In September, Centra Health announced that Amy Carrier would be taking over the role as CEO. Ms. Carrier comes to LYH with over 25 years of healthcare leadership experience and is excited to take the helm after a couple of very challenging years in healthcare worldwide. We let her get settled just a little bit before sitting down to ask her some questions about her new role, her life in LYH and her vision for Centra Health.
How have you adjusted to living in LYH?
My family and I have settled into our new home and community nicely! We appreciate the warm welcome of our neighbors, Centra Caregivers and the community. We are looking forward to celebrating the holidays for the first time in our new home. We have had the opportunity to attend several holiday events and particularly appreciate the arts and entertainment available here. We have enjoyed the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra and several performances at The Academy Center of the Arts. For decades, we have vacationed in this region – hiking, skiing and paddle boarding. It is wonderful to have all the things we enjoy the most available right here in our backyard. We are looking forward to exploring more of the local paths and trails in the future.
How does Centra help us live our best life in LYH?
I am very proud that our Centra Caregivers are here to serve our community 24/7. Throughout the pandemic, we have been a trusted partner in caring for the health of our community. Our team strives everyday to improve access and affordability of healthcare, removing barriers and ensuring coordinated, high quality care across all settings – from the home to the office or the hospital! We are proud to be a top employer in the region, supporting the careers and advancement of our neighbors. We partner with our academic institutions to build and support educational programs that will increase employment opportunities in the region. In May of 2022, Centra will increase our minimum wage to $15 per hour and we have offered enhanced and more affordable benefit options for 2022 to help ensure our Caregivers and their families thrive in our community. We aim to be good stewards of the community assets of the health system. In 2021, we refinanced our bonds with the support of the City of Lynchburg. This will enable us to make investments across our facilities, positively impacting the care experience of our patients and our providers, sustaining high quality care for many years to come! We are here to serve all community members and reinvest our earnings into programs and services that reduce health disparities and reinforce health equity – collaborating to transform difficult problems such as poverty, homelessness, food scarcity, and chronic illness – making life in this region better for one and all.
How would one of your employees describe your culture?
Our Caregivers would likely say it is “in transition”. As President and CEO, I serve as the “Chief Cultural Officer” and my efforts have really just started. I celebrated my first 90 days this past week and focused from the very beginning on getting to know our team. As I rounded and led town hall meetings across our system, I listened to the voices of our Caregivers and Providers who shared their love for Centra and their communities – in Lynchburg and also in Farmville, Bedford, Gretna and Danville. There is so much pride in delivering high quality care but there are also challenges that we are facing together. We are embarking on a strategic planning process that will be inclusive, data driven and will envision a future of limitless possibilities as we set the vision for Centra over the next 3-5 years. The first of these is our “People First Strategy”. We will take care of our Caregivers, honor their work and provide them with a supportive environment that will enhance their health and well-being and help them to live their best lives. There is no greater priority than our people and the calling that brought them into healthcare, driving them to provide exceptional care to our communities.
How does Centra partner with the City, businesses and organizations to improve life in LYH?
Centra is best known as the “hospital” partner in our community, but our care and impact reaches beyond the walls of our facilities. It can be seen and felt in the impact of our Community Benefit Committee grants in our communities, and our Community Health team initiatives that seek to collaborate to improve health outcomes. A new community health needs assessment was just completed this month. This input from the most vulnerable members of our community and our partner stakeholders will help shape the initiatives that we put in place to address difficult problems and determinants of our community’s health.
We are also so proud of and thankful for the partnership of our City Police Officers, who put their lives on the line to keep our communities and Caregivers safe. We appreciate their collaboration and support in the face of so many challenges and promise to get through these difficult times together. We are a proud member of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and support their efforts to grow the economic health of our community. We are also very proud to partner with many of the academic institutions across the region that train and support critically needed health professionals in Allied Health programs, Nursing and Medical Education. We appreciate the support of our legislative leaders who have been so willing to sit down together with us to understand our needs and advocate for improvements in areas such as behavioral health and emergency services, as well as funding extraordinary Pandemic-related expenses, to name a few.
What’s one thing you wish residents knew about Centra?
I wish our community could see Centra through my eyes… The dedication and commitment of our Caregivers inspires me every day. The giving heart of this community and its appreciation for the health and wellbeing of all is unlike any I have ever witnessed. Our community assets are impressive – Centra’s sites of care and educational facilities, comprehensive services and financial health (from both operations and the Centra Foundation) position us well to provide and sustain the highest quality of care today and in the future. I am deeply honored to lead this team and to be a part of this community. I wish you all peace and health for the holidays and new year!