Charlotte Tyson honed her bedside manner working as a nurse.

Nearly three-decades later, those skills are aiding her in her newest job as CEO of LewisGale Hospital Alleghany.

"I've always believed if you place the patient first, no matter what role you are in in the hospital, the hospital's going to be successful," explains Charlotte Tyson.

Tyson is still getting the lay of the land.
The last few days have been a whirlwind.

Whether it's meeting volunteers and staff.
Or, sitting down with executive officers to get a clearer picture of behind the scenes.
Just days in, she already knows her chief focus- which will be made even more difficult by the hospital's location.

"Physican recruitment is a challenge and probably, I can't imagine one specialty it's not a challenge in. But, being in a rural community you just have that extra challenge of finding physicans that want to be in rural communities and they're out there," she says.

In many cases, patients in the Alleghany Highlands travel to Charlottesville or Roanoke to get care, when a shorter trip could be just what the doctor ordered.

"It's real convenient. My daughter brought me coffee this morning on the way to school," chuckles Rich Patch resident Earl McClung.

Potts Creek resident Brenda Paxton agrees, "A good feeling to know that I don't have to go to Roanoke or UVA or wherever to get medical care."

Explains Tyson, "We want to position this hospital to be the most trusted hospital in the community we don't want our patients to feel like they have to go anywhere else for care."

Tyson tells us some other more obvious changes are coming to the Alleghany hopsital - any day now a 100-thousand dollar renovation will begin in the Emergency Department.

And, next year- a new, larger MRI machine will be installed.