An Interview with Tim Thornell, Cheyenne Regional’s President and Chief Executive Officer

July 2019

What have your priorities been since you started on April 8?

My first priority has been to meet with our physicians, providers and employees. I’ve made a lot of progress, visiting many of the physician offices in Cheyenne and departments within our health system over the past few months. Communication with everyone who works here is vital, to learn what is working well and where we can make improvements. To that end, I’ve also made it a priority to continue the quarterly employee Town Halls, to have an informal “meet and greet” with our employees once a month and to email a brief message to our employees every week on Friday.

Another top priority will be to continue with quality improvement. As many of you know, our health system has received several national awards for quality over the past several months. One of the most significant was being recognized as one of the top 250 hospitals in the nation by the national quality ratings organization Healthgrades. But to remain one of the best, we must always be looking for ways we can improve.

A third priority is to identify growth opportunities. As an example, we will soon be moving and expanding our Mother-Baby and Intensive Care Units to meet the growing need for those services. Our Medical Imaging Department will also be adding a new state-of-the-art MRI machine later this year. And just this month we moved our Wyoming PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) service to a new location to be able to care for more of our community’s frail, elderly population.

The final major focus will be to enhance the experience of our patients. For example, we are currently piloting a new technology called “MyChart Bedside” on two of our patient floors. This tablet-based technology allows patients to access more information about their care and their caregiver team during their hospital stay, at any time of the day or night. It’s been shown that the more patients are involved with their care, the better their outcomes are. Initiatives like “MyChart Bedside” are going to help us in this area.

What do you think is working well at Cheyenne Regional?

We have a highly talented team of providers and employees who provide great care. My job is to give them the tools and resources they need to do their jobs and to help them implement evidence-based ideas that can make our hospital and health system even better.

I want to add that I’ve been approached by many people in our community about the care and experience they’ve had here. The comments have been overwhelmingly positive. That has been very rewarding to hear.

How is your family acclimating?

Over the past few weeks, my family and I have enjoyed discovering many of the activities and amenities that Cheyenne and Laramie County have to offer. My wife, daughter, two sons and I all ran a 5K on July 4, and we went sightseeing on Cheyenne’s downtown trolley. Both of my boys are taking tennis lessons in town, and one has also joined the STING soccer team. My daughter recently took part in the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players Youth Summer Stock. She had a great time and was able to make several new friends. My wife, Tamara, and I were so impressed with the quality of the final performance and—even more important—how much fun the kids had learning their parts and putting the show together. We feel blessed to be here.