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RICK Hildebrant

Company: Rutland Regional Medical Center
Title: Medical Director, Hospital Medicine
Age: 36


Favorite Part of Job: The favorite part of my job is that I have the ability to make a positive impact in the life of my patients, the operation of the hospital and the health of our community.  Also, my job affords me the flexibility to do so while working on community service projects with my wife and sons. 

Most Inspiring Mentor: My father has always inspired me to reach for the stars.  As a poor dairy farmer my father left home with quite literally the shirt on his back.  From there he rose to be a successful aerospace engineer who helped design the space shuttle and the Boeing 747.  He raised 3 successful children, two of whom grew up to be physicians and another a successful executive.  


Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I really enjoy working with my hands. Whether its building a playground for my kids, helping remodel the house or crafting with my wife I get a great deal of satisfaction of making something useful from simple materials.


What three words best describe you: Hardworking. Passionate. Caring. (My wife answered this one.)


What song on your playlist are you ashamed to tell your best friend: 90% of my current music playlists are from children’s movies, and I kinda like them!


Favorite Vermont Escape: Hiking at the Taconic Mountains Ramble with my family and our dog Oakley.  On the way home, we always stop by the Hayward family farm, so my two boys can see the cows, chase the chickens and play in their corn pit. 


Favorite Downtime Activity: Drinking coffee and solving the New York Times Crossword puzzle with my wife.  


Favorite Super Hero: Ironman.  He is just a regular person with no super powers to speak of who uses his intelligence to make inventions that turn him into a superhero.


Favorite Social Media: I am not a huge fan of social media for personal use, but I have recently started using Linkedin and have found it a good way to both network and keep up to date on the latest info from my connections.


Person you would like to share a Vermont beverage with: Foley brothers skeleton crew with Elon Musk.  I think he could use a drink right about now. 


If you had unlimited access to funds, which causes would you support: I would overhaul the system for caring for patients following hospital discharge.  Currently there are inadequate resources for elderly patients in need of skilled care resulting in unnecessary, over-utilization of expensive hospital-based care.


What else would you like to accomplish in the next 5-10 years: I would like to help Rutland Regional navigate through the dramatic changes coming to healthcare and come out a strong independent organization. 


What motivated you to live and work in Vermont: The beautiful landscape, the welcoming people and the size.  Rutland is a wonderful community which is big enough to have restaurants, festivals and events, but small enough that a single passionate individual can make a real difference.  


Career Highlights: After becoming Medical Director of Hospital Medicine, I implemented a departmental dashboard to leverage data to help improve the operations of our department.  I followed this up with individual physician scorecards focusing on patient satisfaction, coding accuracy, and ED throughput.  These measures resulted in improved revenue and efficiency while reducing operating costs.  As a physician leader, I co-chaired the Clinical Integration Committee, served as Medical Director of the Rutland Collaborative and as the Regional Clinician Representative of OneCare Vermont to help improve care delivery in our community across the continuum of care.  This work has broken down many of the barriers between the organizations within our community and opened up lines of communication to improve the care delivery in Rutland. More recently, I led a large workgroup responsible for the implementation of interdisciplinary rounds across the inpatient units at Rutland Regional.  This has improved interdepartmental communication, patient care and both patient and staff satisfaction.  Finally, I developed and implemented a nurse practitioner program within hospital medicine which has been hugely successful and is growing.


Community Involvement: In conjunction with a number of parents from my community I helped to found and currently serve as president of the Rutland Autism Family Group a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for positive growth and enrichment to those with autism, their families, caregivers, and friends.  We achieve this mission primary through community education, autism friendly events and a family and caregiver support group.  Through this organization we have run over a dozen events in the last year making a big impact on both my family and many of those in our community.  

As seasoned runners my wife and I have taken an interest in both training would-be athletes and organizing events in our area.  I have for the past 4 years served as a Couch-2-5K coach and helped over a hundred people get off the couch and become more physically active.   I have also helped organize the hospital 5K for 3 years and served as race co-director for the Clarendon Elementary Color-Run for the past 2 years.  This last year we quadrupled our proceeds bringing much needed finances to our school. 


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