Slaba receives AHA’s Rural Hospital Leadership Award

Bryan Slaba, CEO of Wagner Community Memorial Hospital, is the 2017 recipient of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Rural Hospital Leadership Award. The award recognizes small or rural hospital chief executives and administrators who have achieved improvements in local health delivery and health status through their leadership and direction.

Slaba joined Wagner Community Memorial Hospital – Avera (WCMH-A) in 2007 as CFO and was elevated to CEO in 2008. Under his leadership, WCMH-A has been transformed from a small community hospital into one of the most technologically advanced critical access hospitals in the region. Within four years of becoming CEO, Slaba expanded and reconstructed the facility by adding a rehabilitation and primary care clinic space, as well as adding a patient wing while renovating the existing structure for radiology, laboratory and outpatient services.

As leader of the executive management team, Slaba has worked hard to build strong relationships with the hospital’s employees and area facilities. He helped to create a more communicable environment between WCMH-A and Indian Health Services and the Yankton Sioux Tribe, resulting in the establishment of an eight-chair dialysis center. He has also built strong relationships with the physicians at WCMH-A, and has implemented telemedicine and the use of eEmergency, eStroke, eICU, ePharmacy, eConsult and eHospitalist.

Slaba’s “Grow Your Own” project has sponsored five of WCMH-A’s registered nurses to Nurse Practitioners. Combined with telemedicine, the programs have addressed CMS’s “Triple Aim” by retaining access to essential care services, dramatically improving patient satisfaction/quality while reducing direct ER cost by over 30%, reverting expenses back to 2012 levels.

Slaba has also become a prominent member of the Wagner community. He is a very active Rotarian, including holding the position of president in 2010 and 2011. He is also the co-founder and president of the nonprofit Parkview Villa, a 57-unit low-income elderly housing unit and is the president of Wagner Area Growth (WAG), the city’s nonprofit economic development corporation.

Reprinted from the American Hospital Association’s press release.