New PeachTree Healthcare CEO ready for pivotal role
In a pivotal role in a sector about to go through some major changes, the new chief executive officer of PeachTree Healthcare is making some adjustments of his own.
Greg Stone, who joined PeachTree three weeks ago, said he is anticipating a sea change in health care as provisions of federal government health care reform go into effect in the next 18 months.
"The idea of the Affordable Care Act is very solid, but it's hard to see what it's going to look like," said Stone, 46, who most recently served as chief operating officer for the Petaluma Health Center in Sonoma County.
"If we get the model right to deal with what we have now, then we can scale it," he said.
Community health centers like not-for-profit PeachTree, headquartered in Linda, are expected to play a major role in health care reform, partially by providing low-cost care to people who are underinsured.
Stone said he recognizes that Yuba-Sutter often receives poor marks for its population's rate of chronic disease, but believes demographics are only part of the problem.
"I'm not sure those people are connected to services," he said, explaining when he compares the local population in need to who PeachTree serves, there is a gap. "There's still a big unmet need for some reason."
But with the requirement under health care reform for everyone to have insurance, health providers like PeachTree will have to show their outcomes to close those gaps.
If PeachTree can show data for positive results in treating diabetes patients, for example, or helping pregnant mothers, Stone said, it will give newly empowered health consumers information to make better choices for them.
But the clinics have to do their part, too, by getting the word out among schools, bus nesses and families of what they offer.
"It's in our best interest to get a complete picture for you," he said. "To generalize, I hope people know I'm available. I want to know what's really happening out there.
"There's a lot to do here. My job is to listen to and advocate for patient needs in our care."
Stone, who has spent 20 years in health care administration, began his career in health care as a clinical laboratory scientist at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
He replaced Tom Walther, who retired.
He eventually became a lab director and then worked in the high-tech industry before joining an air medical services company and later heading Petaluma Health Center.
Stone lives in Browns Valley with his wife and has four children.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.