SITE MEDICAL DIRECTOR PERSPECTIVE: Living & Working in Nashville, Arkansas
With: Dr. Chadwick Gaddis, Site Medical Director
Tell us about the facility where you work?
Dr. Gaddis: As a member of the community, I am also part of the family at Howard Memorial. This facility is the only place where I haven’t felt like just a number – it has been so natural to develop personal connections with all the members of Administration. Howard Memorial Hospital is a 20-bed critical access hospital, and serves Howard and surrounding counties.
One of the biggest perks of working here at Howard Memorial is the administrative team. When you have the support of your hospital leaders, it’s easy to perform with a try harder, do more mentality. The CEO here at Howard, truly makes it that way. She trusts us, works with us, and through that level of support and engagement, she let’s us spread our wings, develop ideas, and trusts our drive and mission to deliver improvements. Howard’s administrative team is directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the ED and not just the hospital as a whole. At Howard, everyone is such a tight working group. Administration, ER physicians and nurse leaders are all involved in community service and development. The team here is so community focused and engaged – I’ve never seen anything like it.
Tell us about your role as the Site Medical Director at Howard and with NES Health?
Dr. Gaddis: I truly enjoy my role here at the Site Medical Director of the ED. From the moment I first walked into the building I felt an immense sense of relief from the team. Every time I step into the hospital to work a shift, I am still grateful to be part of this team.
I have worked with NES, on and off for almost 8 years now. Personally, I would never work with another management company. I have had hundreds of job offers, and turned them all down. When it comes to NES – they have always been in my corner. When working with the executive team at NES, I couldn’t ask for a better CMO, Dr. Wexler. It’s always made clear that I can reach out and talk to him any time with issues, or questions. He has been extremely supportive to me and my role as SMD from day 1. Jennifer Moore, the CEO at NES Health is the same way. I have always been able to communicate with the leadership team at NES. There is never a question of support, communication or teamwork. My best words to describe NES – “A safe place to work”
Tell us about the community you serve. What do you love most about it?
Dr. Gaddis: Howard Memorial Hospital is located in SW Arkansas in a small quaint town called Nashville, Arkansas. The rural area serves about 5,000 citizens. After living in many different towns and communities during my time in the military, I refer to Nashville as “A diamond in rough”. If I could describe the community in my own words; it feels like 1980, but set in the current time. “It feels like home”. I feel that Howard Memorial Hospital serves a truly unique small-town community. The people here enjoy many outdoor activities at the lake or at the mountains which are only an hour away. Dericks lake is beautiful, with great fishing, water sports or you can enjoy the rapids at Caddo River. A unique activity in our community is exploring the diamond mines. You can visit a diamond mine; pay a flat fee and whatever diamond you find, you keep. Just outside of Nashville is larger suburb communities where you can find anything you could imagine for entertainment.
Tell us about your training, educational background and professional interest.
Dr. Gaddis: I grew up just outside of Athens Georgia. I joined the Military as a Navy corpsman, serving 2 of my 4 years on aircraft carrier. While I was on ship, I truly feel it prepared me for rural medicine. When you’re on a ship in bad weather, you have to do what needs to be done to save people lives; it pushes you outside of your comfort zone.
After my 4 years in the military, I received my Master’s Degree in pre-med Biology. I was then accepted to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Georgia and completed my internship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. I loved it. I did my rotating internship focused on Emergency Medicine and then accepted a position as a flight surgeon for four years stationed in Beaufort, SC. Following my time as a flight surgeon, I came to work for NES Health part time in Alaska until I completed my service time. I am now here at Howard and still working with NES Health and look forward to the years to come with our partnership.
Tell us about your team and culture at Howard Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Gaddis: We have a team here that is truly patient centered and focused. Everyone here is quick to help each other, and are all committed to making improvements. We have an experienced team of nurses who can handle anything, but as a hospital and community thrive with having a dedicated community leader. At one point, we added up all the years of service of our ER Nurses and had a total of 350+ years. We all enjoy what we do and love the community.
Even it is only 45 minutes away for our community patients to receive care at a larger hospital; they would rather come to our facility. We provide care at a personal level and our patients would rather stay here with us for our engagement than travel and feel like just a number.
I work as an EM physician, and sometimes as a Hospitalist. I once treated a very sick septic patient and sat his bedside for 6 hours and provided 1-on-1 care until things were resolved. The family reached out and shared that they have “Never seen anything like that” Here at Howard, we are small enough to give the community they deserve and want.
When you aren’t practicing at Howard Memorial Hospital, what’s your favorite place or activity in Nashville?
Dr. Gaddis: If I’m not in the ER working, you’ll find me in the woods. I love both hunting and fishing. In the area we have great bear or alligator hunting. I originally had not intentions of being here in Nashville long-term, but quickly feel in love with the area and the community. Howard Memorial and the community of Nashville I hope will be a place I call home for a long time to come.
Is there anything else about NES Health you would like to share?
I know as a physician there are a lot of choices out there. I would put NES health against any locums or management group. The provide support, are attentive and have a level or personal engagement that is like none other. They give me the tools necessary to get the job done every time.
Howard Memorial Hospital has been an ED management and staffing partner with NES since 2016. We are honored to have Dr. Gaddis lead the ED as the Site Medical Director and to have Howard be part of the NES Health family. NES looks forward to our continued journey with Dr. Gaddis and Howard Memorial Hospital in transforming patient care, together.