Ravan Krickbaum: A Legacy of Caring for People in Hawkins County

Ravan Krickbaum, chairwoman of the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital board of directors and a Wellmont Health System board member, has established a lengthy track record of care and concern for people in the community. During her tenure, Hawkins County Memorial has earned national accolades for its quality, including being named a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital and placing among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the country for patient satisfaction in overall hospital care, overall medical care and overall surgical care. Ravan is also the recipient of the Support Service Award, which is one of the Business Journal of Tri-Cities TV/VA's five special Cups of Kindness awards.

Whether you know her or not, chances are good your life has been touched by Ravan Krickbaum if you live in Hawkins County. Throughout her career with Rogersville City Schools and her service as a member and chairwoman of the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital board of directors, Krickbaum has established a lengthy track record of care and concern for people in the community.

“Ravan is an asset to Hawkins County,” said Nancy Davis, the county clerk and a fellow member of the Hawkins County Memorial board. “She is a fixture in the community and an amazing person who is always there when you need her. She genuinely cares about other people.”

Krickbaum started her career caring for some of Rogersville’s youngest residents as a first grade and special education teacher and guidance counselor. She moved on to direct the special education program, and then to direct Rogersville City Schools. She retired after 34 years with the school system.

But while she was working in the school system, Krickbaum was also involved in other areas in the community – many of them related to health care. She has helped Hawkins County Memorial for more than 20 years and has also served on the boards for Hawkins County Emergency Medical Services and the Chip Hale Center, an agency that provides a supported living program and day services to people with disabilities.

“Ravan puts more time and energy into her work with the Hawkins County Memorial board than anyone I’ve ever seen,” says Frank Testerman, a member of the board and former hospital administrator. “When she works on something, she really studies and learns about it. She’s always well-informed and a hard worker in all she does.”

Quality is one of Krickbaum’s major areas of focus. In addition to her duties on the Hawkins County Memorial board, she serves on the Wellmont Health System board and on its quality and audit committees. In recent years, her focus on quality has paid off, with Hawkins County Memorial receiving national recognition for overall hospital care, quality in key measures, surgical care and room cleanliness – recognition made all the more impressive when the size of the hospital, 50 beds, is taken into consideration. National recognition received by the hospital includes:

  • In May 2016, iVantage Health Analytics named Hawkins County Memorial a Top 100 Rural Community Hospital.
  • Also in May 2016, the National Rural Health Association named Hawkins County Memorial a Top 20 Rural Community Hospital.
  • In February 2016, Truven Health Analytics named Hawkins County Memorial one of the top 100 hospitals in the country and one of 17 winners for the Everest Award.
  • In November 2015, The Joint Commission selected Hawkins County Memorial Hospital as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® for 2015 in pneumonia and immunization.
  • For the last four years, CareChex®, a division of Comparion® Medical Analytics, has selected Hawkins County Memorial among the top 10 percent in the country for patient satisfaction in overall hospital care, overall medical care and overall surgical care.

“Hawkins County Memorial has excellent management and leadership,” said Testerman. “Our board works very closely with leadership at the hospital, and much of that is a credit to Ravan. We work very collaboratively and are committed to making the hospital as strong as it can be.”

Collaboration is important to Krickbaum. Not only does she actively interact with the board and hospital leadership – she can also be seen in the halls of the hospital, sometimes providing comfort to patients and their families as a volunteer chaplain and joining physicians and other care providers for safety rounds at least once a month, where she sometimes leads meetings.

“It’s a great benefit to have her in these meetings because she really focuses on the patient perspective,” said Rebecca Beck, Hawkins County Memorial’s president. “She finds ways to help medical staff understand how what we’re talking about translates into care at the bedside. She helps us think about things a little differently.”

Krickbaum is committed to finding and creating connections – between people, the hospital and the community. “She treats everyone the same and finds ways to relate,” said Beck.

Recently, Krickbaum has started developing a patient-family council to examine ways to make the hospital more “user-friendly” for patients and their families. “She wants to talk with people in our community about all aspects of the processes within the hospital, from admission to discharge to wayfinding,” said Beck.

“Ravan is committed to doing all she can to make sure people in our community are cared for,” Davis said. “In addition to her work on various boards throughout the community, I have seen her reach out to people individually if they need help. She does it quietly and without reservation – just because she thinks it’s the right thing to do.”

Krickbaum has displayed her empathy and understanding for others in a variety of ways during her tenure on the Hawkins County Memorial board, but one of the more concrete ways was when she spearheaded the construction of a chapel at the hospital in 2010. “Ravan led the construction of the chapel, raising money from the community and the Wellmont Foundation,” said Testerman. “She wanted patients and families at the hospital to have someplace peaceful where they could seek comfort.”

More than anything, perhaps, Krickbaum is a person of action. “Raven is well-spoken and well-respected across sectors,” said Testerman. “She takes the time to really listen to people.”

She listens, she learns and she acts. Throughout her career of public service, her actions have contributed to the education, health and welfare of people throughout Hawkins County and the region. For these reasons, Ravan Krickbaum is a Healthcare Hero.

Thank you for your consideration.