Amy Carrier is on a roll and focused on the future. Since arriving in 2021, she has crafted a Strategic Plan, led the development of the largest Modernization Plan in the system’s history and called leading Centra “the greatest honor of my career.” In short, she has put Centra on a path to being one of the best small not-for-profit community healthcare systems in the country. She is also a passionate supporter of the greater community and Centra Foundation.
We caught up with her to discuss what’s next, community support and why she is taking part in the Centra Foundation’s new confidential and complimentary estate planning education.
Centra recently announced a multi-year Modernization Plan. This is an important moment for our healthcare system and the more than 500,000 people in our communities who rely on Centra for excellent care. What needs will the plan address and why is it important to embark on it now?
Long-range planning keeps us looking ahead. Where will we be in five, ten or fifteen years? It’s how we adapt to the needs of our community and keep up with the modernization of our facilities and industry. We realize we are serving not only our existing communities but those of the future. Through our robust triennial Community Health Needs Assessment data, population demographics, accountable care metrics, specific health indicators and our Caregiver feedback, we are able to translate the needs of our communities into actionable plans.
We know access to care and mental health services, issues impacting children and their families, and addressing chronic disease are top area needs for the region. We must evolve our continuum of care, focusing on population health, with an emphasis on primary care, virtual health and remote monitoring. We are implementing innovative tools to help us care for our communities and intervene earlier to identify and monitor chronic conditions. These will enable us to help keep our community members and patients healthier and out of the hospital and will, ultimately, drive down the cost of care.
What are some of the associated projects and what can you share about the timeline?
The first phase of our Modernization Plan will involve renovations and additions to our Lynchburg Campus. By revitalizing with contemporary facilities that include the latest innovative technologies, we will be able to continue delivering patient-centered care, increase patient access, and enhance critical and specialty care.
Elements of the Modernization Plan will include:
- A specialty medical campus on Simon’s Run that will house our Acute Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health Hospitals.
- Growth of Centra’s home-based services that will provide 24/7 access to care and support. This program will allow us to expand care beyond the hospital or clinic setting and meet patients where they are.
- Construction of a new specialty medical office building that will expand access to outpatient services and specialty care including Centra’s comprehensive Brain and Spine programs and other surgical specialists.
- Establishment of a new five-story northeast care tower to accommodate the growing number of patients who need inpatient care at Lynchburg General. This new tower will be located adjacent to the East Tower and consist of medical units, patient recovery rooms, support spaces, and shell space for future growth and capacity.
- Creation of additional parking for the Lynchburg General campus with the expansion of lots on Thomson and Tate Springs through the creation of 428 additional parking spaces. These new spaces are intended to bring all patient and visitor parking to the front of the building enabling ease of access and simplified navigation of our campus.
Several of these projects, like our home-based services and parking expansion, have already begun. We anticipate the other projects will be complete sometime over the next three to five years.
You have shared that the Modernization Plan will come to life with the assistance of joint ventures, operations, bonds and in partnership with the Centra Foundation and generous donors. Why is support from donors and the broader community important – not only for this but in general?
Donor support fuels our ability to keep pace with changing technology, services and needs beyond what our operating budget can accommodate and invest in truly top-notch programs and facilities. In addition to transforming care for the region, community support is incredibly meaningful. An example of this is Grateful Patient Giving which provides opportunities for our patients and loved ones to express their gratitude for the exceptional care they received and has also been known to help with the healing process. Centra is fortunate to have the most generous and engaged philanthropic community I’ve seen anywhere. We are grateful for this strong partnership and passion for local healthcare.
In addition to making annual and special gifts, you are participating in the confidential and complimentary estate planning education the Foundation is offering. Please share a little about the experience.
With so many recent life changes, including a move and coming to Centra, this was a perfect time to review our plan. Meeting with a representative who is warm, knowledgeable and a trusted leader in charitable estate planning was so reassuring. He asks great questions and really takes personal values into consideration. I feel confident that by going through the process, we will be able to make a bigger impact on the people and causes we love. I’m appreciative of the Foundation for offering this much needed service.
Now that you have been here almost two years, what are you enjoying most about being part of Centra and our greater community?
It’s hard to say any one thing. It’s everything just sort of coming together. It’s the combination of finding my work here at Centra so meaningful, coupled with the things this community provides that brings me joy. It’s the Caregivers here at Centra and the people I meet within the community who share their stories with me. All of this combined inspires me.
To learn more about the Modernization Plan, visit CentraHealth.com/Modernization-Plan.