WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Hospital District Board of Directors last Thursday passed their $2,696,133 budget and approved an unchanged 3.499 mil levy on general property taxes. There will only be a slight .04 percent change in the amount of money collected through the mil levy with the 2014 amount calculated at $424,000 and next year’s collections estimated at $425,500. The board members present, Chairman Bill Hix, Al Tucker, Dr. Paul Coe, and Ron Nielsen all voted in favor of the 2015 budget. The board also passed a resolution dealing with out of state Medicaid patients seeking services at Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center. One current request seeks an agreement that would allow Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center to treat Texas Medicaid clients. SPRHC CEO Todd Oberheu told the board there currently is some legislative discussions, concerning possible streamlining of this sort of request with states bordering Colorado. The resolution passed unanimously. In other business, board members and physician representative Dr. Mike Moll, discussed the continuing issue of the Healthland Electronic Medical Records system
in place at both the hospital and Spanish Peaks clinics. Administration, health care providers, and the finance department have been trying to work around several ‘bugs’ in the system for over a year. The district purchased the updated Healthland system on the belief it was an updated plug-in replacement for the Healthland system that had been in use, however, it has been found to be highly time consuming for physicians, and the software plagued with problems. The board will hold a work session in early January 2015 to find a solution to the problems before beginning any alignment discussions with other health care systems. An alignment with another health care provider, such as Parkview Medical Center of Pueblo, or a Colorado university system, could help resolve the EMR issues at SPRHC, through adoption of a well-tested and high performance system. Board members and administration recognize this as one of the priority issues for the coming year. Board members were introduced to Karen Campbell, a nurse practioneer who will be working at the La Veta Clinic and will be doing a half-day per week at Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center. Campbell has nearly 20 years experience in rural health care and told the board she has been made to feel very welcome in the La Veta community. In the monthly manager’s segment of the agenda, Anthony Aldretti, maintenance department manager, explained some of the duties he and his staff accomplish on a day-to-day basis, and also talked about some of the extra-mile things they do for the community in general. Aldretti has been with the facility for 22 years, and presented statistics to the board which are very impressive for a small department. He said the department receives approximately 1,800 routine work orders each year; over 300 special work orders; accomplish about 650 preventative maintenance tasks annually, in addition to handling approximately 2,000 work order requests per year, and work on some 20 continuing maintenance work orders each year. But that is not all the maintenance department does. In addition to the three buildings on the main health care campus, the crew handles maintenance for the Outreach Clinic on Kansas Ave. in Walsenburg and the clinic in La Veta, and still find time to serve the community. Aldretti told the board of some special requests they have responded to, including fixing a hospital bed in a private home in Walsenburg and even cutting and delivering firewood to a Trinidad resident, who wasn’t a big fan of Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center. Members of the maintenance team have also volunteered their time for events such as the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office Bike Rodeo, providing free ‘tune-ups’ for children’s bicycles. The professionalism of the department has shown in appraiser’s ratings of the hospital facility indicating the buildings look, operate, and are valued as if they are seven-years old, when, in fact, the facility opened in 1993!