The Last Word: Working Together For Those We Serve

By Kevin Coughlin

About 25 years ago, I was working for a for-profit company with a career path paved with incredible advancement opportunities, a high salary, and the various trappings associated with a for-profit organization. It was fun − however, there was something missing for me. That something was a calling to work in a hospital setting to better help others in their time of need.

My professional journey has allowed me to work at Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Eliot Hospital in New Hampshire, and the last few years at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth.
Recently, I was honored to be chosen as BID-Plymouth’s president and CEO. The journey from academic medical institutions to community hospitals continues to challenge me as the industry is faced with changes and challenges from reduced insurance reimbursements, competition from other healthcare organizations, and the daily demands of a not-for-profit business that is open 24/7 and 365 days a year, to name a few. Our doors never close.

As a community business leader, one of my main concerns is ensuring that BID-Plymouth continues to provide high-quality healthcare to ensure that the residents of Plymouth and Barnstable Counties are receiving the services they want without the need to drive to Boston.

Since joining the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center family of hospitals, we have seen strong growth at BID-Plymouth and we are listening to the needs of our communities and providing them with high-quality services, programs, and physicians. We can, however, do more.

The “more” is a stronger working relationship with healthcare providers in our region.
Given the challenges facing the healthcare industry, I believe we can all do more for the region when we collaborate on providing care to our patients.

For example, BID-Plymouth launched an integrated behavioral health and substance use collaborative in 2015 to tackle the opioid epidemic in Plymouth County. Since then, we’ve brought together local civic/school systems, police departments, the Plymouth Drug Court, and numerous outpatient treatment organizations to make a tangible difference in the lives of those struggling with behavioral health and substance use.

When we listen to our patients and the communities we serve, we can better provide programs and services that they want and need. Our strong relationship with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and its network of member and affiliate hospitals provides patients in Plymouth and Barnstable Counties even more healthcare options − without the drive to Boston.

I look forward to hearing from the community and other healthcare organizations to find unique solutions to provide healthcare across two counties and to always keep patients and their families at the center of everything we do.

Kevin Coughlin is president and CEO, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth.