Published on May 02, 2011

Laura Clapp Receives NC Hospital Association Trustee Service Award

May 2, 2011 — Laura Clapp, Vice President of the Chatham Hospital Board of Trustees, has received the North Carolina Hospital Association’s Trustee Service Award for 2011.

NCHA is statewide trade association representing 131 hospitals and health systems. The association promotes improved community health status and delivery of quality healthcare through leadership, information, education, and advocacy in members’ interests and for public benefit.

Ms. Clapp was one of four hospital trustees honored at NCHA’s annual Trustee Institute April 30 in Asheville. The Trustee Service Award recognizes trustees who have made significant and unique contributions to their hospitals and the communities they serve.

“Hospital trustees are faced with a special set of challenges and demands unique to their local communities,” said William A. Pully, NCHA president. “They deserve statewide recognition for their leadership and dedication to the changing healthcare delivery system.”

Laura Clapp first came onto the Chatham Hospital Board of Trustees in January of 2000. She was elected Treasurer in 2001 and served as Board President from 2002 through 2010. In January 2011, she was elected as Vice President. From January 2009 through the present she has also served as a member of the UNC Health Care System Board of Trustees.

Under Ms. Clapp’s leadership, Chatham Hospital made the conversion from an acute care hospital to a critical access hospital. The financial benefit to the hospital was immediately apparent. Throughout this process, Ms. Clapp was the voice of the hospital calming anxieties and assuring the community that this was the only choice for the long-term future of Chatham Hospital. Although the conversion to a CAH was an important step, it was not the solution to all of the hospital’s financial problems. Hospital volumes were continuing to decline. A strategic planning process was begun under Ms. Clapp’s leadership and with the assistance of the UNC Health Care System. The item that came to the forefront was the age and condition of the hospital. The board determined that a new facility was really the only solution. Without Ms. Clapp’s tireless efforts and financial expertise, none of this would have been possible. All this hard work culminated in the opening of a new hospital in July of 2008.

Ms. Clapp’s vision for Chatham Hospital also led her and Board into discussions with UNCHCS about the long-term future of Chatham Hospital. In 2006, these discussions resulted in the Board signing a contract for UNCHCS to manage Chatham Hospital. The relationship with UNCHCS continued to mature and strengthen resulting in the acquisition of Chatham Hospital by UNCHCS in July of 2010. As President of the Chatham Hospital Board and as a member of the UNCHCS Board, Ms. Clapp pushed for the construction of a medical office building on the Chatham Hospital campus. In addition, Ms. Clapp recognized that Chatham Hospital could not continue to use paper medical records and that computerization was essential for the provision of quality care. She fought hard to identify funds to purchase a hospital-wide computer system culminating in a signed contract with Meditech in 2009. The implementation has begun and will result in computerized physician order entry in October of 2011.

“The Association is proud to honor Laura Clapp for her efforts to improve healthcare services in her community,” Pully said.

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