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OMC's Watson Speaks at MO Rides to Wellness Summit

OMC’s Watson Speaks at MO Rides to Wellness Summit

Gay Watson, FACHE, Senior Executive Director of Marketing and Planning at Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) was a speaker at the MO Rides to Wellness Summit and Get Link’d Conference held in Jefferson City in October. The conference was presented by the Missouri Foundation for Health, Missouri Rural Health Association and Missouri Public Transit Association. The event brought together over 150 representatives of community health and transportation agencies from throughout the state for the purpose of addressing transportation barriers to healthcare.

Watson participated in a panel discussion with John M. Nations and Susan Alewine. Nations is CEO of Bi-State Development, operating the St Louis region’s Metro public transit system. Nations spoke on how the Metro is working with BJC Health in St. Louis to maximize health care and employment access. Alewine is a principal partner of Community Asset Builders and provides financial and operational expertise for HealthTran. HealthTran links citizens in southern Missouri to free transportation to health care providers. Watson presented patient demographics and access to care challenges in OMC’s service area, and an overview of OMC’s participation with the HealthTran project.

“OMC’s Community Health Needs Assessment data showed that transportation to health care appointments is a need in our communities. Partnering with HealthTran is a solution to meet this community need,” said Watson. “I am proud that OMC is a key partner in the HealthTran project because it is helping residents of our area get safe, dependable access to the care they need.”

OMC operates Rural Health Care Clinics in the Thayer, Alton, Mountain View, Gainesville, Mountain Grove, Winona and West Plains in addition to over 20 specialty health services in West Plains which may provide referrals to HealthTran for patients needing a ride to medical appointments. OMC is a collaborative partner in the HealthTran program along with West Plains Transit System, Southern MO Community Health Center, OATS Inc and S. Howell County Transit. Since last fall, HealthTran has received over 2200 referrals from citizens in the ten county area of Howell, Oregon, Shannon, Ozark, Wright, Texas, Taney, Christian, Douglas, and Webster counties.

For more information about HealthTran rides, contact Sandra Morris at 417-256-9111 ext 6169.

Gay Watson has worked at Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) since 2008. She is president of the Community Foundation of West Plains and is a Rotarian. She serves on the board of the Missouri Hospital Association Public Relations and Marketing Association and is a member of the Missouri Healthcare Executives Group. Prior to joining OMC, she was Director of Marketing and Managed Care of Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville, Mississippi for five years. Watson holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi where she was inducted into Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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