San luis valley regional medical center

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San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center (SLVRMC), located in the San Luis Valley in Alamosa, Colorado and serves residents and visitors in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.

The hospital is licensed for 59 beds, 49 of which are designated as Acute Care and 10 are inpatient rehabilitation beds. The hospital also houses the only 1.5 tesla MRI unit in the San Luis Valley, a 16 slice CT Scanner, as well as the only Intensive Care unit in the San Luis Valley. SLVRMC owns the Physician Services Speciality Clinic in Alamosa and provides the only speciality physicians that serve the Valley population.

History

The San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center began as the Alamosa Hospital owned and operated by Dr. Charles A. Davlin. The hospital was located at 715 Main Street in Alamosa, currently the site of Curtis Bros. Home Furnishing's warehouse. On December 7, 1927 Dr. Davlin turned the hospital over to the newly organized, Lutheran Hospital Association. In February of 1928, the Lutheran Hospital was open and functioning. A six-month lease was signed for $125/month, the hospital furniture and equipment was purchased from Dr. Davlin for $2800 and registered nurses were signed on for $90/month. Hospital charges were meager: $10 for major surgery and $5 for minor surgery.

In 1935 talk began about the construction of a new hospital, preferably one with 50 beds. An important break came late in 1937 when the "Cle Long" site immediately west of the "Edgemont Addition", was purchased by the board for $1500.

The new hospital was ready for occupancy by the end of September and "Moving Day" was set for Oct. 2nd. Alamosans were gratified that the new hospital was being removed from downtown and was being placed in a much larger, modern, fireproof structure on the west end of town.

In 1944, hospital president, O.A. Hiller faced failing health and requested the Board of Directors to find new leadership for the hospital. After a few temporary replacements, the Board decided the hospital needed a permanent, full-time administrator. The first name discussed was Elton A. Reese of Monte Vista. A committee was appointed to meet with Reese on May 23, 1946. The committee recommended that the applicant be hired, and five days later the Board agreed unanimously. So began a new era in the history of Alamosa Community Hospital.

Elton Reese began 35 years as hospital Administrator on June 10th, 1946. For the next two decades, the Alamosa Community Hospital was largely a "one man show". Reese was viewed as a stubborn man who couldn't be intimidated, especially in the face of criticism. Reese was said to have done, "a helluva job" by many physicians. He was a first rate organizer and businessman.

The 1970s showed rapid growth among hospital personnel. From a figure of 50-60 employees in the old building during most of the 1960s, the hospital payroll jumped to 160 in 1981. With advanced technology, nursing became much more complex creating more duties for the nurses; luckily, notable contributions were made by members of the Gray Ladies (a service organization of Red Cross) who have been assisting with patient care services at the hospital since 1961. Another area of spectacular growth occurred in the laboratory, as an additional laboratory service became available in 1973 when the hospital purchased an EEG machine.

In 1974 the hospital added another large building, the San Luis Valley Medical Professional Clinic. The Medical Professional Corporation, established in 1971, requested that the hospital construct a modern new facility and then lease it to the physicians. Most of the clinic was occupied by members of the Professional Corporation (PC), although Valley Wide Health Services occupied the western end for several years.

Jerome Miller was hired as Assistant Administrator in 1976; this gave Elton Reese the opportunity to present the Hospital Board a proposal: he would conclude his duties as Administrator in 1978, and assume the new position of Executive Director. The Board agreed to this arrangement, and the change took place on January 1st, 1979. Mr. Reese then served on the Board for two and a half years before retiring on June 10th, 1981. This ended the remarkable career of Mr. Elton Reese, the "one man show."

Jerome Miller took over the reigns as Hospital Administrator and commented that "the burden of running the hospital was immensely by the administrative structure already instilled by Elton Reese.

As the San Luis Valley Regional Medical center moved toward the 21st Century, the hospital was changing with the times. A long awaited $6.2 million addition to SLVRMC was coming on line in the early 1990s. The addition included a new facility to house the ambulance service, expanded emergency and examination areas, a laboratory and a streamlined admitting/discharge area.

The emergency room would be comprised of six separate examination and treatment rooms, and the second floor of the new addition would include an OB/GYN section complete with a labor room, postpartum and birthing rooms. The third floor of the addition was dedicated to critical care, with a six-bed intensive care/cardiac care unit, as well as 10 additional medical/surgical beds.

SLVRMC was also improving its ability to transfer and receive the most serious cases, by using the fourth level to establish a "helipad" for the Flight for Life helicopter, eliminating the need for transporting patients to and from Bergman field.

The business office was remodeled and parking added. New waiting rooms and a chapel were included in the renovation.

In an effort to continue improving to meet the community's changing needs, SLVRMC conducted a major community survey in 1994-1995. The purpose of the polling was to gauge the hospital's abilities to meet residents' needs, and to find areas for improvement.

In September of 1995, the hospital completed installation of the Valley's first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The in 1997, the hospital began the $2 million build-out of the north wing of the hospital, including the Women's Center. The project also included installation of a new, $285,000 emergency generator, replacing the hospital's 30-year-old model.

The bulk of the $2 million project would see completion of the Women's Center, including 7 private labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms, and five private gynecological rooms. New furnishings made the rooms seem less institutional. Also both Level I (basic care), and Level II (intensive care) newborns. This phase of the building project included relocation of the Pharmacy and Pathology services to the second floor of the North wing, and the addition of the three semi-private rooms to the third floor.

As the 20th Century was closing, SLVRMC announced it was acquiring the latest in state-of-the-art technology. The hospital acquired a new 1.5 Tesla MRI with a much larger magnet than the previous unit. This allowed quicker scans and much sharper, more detailed images. In 2006, the MRI was upgraded to an even more enhanced level of imaging excellence. At the same time, the radiology department acquired a spiral CT scanner, which played a role in helping SLVRMC become a level III Trauma Center.

In 2000, the hospital selected Russell Johnson as the new Hospital CEO. Mr. Johnson was recruited from Texas and his expertise was tapped primarily for his vision regarding how to best facilitate and sustain healthcare in the San Luis Valley.

In 2004, the hospital acquired the PC Clinic business unit and brought speciality physician care into the SLVRMC cadre of services. During this same time, the hospital began focusing efforts on Quality and Safety. This decision necessitated the hiring of a Director of Patient Safety and Quality to oversee this new department and resulted in the improvements of the hospital's performance in treating Pnuemonia and in Post-Surgical Care.

In 2007, the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center Foundation, given the recent federal and presidential calls for advanced Electronic Medical Records, elected to fund a fully integrated Electronic Medical Record project to integrate patient data between all areas of care within the clinic and hospital. This project is ongoing at this time.

Local Artistry in the Hospital

When SLVRMC built the new Medical Office Building on its campus in 2005 to house its speciality physician practices, Russ Johnson, hospital CEO wanted to showcase the nearly 300 artists in the San Luis Valley. On the second floor of the main lobby, the "Artrium" was built and showcases a revolving array of local artistic talents.

Awards

SLVRMC and its staff have received numerous awards including:'

2007 Most Improved 2007 Most Improved Hospitals

2007 Rural Healthcare Excellence Award

CIO Midmarket Leadership Award for CIO Spencer Hamons

IT Innovation Award

References

San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center

SLV Regional Medical Center - Level III Trauma Center Designation

National Hospital Compare Data

UCompare Healthcare National Hospital Quality Measure Reporting

SLVRMC History

Medical Office Building Expansion

Driving Business Change - CIO Magazine Article

Contact Information

Hospital Main Number 719.589.2511 ---- Main Clinic Number 719.589.3000

Hospital Executive Staff - Can be contacted directly by calling the main number

Chief Executive Officer - Russell Johnson

Chief Financial Officer - David Freshour

Chief Operating Officer - Henry Garvin

Chief Information Officer - Spencer Hamons

Chief Nursing Officer - Vacant

Vice President of Physician Services - Gwen Heller

Vice President of Development - Kathy Rogers

Vice President of Human Resources - Leonard Snow

Director of Patient Safety and Quality - Coryee Hamons


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