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Accident gave hospital CEO insight into patients' needs

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>Jennifer Roel is the chief executive officer of Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilita-tion Hospital.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>Jennifer Roel is the chief executive officer of Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilita-tion Hospital.

Q & A with Jennifer Roel, chief executive officer of Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital at 3700 N. Windsong Dr. in Prescott Valley. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 759-8800;

Q: How did you get into this business?

A: "After a car accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, I became determined to help others with disabilities. To accomplish my goal, I began my career as a medical social worker and then received my MBA in health care administration.

"This combination of education helps me to ensure that Mountain Valley provides a nurturing environment responding to the medical, physical, psychological and social needs of our patients."

Q: What service do you provide in the community?

A: "Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital is a 40-bed inpatient and outpatient acute care rehabilitation hospital serving all of northern Arizona. Mountain Valley, which opened in June 2006, is the only acute care rehabilitation hospital north of Phoenix and specializes in the recovery, treatment and rehabilitation from diagnoses including stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple trauma, brain injury, amputation, hip fractures, neurological disorders and some debility diagnoses."

Q: What is the key to your business longevity?

A: "For the third year in a row, Mountain Valley has been ranked in the top 10 percent of all rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. Mountain Valley was rated against over 800 rehabilitation hospitals nationwide. The top 10 percent designation is based on successful treatment and discharge of our patients back to their home environment, patient satisfaction and the appropriate use of the health care dollar.

"Successful patient care and the best customer service for everyone who encounters an experience with Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital has been the key to our longevity."

Q: What is the best business advice you've given and received?

A: "On an ongoing basis, I talk to my staff about how each patient is treated with compassion and care as we would treat a family member. The best business advice I have received is from Darby Brockette, chief executive officer of (parent company) Ernest Health, who stated, 'As long as we are doing the right thing for our patients, everything else will fall into place.' This advice has greatly impacted my leadership style, which first and foremost focuses on ensuring that Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provides passionate care to each patient we serve."

Q: What's something unique about you?

A: "I work closely with the local Salvation Army Corps and have recently been appointed as the vice chair of the Prescott Corps."

Q: How are you handling the economy?

A: "Much of health care is a direct reflection of the economy, but Mountain Valley is in a bit of a unique position. Since we are the only acute care rehab hospital north of Phoenix, we receive referrals for admissions from all areas over northern Arizona. Although we have seen dips from various communities due to the economy, the overall impact to Mountain Valley has been minimal."

Q: What's something unique about the hospital?

A: "Our hospital focuses on giving back to our community and volunteering time to assist others in need. An example of this was a recent fundraiser held at Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital resulting in over $1,000 raised towards a company-wide relief effort for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

"In addition, Ernest Health hospitals are participating in sending clinical staff to Haiti to provide care and treatment to those individuals in need. I am proud to say that Mountain Valley will be sending 10 clinicians composed of nurses, occupational, physical and speech therapists to Haiti in September."

Q: How many hours a week do you work?

A: "As any hospital chief executive officer, one is responsible for their facility 24/7."

Q: If you could take a week away, what would you do?

A: "As a new Arizona resident, I recently had the chance to explore and experience the beauty of Lake Powell. Given the opportunity, I would like to continue to enjoy what the wonderful state of Arizona has to offer."

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