Hospital News


SECHD Receives Award

In a surprise visit on July 12th, Southeast Colorado Hospital District received a cash award from Integrated Community Health Partners, or ICHP. SECHD received this award based on "exceptional care to patients following Emergency Room visits".

Patients being discharged from the Emergency Room and their families have a lot to think about. Follow-up calls from hospital staff after a visit to the ER insures that patients understand needed medications, activity restrictions they may have for a short period of time, any physical therapy reminders, life-style changes needed to stay healthy; and patients receive answers to other questions they may have. The number of return visits to our ER have dramatically decreased with our follow-up procedures in place. Also commended by ICHP was our community's greater access to care through extended hours at the Medical Clinic, efforts that encourage the use of wellness visits and reminders of preventative diagnostic testing that is available here at SECHD
Southeast Colorado Hospital District is honored to receive this Award in recognition of the continued work to serve our community with quality health care.
Integrated Community Health Partners, under Colorado's Health Care Policy and Finance division, partners with health and wellness groups focused on Accountable Care in our region of Colorado.
Pictured: Members of the ICHP Team along with Representatives of SECHD
Sean Walsh, Robert Harasimowicz, Wayne Watkins, Kami Cohoon (SECHD), Rahem Mulatu, Becky Encizo, Dorothy Burke (CFO of SECHD), Chris Senz (CEO of ICHP), and Laura Wilson (SECHD)





Rick Hartley Memorial Dedication


A Memorial for Rick Hartley was dedicated on Thursday, June 29, 2017. The Memorial is located in front of the SECH Ambulance Service station at 972 Kansas St in Springfield. The Memorial includes a fountain, stonework, and flower planters - each to represent the outdoors that Rick loved. The flagpole of the Ambulance Station was also moved to the Memorial site.




In November 2015, Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service and Springfield EMS Association, Inc. lost our mentor, friend, and leader, Paramedic Rick Hartley, in the line of duty. SECH Ambulance Service and Springfield EMS Association, Inc. wish to thank all those who donated time, materials, and ideas to make this possible. It was certainly a community project.




Southeast Colorado Hospital District Celebrates Graduation of Nurse Aides


A celebration was held on June 19th recognizing the accomplishments of Dakota Cook, Catelin Churchill, Benisa Ellis, Abigail Garcia, Heidi Hale, Ally Loflin, Haley Lukie, Aspyn Maestas, Natasha Maxwell, Amy Olds, Olga Ratliff, Brenna Shettron, and Chloe Thompson who completed their Nurse Aide Training. Education to become a Nurse Aide combines classroom sessions, along with hands on learning under the supervision of professional clinicians. Candidates practice their skills while directly caring for patients and residents in the Long Term Care Center. After passing the course, graduates must take a state certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Eleven of our May graduates hope to work at the Long Term Care Center in Springfield, and two, Dakota and Chloe, plan to work in Walsh. Many of the Nurse Aides continue their education in other areas of medicine.
Pictured:
Top row: Amy Olds, Ally Loflin, Brenna Shettron, Chloe Thompson, Natasha Maxwell
Middle row: Abigail Garcia, Aspyn Maestas, Heidi Hale, Haley Lukie, Dakota Cook
Bottom row: Olga Ratliff, Catelin Churchill
Not Pictured: Benisa Ellis




SB 17-267, Sustainability of Rural Colorado


The passing of SB 17-267, Sustainability of Rural Colorado, marks a significant moment in Colorado history. This bill - in addition to other components designed to support rural Colorado through transportation and education funding - will move the Hospital Provider Fee into a separate enterprise, protecting Colorado's hospitals from a half billion-dollar budget cut. The bill sponsors and legislators created a legacy for the future of health care in Colorado and for the value of working together to find common ground. This bill has been described as the "compromise of the decade."

We applaud Colorado legislators who supported SB 17-267 and especially the bill's sponsors. They serve as a national model for their ability to work across the aisle on behalf of all Coloradans. Representative Kimmi Lewis and Senator Larry Crowder are specific examples of how important it is to elect leaders who are committed to representing the best interest of Coloradans and keeping their community interests at the heart of the debate. Representative Lewis and Senator Crowder are champions for all Coloradans.

Not only has SB 17-267 restored the proposed $528 million in cuts to hospitals through the HPF enterprise, it has made great strides in education and transportation, with a large portion of these funds allocated to rural Colorado - $30 million for rural and small schools and $1.8 billion for transportation projects over four years. Of those transportation dollars, 25 percent is required to be spent in counties with populations of 50,000 or less and 10 percent goes to transit. SB 17-267 addresses health care, education, transportation and business - the cornerstones of Colorado's economy.

Thank you to Representative Lewis and Senator Crowder and to all Colorado legislators for your ongoing efforts to work across the aisle to ensure a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all Coloradans.




Southeast Colorado Hospital District Celebrates Graduation of Nurse Aides


A celebration was held on February 24th recognizing the accomplishments of Haley Parks, Tiffany Grissom, Samantha Ritter, Dennise Martinez, Edgar Martinez, and John Mercer who completed their Nurse Aide Training. Education to become a Nurse Aide combines classroom sessions, along with hands on learning under the supervision of professional clinicians. Candidates practice their skills while directly caring for patients and residents in the Long Term Care Center. After passing the course, graduates must take a state certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Three of our February graduates hope to work at the Long Term Care Center in Springfield, and three plan to work in Walsh. Many of the Nurse Aides continue their education in other areas of medicine.
Pictured: Haley Parks, Edgar Martinez, Dennise Martinez, John Mercer, and Tiffany Grissom.



Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service Gets New Ambulance and Equipment

by Cherilyn England, SECHD EMS Director


Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service recently acquired a 2016 Dodge 4500 Type 1 Ambulance. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Emergency Medical and Trauma Services (EMTS) Division has a grant program through which state approved ambulance services can apply for matching grants to obtain funding for different Emergency Medical and Trauma Services projects. In order to maintain an updated fleet and avoid costly repairs and maintenance on older, less reliable vehicles, Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service applied for and received a 90% matching grant for the new ambulance. This is one way your tax dollars are going back to work to benefit you in our community. The new ambulance will be based in Springfield along with a 2010 Dodge Type 1, a 2016 Chevrolet Suburban transfer ambulance, and a 2001 Ford Excursion transfer ambulance. Campo Quick Response Team (QRT) has also received an update as the 1997 Ford Type 1 unit they were using has been retired and has been replaced with a 2003 Ford Type 1 vehicle previously based in Springfield.

A separate grant was also received through the CDPHE-EMTS Division for the purchase of new ambulance stretchers and load systems to be placed in both the Type 1 units based in Springfield as well as the Type 1 unit based in Campo, operating as the Campo QRT. These stretchers and load systems will improve safety and reduce the potential for injuries for the ambulance staff as well as improve safety and comfort for the patients. We, here at Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service, are pleased to better serve you with this replacement to our current fleet and the updated stretchers and load systems.

Southeast Colorado Hospital District Celebrates Graduation of Nurse Aides



A celebration was held on October 21st recognizing the accomplishments of Melissa Sandoval, Tina McMurria, Samantha Jenkins, Danyell Hebberd, and Jacqueline Greenburg who completed their Nurse Aide Training. Education to become a Nurse Aide combines classroom sessions, along with hands on learning under the supervision of professional clinicians. Candidates practice their skills while directly caring for patients and residents in the Long Term Care Center. After passing the course, graduates must take a state certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Southeast Colorado Hospital District (SECHD) pays for the testing fees for nurse aides that are hired by the SECHD/Long Term Care Center. Many of the Nurse Aides continue their education in other areas of medicine.

Pictured: Melissa Sandoval, Tina McMurria, Samantha Jenkins, Danyell Hebberd, and Jacqueline Greenburg



New Specialty Dental Clinic


Dental Clinic Opening at Springfield Medical Clinic


Southeast Colorado Hospital District is pleased to announce the opening of a Dental Specialty Clinic. The Dental Office boasts new, state-of-the-art dental equipment and is located in the Springfield Medical Clinic. Dr. Carol Morrow, DDS, anticipates regular office days in Springfield starting in September.

Dr. Carol Morrow has dental offices in Walsh, and she will continue to practice there. She plans on seeing patients once a week in the Springfield Dental Clinic. Her goal is make dental care available to many who have not been able to travel to Walsh for appointments. Known affectionately as "Dr. Carol", our dentist will be particularly focused on residents in the Long Term Care Center (LTCC). For some seniors, the trip to Walsh has been difficult. The dental office in the Springfield Clinic is spacious and can accommodate wheelchair patients. Convenient access to dental care will improve quality of life for our LTCC residents.

An additional focus of the Springfield Dental Clinic is outreach to kids. Studies show that children miss school due to tooth related pain more than any other health issue. SECHD agreed with the recommendation of Dr. Carol to address this problem and purchased X-ray equipment that is portable for use in the both the Springfield Dental Clinic and for use in remote locations. Dr. Carol will travel to schools throughout the county and examine all Kindergarten and 6th grade students taking X-rays and pictures of teeth with an intraoral camera. Her goal is to identify dental problems early before school attendance suffers, and to prioritize treatment. Parents will be notified when the exams will be given. Following the exams, Dr. Carol will recommend follow-up if needed, such as cavities needing treatment. Appointments can then be scheduled in the Springfield or Walsh clinics. This program puts Baca County on the cutting edge of dental care for children, and will serve as a pilot project for the State of Colorado.

For most patients, routine dental care will continue in the Walsh Dental Office by Dr. Carol and her hygienist. Treatment needed such as crown work and pulling teeth can be scheduled in Springfield. Long Term Care Residents will be seen by Dr. Carol in Springfield. Dr. Carol has expanded her services to start seeing patients with CICP status at the Springfield Clinic as well. (CICP provides discounted health care services to low income families.)

Appointments at the Springfield Dental Clinic will be scheduled through Dr. Carol's Walsh Office:719-324-5251.

When you arrive at the Springfield Medical Clinic for a dental appointment, you will check in at the front desk and they will let Dr. Carol know you have arrived. Billing will be handled through Dr. Morrow's office.

Access to a Dental Care Specialty Clinic has been a long time goal of SECHD and its Board of Directors. Funding for the needed Dental Equipment was acquired in part through grants from DOLA (Department of Local Affairs), the Colorado Dental Association, and from a Colorado State Nursing Home Innovation Grant. Approximately 20% of the Dental Clinic and wonderful new equipment was funded by Southeast Colorado Hospital District.




Baca County farmer directs donation to local Springfield EMS Association, Inc.


(Springfield, CO) (February 23, 2016) - Springfield EMS Association, Inc. has received a $2,500 donation from America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund and directed by local farmer David Self of Baca County. The donation will help the organization by providing improved Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in this rural area. Springfield EMS Association, Inc. intends to use the money to support local EMS education in the upcoming Emergency Medical Technician class and also to help in providing new identification and safety gear for the staff of Southeast Colorado Hospital Ambulance Service.

Springfield EMS Association, Inc. would like to sincerely thank Mr. David Self for considering their organization for this donation. "It is our goal as an organization to support the local EMS system and we are privileged to partner with Mr. Self and America's Farmers Grow Communities in providing improved emergency services to Baca County."

For six years, America's Farmers Grow Communities has collaborated with farmers to donate over $22 million to more than 8,000 community organizations across rural America. Winning farmers will direct donations to nonprofits to help fight rural hunger, purchase life saving fire and EMS equipment, support ag youth leadership programs, buy much needed classroom resources, and so much more.

America's Farmers Grow Communities partners with farmers to support local nonprofit causes that positively impact farming communities across rural America. Grow Communities is one program in the America's Farmers community outreach effort, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Other programs include America's Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, which encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 college scholarships to high school and college students pursuing ag-related degrees and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, which works with farmers to nominate rural school districts to compete for $10,000 and $25,000 math and science grants. Visit www.AmericasFarmers.com to learn more.




New Signs at Southeast Colorado Hospital District

Funded by the "Presumptive Eligibility" Program


If you drive by the hospital, you will notice beautiful new signs. The signs are designed to help patients and visitors locate the desired entrance to the facility to reach the emergency room, hospital, long term care center, or medical clinic. There are also new signs throughout the inside of the hospital. The new signs were a team effort, with Maintenance and IT designing the signs, and with the CEO and Board of Directors giving the stamp of approval. Funding for the signs came through a government program called "Presumptive Eligibility".

Presumptive Eligibility is temporary coverage of medical benefits until eligibility for either Medicaid or the CHP+ Prenatal Program is determined. This state program is designed to help people get qualified for benefits to pay for healthcare costs. Some who qualify for financial assistance might "presume" they are not "eligible" for benefits. The goal of Presumptive Eligibility is to educate and to increase access to medical assistance for families, and to reduce the number of uninsured people served by hospitals. Facilities approved as Presumptive Eligibility sites receive funding for things that help the facility operate the program, such as training staff and to provide necessary tools to help the program function efficiently.

Marcia Elstob, the Administrative Assistant at Southeast Colorado Hospital District, coordinates Presumptive Eligibility for the facility. Marcia spearheaded the efforts to bring this valuable program to SECHD. She will be happy to talk with you and determine if you qualify. Marcia can be reached at 719-523-2161. You can also visit her at the hospital. Marcia will be easy to find - just look for the new sign that says "Presumptive Eligibility".

Pictured L to R: Michael Boyles, CEO/Administrator; Justin Westphal, Maintenance; Cody Kirk, Maintenance; Bob Schaller, Plant Engineer; Marcia Elstob, Administrative Assistant/CICP & PE Technician; Jody Westphal, Maintenance Supervisor; Chris Westphal, IT Manager; Kneeling: Steve Jett, Maintenance; Kasey Johnson, IT Tech





Southeast Colorado Hospital District Celebrates Graduation of Nurse Aides



A celebration was held on February 19th recognizing the accomplishments of Carmelo Manalo, Bethany Hennigan, Morgan Babbitt, and Tiffany Plagge who completed their Nurse Aide Training. Education to become a Nurse Aide combines classroom sessions, along with hands on learning under the supervision of professional clinicians. Candidates practice their skills while directly caring for patients and residents in the Long Term Care Center. After passing the course, graduates must take a state certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Southeast Colorado Hospital District (SECHD) pays for the testing fees for nurse aides that are hired by the SECHD/Long Term Care Center. Many of the Nurse Aides continue their education in other areas of medicine.

Pictured:
Carmelo Manalo, Bethany Hennigan, Morgan Babbitt, and Tiffany Plagge





Level IV Trauma Center Certification



Our community has long appreciated access to 24 hour emergency care at Southeast Colorado Hospital District. Our hospital has recently been designated a Level IV Trauma Center. Hospitals make a voluntary decision to seek Level IV Trauma Center status out of a desire to better serve their friends and neighbors.

Now that SECHD is a Level IV Trauma Center, emergency care will be improved. As a Level IV Trauma Hospital we have greater oversight. The process involved to become a Level IV Trauma Center is difficult; it costs money, rigorous training requirements for medical and technical staff, requires demonstrated competency in the use of emergency and diagnostic equipment, and involves much effort in required paperwork. In order to achieve this designation, every RN is required to have more training in Core Trauma Nursing Components. All Physicians are required to have training in trauma emergency. Communication between the Springfield Ambulance and Walsh Ambulance services and the hospital are increased. The hospital is required to have at least two RN's, a physician, radiology technician, and laboratory technician in the hospital when a patient arrives via ambulance. The goal is to deliver critical, life-saving treatment, in less time and with more efficiency.

Level IV Trauma designation does not mean an increase in costs for patients. Rather, patients will benefit from new hospital requirements. With the Level IV status, SECHD receives funding from Medicare for emergency equipment required in a Level IV facility that we have not had in the past.

SECHD is excited about receiving Level IV Trauma Center designation and our ability to better serve our community.

Pictured: Proudly holding the Level IV Trauma Designation Certificate

Michael Boyles, CEO; Keith Packard, Radiology Director; Cherilyn England, EMS Interim Director; Sheila Moffett, Lab Director; Melissa Noe, RN, Trauma Nurse Coordinator; Jacia Piper, Assistant Trauma Nurse Coordinator; Cecelia Deen, RN, CNO; Riley Frazee, Walsh Ambulance Director; Dr. Ralph Holsworth, Chief of Medical Staff Southeast Colorado Hospital District and Walsh EMS Medical Director. Not pictured: Dr. Antonio Manalo - Springfield EMS Medical Director.



Employer of the Year


Southeast Colorado Hospital District was recognized as "Employer of the Year" at the Baca County Business Appreciation Dinner held on November 2nd at the Minnick Building. The Baca County Economic Development Board selected SECHD for this award because of the number of jobs the hospital district provides, and the resulting economic impact in our community.

Pictured in Photo: Jerry Houser, Southeast Colorado Hospital District Board Chairman and Sheila Crane, Baca County Economic Development Executive Director
Photo compliments of the Plainsman Herald








Southeast Colorado Hospital District Receives Grant from BNSF


SECHD received a $10,000 grant from the BNSF Railway Company to help with the purchase of a new transfer ambulance. The hospital district operates two transfer ambulances that are used in 111 to 150 inter-facility patient transfers a year with an average of 348 miles per transfer. Transfer ambulances are important to move those needing specialized emergency care to Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, or Amarillo. Our hospital and ambulances also provide important emergency services to BNSF crews and employees who repair and service the track in southeast Colorado.

The Railway Company and Baca County have a shared history. There are over 2000 miles of railroad track in Colorado. Of the commodities carried through Colorado, more than half is coal destined for Texas and states east. Baca County is one of the hundreds of areas in our country where the rails have passed through for as long as anyone can recall. The rails have left their mark on our past and continue to shape our future. Mile after mile of easements, track, culvers, bridges, spurs and connections, have more than any other force, determined where our cities and towns are located, where our roads, wells, power sources, bridges and the like are located, even where our cattle graze or don't graze. Rural America has contributed a great deal to the railroad industry just as they have contributed much to us. We've given our land, our access, and our labor, because our country and its people need the rails. We don't move our grain by rail as we once did. Now we mainly see the endless miles of coal passing on its way to Texas and points east. But we are still partners in the adventure. This grant acknowledges Baca County, the great services we provide, and our history with the railroad.




SECHD Receives Grant from Daniels Fund


Southeast Colorado Hospital District wishes to extend our gratitude to the Daniels Fund for the grant of $10,004 to be allocated for the "It's Never 2 Late (iN2L) system." Through technology, this system will allow high school students and residents of our Long Term Care Center to develop and promote interactions between the generations.

"These grant funds will help us to sustain and enhance the qualify of care provided to our long-term care residents while enhancing community involvement within our organization." Jerry Jasper, CEO/Administrator stated. "Meeting the health needs of our community, patients, and residents is a misson undertaken by the Board of Directors, myself, and the entire staff. We are grateful for the sustaining support of the Daniels Fund."

Pictured l to r: Sharon Tate, DON, LTCC; Heather Burdick, Assistant DON, LTCC; KayCee McCallum, Activities Director; Jerry Jasper, CEO/Administrator; Dorothy Burke, CFO; and Glenice Wade, Alzheimer's Unit Director.