Lakeland’s Dr. Edwards to head medical staff

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
ST. JOSEPH - Dr. Kenneth Edwards was recently named president of the Lakeland Regional Health System Medical Staff in Saint Joseph and Niles. He has been vice-chairman of the Michigan State Medical Society and is currently on the State Board of Medicine.
Dr. Edwards has been part of the medical staff at Lakeland for the past 12 years as an orthopedic surgeon.
Edwards' experience at Lakeland has helped prepare him for his new role. "I was chairman of surgery quality," he said, "and for the past two years was vice-president of the medical staff."
As president, he will act as a liaison between the 303 member medical staff, Lakeland's administration, and the Board of Directors.
Edwards said of his new position, "I think my most important role is to be the interface between the interests of the medical staff and patients, and the administration. I have to be a leader in quality as director of the hospital, both state wide and nationally. My second most important role is to be a representative of the staff to the public throughout the Niles and St. Joe area."
Edwards will also be responsible for coordinating activities between patient care services, the nursing department, and the medical staff. He will also be responsible for the development and implementation of methods for credential review and the monitoring of practice and quality assessment, as well as the delineation of physician privilege.
Edwards said, "It all goes back to the increase in pressure from the federal government, the insurance companies, and the general public. When patients are treated, they want well-credentialed and up-to-date qualifications from their physicians. We want to metamorph from the old rubber stamp approach for credentials to scrutinizing the candidates in detail. We want to look at them more closely."
Another area that Dr. Edwards will be in charge of is continuing education. According to him, his goals are three-part.
Looking at both the growth and changes from the past years, and the possibilities for Lakeland's future, Dr. Edwards is very positive about the directions they are headed.
Edward's position as president of the medical staff at Lakeland Regional Health System is a two-year term.
He is replacing Dr. Mark Harrison, a specialist in the control of infectious diseases. Dr. Harrison has been at Lakeland since 1993.