children's pavilion.
Drummond came to Lakeland from an academic hospital in Lankenau, a suburb of Philadelphia.
She received her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and her master's degree in healthcare technology management from Marquette University and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Drummond, 40, has been married to Jeff Lenderman for 16 years. They have two daughters, Addison, 10, and Paige, 7.
To learn more about Drummond and her work at Lakeland Regional Health, read Five Questions With...
Q. Describe the massive Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children construction project -- what bumps have there been, changes made? What do you think will be a biggest convenience for patients?
A. The Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children brings together the very best physicians, nurses, care teams, technology, programs and care environments to promote healing and wellness for our patients. We are so excited for our Pavilion for Women and Children to be completed in June. The project was delayed only briefly by Hurricane Irma and prior weather events.
We feel strongly that the women and children of our community deserve high-quality care devoted to their needs right here at home. We often hear heart-wrenching stories about families who struggle with the challenges they experience when a child, parent or loved one has to be treated outside of our county.
That will change as we work to open Polk County's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, expand on the specialty care that our affiliation with Nemours Children's Health System provides, and offer our community highly specialized women's care in areas such as maternal fetal medicine and urogynecology. Patients will be able to easily access our comprehensive women's and children's services in this state-of-the-art pavilion.
Q. What upgrades to technology are coming with the new pavilion and how will it impact the rest of the hospital?
A. Technology plays such an important role in providing the best care to our patients, while also enhancing communication and the patient experience. The innovative programs and devices in this project include:
--Interactive displays in our Pediatric Emergency Department and Outpatient Waiting Areas.
--Lights that can change colors based on the wishes of the child in our Pediatric patient rooms.
--Technology in patient rooms that allows patients and family members to see radiology and other scheduled appointments, results of administered tests, information and photos about the clinical care team, as well as a list of on-demand movies, and interactive game options.
--In addition, we are exploring use of wayfinding technology that will help patients, families and guests navigate the Medical Center Campus from their smartphones.
Q. Parking is a big problem, even when you arrive at 7 a.m. When will the new parking garage be open, and will that be enough to accommodate the influx of people expected at the pavilion? What other parking options are you looking at after that garage opens?
A. Lakeland Regional Health offers several convenient parking options today. Our B-C Parking Garage is open to patients, family members and guests, and our D-E Parking Garage opened earlier this year to relieve parking volume during construction. Upon completion of the Pavilion, additional surface parking will also become available.
We continue to offer patients, family members and visitors complimentary valet parking at the front of our B Lobby off of Parkview. Complimentary valet parking also is offered to patients coming to our Emergency Department.
Q. What changes have the hospital made or is planning on making to protect patients, visitors and workers from the possibility of an active shooter or similar disruption?
A. Lakeland Regional Health recently received recognition from both the Florida Hospital Association and The Leapfrog Group for its outstanding safety and security initiatives implemented this year.
Planning for response to an active shooter in our community or on our premises is a necessary part of the work we do provide the safest care and best outcomes for those we serve. To that end, we convened a Task Force working in collaboration with local law enforcement, and patient and family representatives, from our community to work on specific safety enhancements.
Task Force work is ongoing and resulted this year in implementation of technology that confirms and documents hospital visitors and their destinations, screens guests and their belongings at our Medical Center Emergency Department entrance, as well as significantly enhanced connectivity and collaboration with the Lakeland Police Department. We anticipate additional enhancements will continue in the coming year.
Education also plays an important role, so our team members are asked to participate in mandatory active-shooter training. Our safety and operational teams regularly train for emergency preparedness through programs offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency so that we constantly learn and implement the best practices in use by our peers around the country. As part of that national training, two members of our management team recently attended the Healthcare Executive Incident Command training and Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents.
Q. Looking down the road 10 to 15 years, what is your No. 1 challenge and opportunity?
A. Delivering safe, high-quality, efficient care in a very rapidly changing healthcare landscape takes innovation and relentless dedication. We firmly believe that providing our community with access to such care is the greatest opportunity we encounter not only right now but also in the coming years.
Our Medical Center has wonderful physicians, nurses and clinicians working alongside the rest of our team to provide life-saving care. Unfortunately, we face a dire physician shortage: In 2016, Polk County had one primary care physician for every 1,950 people, lagging behind Florida's physician-patient ratio by 29 percent and the national ratio by 46 percent, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Lakeland Regional Health works diligently to strengthen the health of our community by continuing to expand the primary and specialty care offered through our Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as well as collaborations with other physicians in our community.
Polk County is among the top five poorest suburbs in the nation, a tremendous factor in the health and well-being of the residents here. To best serve all of our community, we constantly seek to understand the barriers that many people have to care. We are using innovative solutions like our Family Health Center to care for those who are uninsured or underinsured. In addition, providing health and wellness education and support through programs like our Congregational Health Partnership reach people we may otherwise not encounter regularly.
The opportunities and challenges are great, but we are committed to make a lasting positive impact for the patients and families we serve.