Are you tired of reading about super committees, sustainable growth rates and revenue reductions? I am.
Lily Tomlin said, “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized I was somebody.” We don’t need to wait for legislation or the threat of revenue reductions to implement change. Health professionals in rural Colorado are not waiting for someone else to make it right.
Physician Assistant Ken Jenks isn’t waiting. He provides medical care to a ranching community in Paradox, Colorado (located on Colorado’s western border with a population of maybe 200). Ken has been described as an “angel in disguise” by residents of the Paradox Valley. Montrose Memorial is the nearest hospital and is more than 100 miles away.
Rebecca “Beka” Warren is the Chief Quality Officer at The Memorial Hospital in Craig and she isn’t waiting either. Beka researches and implements best practices from industries outside of healthcare to improve patient care within the hospital. Thanks to Beka’s work, The Memorial Hospital now uses techniques adapted from the Bureau of Land Management as part of their daily planning process.
Denice Baucke, RN, doesn’t have time to wait for someone else to fix what ails her community. Denice, a Community Outreach Coordinator, provides health education aimed at decreasing the frequent visits to the emergency department at Wray Community Hospital. How’s this for a healthy dose of common sense? Denice has even installed hand rails in private homes at the hospital’s expense. Talk about giving her community a hand! Funding an Outreach Coordinator may decrease emergency department revenue, but the leadership at WCH understands the bigger picture while quietly delivering on their mission of providing quality care to their community.
As John F. Kennedy said, “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” From all of us at The Colorado Rural Health Center, thank you to Ken, Beka, and Denice.