Dr. Wesley Thompson, MD, Chief of Staff at Fairfield Memorial Hospital, has accepted a position with Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Idaho and will be leaving the Wayne County community in March 2021 after 17 years of dedicated service to Wayne and the surrounding counties.

“We are saddened by Dr. Thompson’s departure and he will be greatly missed,” stated Kathy Bunting-Williams, Fairfield Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer. “At Fairfield Memorial, we will continue to offer the high level of quality care our community has always received. Recruitment efforts are on-going and we wish Dr. Thompson and his family the best on this worthwhile venture. Our veterans deserve top quality care and Dr. Thompson’s decision to dedicate his career is a noble cause that we cannot fault him for pursuing even though it means his departure from our community.” However, a new physician has been hired to help absorb his patient load and arrangements have been made for endoscopic procedures to continue at FMH.

Meeting the needs of patients from the surrounding counties is something in which the staff at Fairfield Memorial Hospital and its’ clinics prides itself on. Dr. Marla Lafikes, FMH Horizon Healthcare Medical Director, commented “It has been a pleasure working with Dr. Thompson. I want our patients and their families to be reassured that Fairfield Memorial Hospital and Horizon Healthcare remains committed to providing healthcare services to those in need.”

Kayla Bell, Physician Assistant at FMH Horizon Healthcare, remarked “It will be a loss for the community and the hospital, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him at one of the few hospitals in the area that provides services to people who otherwise would not have convenient access to care. I will continue to utilize the knowledge that he has shared with me throughout the years to help provide quality care to our patients.”

“Working exclusively with veterans has been a goal of mine and something I have been considering for the past few years. As a veteran, I have a special place in my heart and a great desire to help my fellow veterans with their healthcare needs. Whether it is transitioning back to civilian life and the issues that can sometimes occur during this transition or helping those who have been wounded in combat, I want to be able to make a difference in their lives. I am extremely grateful to my co-workers, FMH Administration, the staff at Fairfield Memorial Hospital, my patients and their families for all of the support I have received throughout my time here.” stated Dr. Wesley Thompson, MD.

“For Fairfield Memorial, it is important to build a sense of community. We are highly invested in preventive medicine. This is a rural area and it’s very important to keep everybody healthy, to try to prevent disease. We all hate to see Dr. Thompson go and while he moves on to his next chapter of caring for veterans, we’ll continue to take care of our community, whether at our medical offices or in the hospital.” noted Dr. Christopher Ballard, MD, Family Medicine/Lead COVID-19 Physician at Fairfield Memorial Hospital/Horizon Healthcare.

The past twelve months have drastically changed the face of medicine and the team at Fairfield Memorial Hospital have been on top on how it has responded to COVID-19 procedures and patients. “Regarding the pandemic, we’re coping very well. We haven’t had the need for additional staff. We’ve been able to contend with it very well despite the increase of cases. We’ve been busy, but we have not been maxed out as far as our capacity goes,” Dr. Lafikes says.

“Our COVID-19 response has been phenomenal. We made COVID-19 a priority very early. We try to get to people as early as possible,” stated Dr. Ballard. “Although, we had to make a lot of changes in rooming patients, we’ve been under capacity. Still, people have a lot of misconception on the virus and its vaccine. COVID may be new, but this [medical technology] has been in the works for more than 10 years; given other viruses. Now vaccines are easier to develop and produce. We have the applied science. We understand the role of Messenger RNA. There have been great studies lately, like from UC San Diego. In fact, there have been more studies on this vaccine than on any other vaccine in history.” 

About Fairfield Memorial Hospital:
Fairfield Memorial Hospital has been serving the health care needs of its surrounding communities since 1950. Today, it is a fully accredited, not-for-profit critical access hospital, which is operated solely on the revenues it generates, not reliant on tax monies like county hospitals in other surrounding communities. The hospital has a Medical Staff comprised of over 70 credentialed physicians and healthcare providers—from home health to acute-care to cancer care, offering numerous services in times of wellness and in times of need. Their sole purpose is to provide excellence in healthcare to the communities they serve, and are committed to public health education, wellness, and preventive medicine. For more information, visit www.fairfieldmemorial.com