Contact: Karen Gainey, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 910-291-7550 FAX: 910-291-7996

September 11, 2009

Terry Celadon, Scotland Memorial Hospital's Vice President of Patient Care, is pleased to announce that Ronnie Norton, Director of Customer Relations, has earned certification in the Patient Advocacy Certificate Program (PACP).


The PACP is a program administered through Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the first patient advocacy certification program in the world. Mr. Norton is one of 25 in the first group of participants internationally to earn this certificate.

Open to all those who deal with patients and their rights, including physicians and administrators, Mr. Norton reported the program was developed as a result of discussions with the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy (SHCA). This personal membership group of the American Hospital Association provides support to those professionals who strive to ensure high quality health care. Each of the ten component courses was based on one of the Patient Advocate Core Competencies that were defined by the SHCA Role Delineation Work Group. The value and importance of these competencies and the work to promote and support the professionalism of patient advocates are recognized by Cleveland State University.

"The course brings a holistic approach to patient advocacy," commented Mr. Norton. "My job is not about just satisfying the customer, but it's meeting the customer's needs - legally, ethically, care related, and behavior related. Society is now taking a different approach to patient satisfaction. It's called the Patient Perception, which is more than just providing a good customer experience. We must look at what our patients need from an ethical standpoint and ensure we are treating patients legally within their rights as well as being compassionate, caring, and concerned."

The certification process included the completion of ten different modules of patient advocacy. They are:
Data Management
Measuring Patient Satisfaction
Crisis Intervention
Complaint Management
Conflict Resolution
Health Care Management
Interpersonal Communication
Legal Rights
Customer Service

Throughout his ten years of service as Scotland Memorial's Customer Relations Director, Norton says patients visit him for many reasons, from suggesting improvements to services, to complaining about the food served, to something as major as assisting a patient recently diagnosed with a terminal disease with resource information. "Healthcare is a big mystery to many people. They may come to me because of lack of communication or understanding. They may not understand the process of their health care. They come sometimes because they feel the health care services they have received may not be what they perceived they should receive. Each and every one of them expect and deserve an advocate, someone who will treat them with respect and the dignity they deserve. I have learned to look not just at what is happening to the person at the moment, but what else may be affecting him or her."

Having spent 27 years in the Christian ministry and working in the community has helped prepare Norton for his hospital role as a patient advocate. "It certainly helps to understand the community and its culture," he stated. My community work has helped me to understand not just our culture but also the expectation of our patients. Working with people, ministering to people's needs, both in the church and in this position, I've found that people just want someone to care, to show some concern. We all have places that we are not familiar with and healthcare is one of those areas for many people."

Mr. Norton was born and raised in this area. He and his wife, Janice, have two children, Kristin Bell and Ronnie Norton, and two grandchildren.

If you have a question about the care provided at Scotland Memorial Hospital, please contact the Customer Relations Department at 910-291-7909.

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