Rodger Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fauquier Health, received the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s Distinguished Service Award at the VHHA’s annual meeting on November 8.
The Distinguished Service Award is given to past or present chief executive officers of member institutions who have long records of performing outstanding, valuable or unique services to the hospital community. The VHHA’s award criteria states that recipients have made “exemplary contributions to the hospital and health system community through leadership, management, education, research or service.”
Rodger Baker has led Fauquier’s health system with vision and resolve for more than 35 years, taking it from a small community hospital to a 97-bed, state-of-the-art facility with a 33-bed emergency department, a nursing home/rehabilitation facility, assisted living facility, wound healing center and wellness center. Most significantly, Fauquier Hospital was named a Planetree-Designated Hospital in 2007. Planetree hospitals undergo a rigorous multi-year screening process demonstrating their commitment to patient-centered care. The hospital was one of the first five Planetree-designated facilities in the country.
Baker’s nomination explained, “The health system’s dedication to this transformation required not only vision and funds, it demanded a complete culture change. Patient-centered care required physical changes – like building single rooms with beds for family members; spiritual changes – like building a chapel on site and incorporating art and music into the design throughout the hospital; and philosophical changes – like hiring a patient concierge to meet with each inpatient upon admittance.
“Those changes started at the top with Baker. From the director of medical services to the workers in the housekeeping department, every employee knows that Baker walks, talks and sleeps Planetree. He lives it every day. It shows in his effort to know every of his 1,000-plus employees, in his constant striving to help the hospital achieve the highest patient and employee satisfaction numbers. Through his leadership, Baker has given staff the tools they need to do their jobs with efficiency and with compassion.
“Throughout his years with the health system, Rodger has continued to steer the health system to serve the needs of the community. An assisted living facility, wound healing center and wellness center have expanded the health system’s reach into the community.”
Marshall Doeller, chairman of the Fauquier Health System Board of Directors, spoke about Baker at the VHHA ceremony on Thursday morning. He said, “Baker does not seek the limelight or recognition for himself, but always promotes the hospital and the accomplishments of the Fauquier Health team. He is very fair and even-handed and is a real gentleman.”
Doeller pointed out that Baker has also shown the capacity to look beyond Fauquier’s borders and see the bigger picture. He has served in many leadership roles with the VHHA, including chairman in 2005-2006. He served as a delegate to the American Hospital Association and is currently a member of the AHA’s regional policy board. He was also chairman of the board of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance from 2007-2008, and was a member of the board of directors of the Northwestern Virginia Health Systems Agency from 2007-2009.
Board member Anne Hall said, “Rodger never ceases to amaze me. His calm demeanor, quick wit and ability to smoothly handle controversy are rare qualities in today’s world. In my opinion, Rodger deserves the lion’s share of credit for the growth and development of our healthcare system.”
Robin Gulick, local attorney and member of the Fauquier Health System board of directors, also spoke at the award ceremony. He said, “Rodger is a great leader. Through every decision he makes, every new initiative he spearheads, Rodger’s genuine concern is always synonymous with the mission of the hospital: to restore, promote, and maintain the health of the community.”