State group applauds Dr. Salmons' service to rural patients

Maybe it's serendipity.

Sally Salmons, MD, believes she has a tendency to always “fall into the right thing.” Like in 2013, when she began oversight of a few Carle rural locations.

Starting as a Family Medicine physician in Tuscola in 2005, Dr. Salmons displayed passion for health care in rural communities. Around the same time, Carle began placing more emphasis on understanding and developing care for rural patients.

In addition to this stroke of luck, Dr. Salmons quickly translated her experience into something this organization needed.

She now serves as Carle’s Medical Director for Primary Care, Pediatric Subspecialties, Medical Specialties, Transitional Care Services and Regional Health.

This role equates to oversight of every rural location, spanning as far north as Watseka and as far south as Effingham. In support of Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, she partners with CEO Harry Brockus. Their partnership ensures alignment with Carle’s goals for quality health care.

Dr. Salmons shouldn't need any more proof she is the right person at the right time for this aspect of Carle’s strategic direction.

But if she does, it came a few weeks ago.

At the 2016 Welcome and Recognition Reception, the Illinois Rural Health Association named her its Physician Excellence Award winner.

“It means a lot to me that this award came from the Illinois Rural Health Association," Dr. Salmons said. "Their whole purpose mirrors what Carle strives for. We both want to raise the tide of health care in rural communities where resources are not plentiful.

“I’ve worked in rural communities before, which helped shape my thought process.”

Brockus felt compelled to recognize Dr. Salmons for this award because her effort contributes to improving quality markers, recruitment and patient satisfaction. All are areas that greatly affect the rural entities Carle operates.

“Over the years, her responsibilities have grown and with it has emerged a genuine passion for ensuring that our rural populations get the care they deserve,” Brockus wrote in the nomination letter.

“Dr. Salmons loves her rural community and has devoted herself to improving many rural communities in our service area.”

The inspiration to do this every day comes from knowledge of what it’s like for rural health care entities to go without a support system.

Dr. Salmons now makes sure our locations have the resources they need at their fingertips.

Carle's central supply calculates how locations use materials and promptly ships items when needed. The lab offers expertise in a timely manner. Carle Direct provides an efficient transfer process for patients who need a different level of care.

That means the providers gain time back with the people who need it – their patients.

“As a provider, you have to have your mind on what’s in front of you,” Dr. Salmons said. “What’s nice about what we do is that we provide resources for our providers, which calms everything going on around them.”