Clarke County Hospital CEO Shares Personal Journey as Patient at Clarke County Hospital

Brian Evans, who has served as the Clarke County Hospital CEO for over 18 years, received some devastating news earlier this year – a Stage Four Lymphoma diagnosis. Following the diagnosis, Brian chose Clarke County Hospital to receive his chemotherapy and other treatments.  His perspective shifted from Hospital CEO to Clarke County Hospital patient.  With this decision, his cancer journey began – one that would provide Brian first-hand experience of the excellent, compassionate and personalized care that our staff and providers provide to patients every day.

This is Brian's Story.

"For the last 18 years, I’ve had the honor of leading Clarke County Hospital.  Over those years, our focus has been providing high quality care to our family, friends and neighbors.  The staff and providers that make it all happen have been an ongoing source of pride to me over the years because of the difference they make in the lives of our patients.

My perspective shifted from CEO to patient earlier this year when I was diagnosed with lymphoma.  It started a journey that provided me the opportunity to experience first-hand the care, the compassion, the quality and the connection that our staff and providers have with our patients.  For me, it started with our clinic providers, nurses and the entire team as they went to work to get diagnostic testing set up in a very timely manner.  Our providers are the quarterback of the clinic team and it sometimes takes a team to navigate the healthcare system.  I had an incredible team getting me set up for all the testing that I needed.  As we started receiving results, the communication that I received was always timely and as the results came back with concerning results, the compassion and support was always there for me.

The eventual diagnosis of Stage 4 Lymphoma scared me.  It is the same cancer that took the lives of my dad and sister.  The fear of what this challenge would mean to me and my family opened the door for all sorts of negative thoughts.  Fortunately, I was surrounded by so many people that offered prayers, positive thoughts and encouragement.  Many of those were my work family.  I’m so grateful for the smiles and kindness that I have greeting me each time I walk through the front doors of the hospital.

I know that there wasn’t a better place for me to receive the treatments than at CCH.  I’m surrounded by a great team of care givers that are literally holding my hand through the months of chemo that I’ve gone through.  We’re fortunate to have a great Oncologist providing care at our hospital but we also have nurses, pharmacists, registration staff, lab staff and more that all make up the team.  As I watch them provide their care, I sometimes put on my CEO hat and look at the care that they provide from a quality perspective.  An example of that quality, that attention to excellence, assures me that I’m getting the right care at the right time.  On chemo days, my wonderful nurses ask me my birthday date probably 10 times throughout the day, each time they infuse me with a new drug.  They’ve got my birthday memorized by now but it is one simple step that the birth date on the IV bag matches what I say… no chance of error in me getting the wrong medication.  They know how nasty the chemo drugs are and they are always checking and double checking to make sure there isn’t an adverse effect to me.  These precautions to protect me are embedded habits for them… precautions that protect every patient they care for every time they provide their care.  It really has nothing to do with me being the CEO but it has everything to do with them providing exceptional care to each of their patients.

As I’ve shared my experience with friends and colleagues throughout the community, many of them have shared that they have experienced the same care and support from our clinic team.  Those that I’ve visited with that have gone through infusion at our hospital speak so highly of the nurses that cared for them.   The care that I receive isn’t because I’m the CEO… it’s the care that our entire team provide all our patients.

As a patient at Clarke County Hospital, I know that it is this team of caregivers that have saved my life.  In a recent scan, the lymphoma that had spread throughout my body was gone.  Speaking as both a patient and as the CEO, I am so incredibly proud of all the care givers at Clarke County Hospital. Thank you."

Brian Evans, Clarke County Hospital CEO