Rockcastle Regional Receives Quality Award for the Thirteenth Time

By Jana Bray, Community Relations Director on 06/05/2023 9:53 AM

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Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center has received the Kentucky Hospital Association’s Quality Award for the thirteenth time in the last 19 years the award was presented.

Rockcastle Regional earned the award because of its efforts to promote and support the emotional and physical well-being of its employees in the post-pandemic era.

Workplaces play a significant role in our lives by affecting both physical and mental well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic brought this to the forefront, as every healthcare employer felt the impact of employee burnout.

When employees’ workplace well-being isn’t supported, burnout occurs at an exponential rate. Health worker burnout, in turn, has a myriad of negative consequences for not only the worker, but the patient, the healthcare system, and the community.

“In the post-COVID-19 era, we experienced a tremendous barrage of negative consequences resulting from employee burnout,” said Carmen Poynter, Rockcastle Regional human resources director. “From workforce shortages, to reduced morale, to retention struggles – there wasn’t an area of the organization not impacted by the overall decrease in employee well-being.”

“The organization began with a goal to make the focus of 2022 on employee well-being,” said Rockcastle Regional president and CEO, Stephen A. Estes. “The purpose of this focus was to identify areas of employee burnout and develop new ways to support employees’ well-being to prevent burnout from occurring in the first place.”

The program was based on the Eight Dimensions of Wellness: Environmental, Emotional, Financial, Social, Spiritual, Occupational, Physical, and Intellectual. When evaluating both existing and new programs, each resource was aimed at improving a specific dimension of employee wellness.

Rockcastle Regional had an already existing robust employee assistance program that consisted of support programs like an on-site child development center, an employee financial assistance program, and on-site behavioral health and counseling services, to name a few. The program aimed at furthering many of these existing programs, as well as launching new services, such as the employee recovery room and providing learning opportunities for employees to access resources and education on their overall well-being.

“We are honored to be recognized, yet again, with this prestigious award,” said Estes. “This year’s award is a testament to our commitment to providing an outstanding workplace for our employees, with a focus on their physical, social, and emotional well-being. When our employees are thriving and have a positive work environment, they are better able to provide the absolute best care to our patients.”

The award is presented to honor hospital leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment in patient care. It is also meant as a way to inspire other healthcare organizations to use the winning hospitals’ programs as examples of how to improve their own quality and patient safety efforts.

Before this year, Rockcastle Regional won the KHA Quality Award in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. There was no award presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about the KHA Quality Award, visit

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