by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- The Hospital District Board accepted the election of Stirling Lathrop to head up the Spanish Peaks Health Center Foundation. The Board approved the election of Lathrop by the board of the foundation.
The foundation is setting off in a new direction by establishing an endowment from which scholarships will be awarded. Endowments will allow the foundation to award scholarships and support scientific education in Huerfano County without touching the principal that has been invested.
“We have awarded scholarships in the past to students in Huerfano County who qualify and are entering the medical arts and sciences field,” Lathrop said. And at least one scholarship has been awarded to a student who is preparing to enter veterinary medicine. The scholarships are from $500 to over $1,000 per award with follow-up awards given the following two years to those who qualify. The foundation awards 8 to 12 scholarships every year.
Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center will also be a recipient of funding from the foundation to support continuing education of health center staff and to purchase equipment. “The foundation wants to hear from the hospital board telling us what it needs,” Lathrop told the hospital district board members during its regular monthly meeting on Monday, Oct. 25. “If the center needs equipment or scholarships for the nursing staff, then the foundation wants to know.”
One of the continuing education programs funded by the SPHC Foundation is a series of lectures in Health Sciences at La Veta High School. Dr. Patrick Sternberg presents the lectures to students who are enrolled in the elective class of senior sciences. The lectures are divided up according to human anatomy such as muscular/skeletal, circulatory system or the skin.
John Mall participated in the lectures several years ago but is not presently participating. “We would welcome John Mall to join these lectures. We start the lectures around the first of December and continue until March or April with a lecture every week or two,” Dr. David Zehring explained.
The Hospital District Board is expecting the review concerning the planned improvements to the dining area in the care center to be available next month. The multimillion dollar project has been in the works for several years. Bids will be sent out around the last week in November and opened in December.
“When we get the review back we will be able to determine if our budget will cover the costs or if we’ll have to scale back. There will be some self funded projects within the plan by the end of the day,” project manager Bill Gust said. “Some of the outside expenses could be the purchase of furniture and equipment in the dining room. We never intended to replace the furniture but this would be a good time to do so.”
The Hospital District Board will have to approve a budget and get it turned in to the state by mid-December. Members approved a meeting for Monday, Dec. 13 at noon for final approval.