29 Dec Unity names chief medical officer
Dr. Roddy Lochala was recently named the new Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Unity Health – White County Medical Center in Searcy.
Lochala received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and attended medical school at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City. Before joining the Ray Montgomery Department of Graduate Medical Education Family Medicine Residency program as associate program director in January 2019, he worked in private practice for 17 years in Newport.
Lochala said in his new role, he is looking forward to building relationships with other servant leaders as they work toward being one of the top hospitals in the country. As CMO, Lochala is a member of both the physician and administrative teams, with a focus on ensuring patient safety, quality and efficiency. He will also continue to work with the Family Medicine resident physicians in the Continuity Care Clinic at Searcy Medical Center.
“I am focused on providing patients the right care in the right place and at the right time,” Lochala said. “Quality care and patient safety is everyone’s responsibility at Unity Health. I want to create an environment of patient-centered teamwork through every department in the hospital focused on quality and safety.”
Lochala’s focus is also on looking to the future and striving to keep Unity Health current in healthcare treatments. Already, the Family Medicine Continuity Clinic, along with infectious disease specialist Dr. Courtney Hicks have increased awareness of a local option to treat Hepatitis C. Providers have also worked with Hispanic community leaders to remove barriers to treatment that present a risk to patients and their families.
Unity Health has implemented the use of telemedicine technology as well. Patients and physicians no longer have to be in the same location to receive many types of care, and telemedicine helps bridge the gap between patients and providers.
As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Unity Health providers also have the resources to conduct eConsults, which allow providers to consult excellent physicians and researchers at Mayo Clinic at no cost to the patient. Unity Health surgeons also utilize the da Vinci Surgical System to aid in precision and control during surgery.
“As a physician and CMO, I have an opportunity to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of our community by ensuring quality care in our hospital and encouraging healthy behaviors outside of our hospital,” Lochala said.
In addition to being CMO, Lochala is an Air National Guard flight surgeon and currently serves as chief of aerospace medicine for the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis. He is on the board of directors of El Puente Hispanic Services Center in Searcy, where they help provide services to the Hispanic community to aid in access to medical care, help with documentation and provide English lessons. In his free time, Lochala enjoys spending time with his wife and high school sweetheart, Mary Kathryn, and their two daughters, as well as traveling, reading and duck hunting.