February 15, 2023 (Hereford, TX) – Jeff Barnhart, CEO, Deaf Smith County Hospital District, is the 2022 recipient of the Texas Hospital Association’s Pioneer Award recognizing his innovative leadership of a rural hospital. The award was presented yesterday at a luncheon during the annual conference of the THA membership.
“Jeff is always looking for ways that we can improve care for our patients,” said Trevor Rohm, M.D., chief medical officer, Deaf Smith County Hospital District. “Whether it is expanding our services or finding new ways to treat patients where they are, Jeff consistently seeks new opportunities to improve the health of our community.”
“We want to do everything we can to provide the best possible care for our community,” said Jeff Barnhart, CEO, Deaf Smith County Hospital District. “It’s all about continuing to build on this foundation and advance care in our region, and I couldn’t be more proud of the entire DSCHD team for this recognition of our work.”
Since joining DSCHD in 2016, Barnhart has spearheaded expansion of the outpatient clinic’s hours to weekends to increase availability for patients, introduced podiatry services, and partnered with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center to bring surgery services and teleICU care to Hereford. Barnhart also oversaw expansion of several services, including wound care and the WorkSmart program, an employee wellness program. Under Barnhart’s leadership, the hospital also launched a community paramedicine program, integrating inpatient, EMS, outpatient, and social work services to bring post-hospitalization care to the community and reduce preventable readmissions.
In addition to maintaining a license as a registered emergency medical technician, Barnhart also lends his expertise in emergency response and trauma care to the Advisory Council on Emergency Medical Services (GETAC), where he has served as an appointee of Governor Abbott since 2016.
“Rural hospitals are faced with the extraordinary task of providing access to quality care for patients while ensuring they have the necessary resources to do so,” said John Hawkins, THA president and CEO. “This work requires innovative and effective leadership to get the job done, which Jeff has embodied since day one.”
The THA Pioneer Award is given to a CEO/administrator of a rural hospital or health care system who demonstrates creative and innovative management achievements and leadership within the organization and community. THA is the state’s largest hospital association, representing more than 450 of the state’s hospitals.