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Local News

October 31, 2013

Baker named first Chief Medical Officer

CORYDON — Wayne County Hospital and Clinic System has selected Joel Baker, D.O. as the hospital’s first Chief Medical Officer. As the hospital’s physician executive, Baker serves as a liaison between hospital administration and the medical staff practicing at the hospital and throughout the clinic system.

“As chief medical officer, Dr. Baker has an important role in driving key clinical and strategic initiatives that are becoming increasingly complex as we move into the world of ACO’s and such,” commented Daren Relph, CEO of WCHCS.

Dr. Baker will be actively involved in working with our providers to enhance clinical performance and resource management as well as ensure high-quality outcomes, while continuing to provide outstanding service and excellent patient care.

“Proper communication is so vitally important. His presence at our board meetings is a tremendous asset,” added CEO Daren Relph.

In his new role, Dr. Baker reports to CEO Relph and will manage initiatives involving clinical quality, safety, medical staff affairs and case management.

“I am privileged to serve as the first chief medical officer for WCHCS. Being a southern Iowa native and having raised my family here, it is extremely rewarding for me to have this opportunity to serve in this capacity,” said Dr. Baker.

Dr. Baker earned his medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. He completed his internship and residency at the Des Moines General Hospital where he received the Des Moines General Intern of the Year award in 1994. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Central College of Pella.

Dr. Baker is board certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Practitioners, Advance Trauma Life Support and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care.

Dr. Baker is a valued member of the South Central Medical Clinic in Corydon. He previously served as the medical director for Hospice of Central Iowa and also as a practicing physician at the Monroe County Clinics in Albia. He has been an active community leader over the years serving as both the Wayne County medical examiner and the WCHCS chief of medical staff.

Dr. Baker and his wife, Kim, have three grown children and make their home in Corydon. In his free time he enjoys sports, writing, playing music on the piano and guitar and spending time with family.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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