Dr. Paige Hatcher’s trip to France in April resulted in more than recognition at an international forum on quality and safety sponsored by the British Medical Journal. She said “yes” to the love of her life.
Hatcher began practicing in Marion in October. Her fiancé, Scott Dodson, is a park ranger for the U.S. Corp of Engineers at Marion Reservoir.
Hatcher grew up at Haven, and Dodson grew up in southeast Kansas. They first connected on the online dating site PlentyofFish.
“I actually turned Scott down the first time he asked me out, but by our second date, I felt like we had known each other for ages,” Hatcher said.
“We just hit it off,” Dodson said. “Paige is an all-around remarkable woman. She’s intelligent and has a sense of humor.”
“I was first attracted to Scott because he is very polite and very earnest,” Hatcher said. “There are many reasons I am happy I moved to Marion, but Scott is my soulmate, so it’s the best part so far.”
Dodson joined Hatcher in France after her presentation at the forum. They spent two weeks sightseeing, including visits to the Eiffel Tower, Normandy, and several castles and museums.
They were in Paris when Dodson popped the question.
“We had talked about it quite a bit, so I was surprised that he was asking me so formally,” Hatcher said. “I answered, ‘OK.’ He instantly started teasing me that I had hurt his feelings, and I think now it will be a funny story for many years.”
They had plans to be married in September, but after the trip to France, Hatcher was diagnosed with a large mass in her liver and is scheduled for surgery June 10. The couple decided to get married right away. They tied the knot May 20 in a small church ceremony. They have bought a house in Marion and plan to make Marion their home.
Hatcher has a master’s degree in public health and is a member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
“I teach doctors how to think about improving public health care,” she said.
Just as private industries continually seek to improve their production practices and products, health care professionals need continually to seek to improve on the care they provide, Hatcher said.
She said when doctors see a patient, they need to look at the overall population and environment to determine why the patient might have a particular medical problem.
“How do we take it so that no one person is blamed when something goes wrong,” she said. “Whenever a problem occurs, not just one thing is to blame.”
IHI.org offers online courses that doctors can take to learn how to improve their care and to make patients and their families partners in their care. They also can study patient safety to reduce preventable deaths and learn how to provide care that is affordable and sustainable. The triple aim is to improve care, improve population health, and reduce costs per person.
Hatcher said the approach is somewhat new. She has one published paper on the subject and is in the process of producing another one.
Her focus is on family medicine and preventive medicine.
“Health isn’t the absence of disease but the presence of wellness,” she said. “We want to help people live their lives in the most healthful way possible.”