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The Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Board of Directors held their regular meeting Tuesday, May 21. The agenda included several board and foundation appointments, in addition to standard reports.

The meeting began with an update by Vice President of Patient Services April Asbury regarding its regulatory readiness and surveyor response training. She explained that preparation for the survey focuses on making sure that staff across all levels of the hospital understand how their roles relate to the mission, vision and TRAC STAR values of HRRMC.

When the survey is conducted, they can talk to anyone, anywhere,” said Asbury. “We’re using the safety suite checklist that is already in place to confirm unit compliance … there are policies and procedures, including the new National Patient Safety Goals just introduced in 2019. This is brand new and we have a big focus on this – we’re working through training goal by goal.”

The new Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Pavilion will open May 20, consolidating HRRMC health services on their regional campus. Photo by Dan Smith

Asbury said that those ten major goals include topics such as; identifying patients correctly, using medications safely, preventing infection, and minimizing patient risk. She also pointed out the care that must be taken with patient records, now that electronic health records are the norm, as well as establishing care plans.

“An important survey questions that we are addressing is – how do disiplines collaborate in a plan of care?” said Asbury.

The board held its annual election of board officers. Current officers were reappointed: Debbie Farrell was re-elected as chair, Tom Eve as vice-chair, and Jeff Post as secretary-treasurer.

Board Committee Appointments were also unanimously approved. Farrell was named chair of the Finance Committee, with Post (Secretary-Treasurer of the Board) automatically serving. Farrell and Post will also serve on the Compensation Committee.

Vice Chair Eves and Dr. Harry Peyton will serve on the Strategic Planning Committee, while Eves and Jean Moltz will serve on the Performance Improvement Committee. The Conference Committee will be made up of Moltz and Peyton.

Jean Moltz gave an update on the activities of the HRRMC Foundation Board. The HRRMC board also made its annual appointment of members to the Foundation Board. Each was approved to serve a one year term.

To be sworn in during the June board session are: M. Stuart Anderson, Tangie Granzella, Ken Leisher, Bill Mehos, M.D., Dave Reyher, Daniel Wardrop,M.D., Rick Carroll, Dovie Gross, Tom Mansheim, Jean Moltz, and Barbara Pearson-Sawyer.

Foundation officers were unanimously approved to serve in the following roles: Chair Mehos, Vice-Chair Wardrop, Secretary-Treasurer Morasko and Moltz as the Foundation Board Liaison.

The financial report by Vice President Lesley Fagerberg, revealed that HRRMC is in good financial position, with patient revenue within one percent of budget, and total operating budget two percent under budget. The medical center has a 149-day cash-on-hand reserve, double what it budgeted.

“We are spending money wisely, though we’re finishing the pavilion next door,” said Faberberg, who indicated that the medical center meets the Colorado Critical Access Benchmarks.

Discussion followed for service expansion plans. Morasko outlined a concept for providing some health services for neighboring Custer County, that could see a July 1 start.“We can open a rural health setup in Custer County. We’re working on a draft contract. It’s a ways off from presenting to this board, but the initial proforma looks positive … Dr. [Stephanie] Gelman has agreed to be their medical director – she’ll be there twice a month to do a half-day clinic and a half-day being medical director – they would pay us for her cost to go up there.”

Morasko said that HRRMC has been asked by Leadville to serve that area too, but that distance and low Medicare mileage reimbursement meant it was not likely.

The board discussed scheduling for procedures across multiple offices, and then spent time on an update concerning the new expansion for the HRRMC Buena Vista Health Center. The 10,000 sq. ft. addition will add more examination and office spaces, a lab, and x-ray. A cardiac rehab area and a stress center will function as dynamic space that can move and adjust to needs.

Board members complimented HRRMC marketing for quickly adjusting to needs as staff began moving into the new HRRMC Pavilion this past week. As new patient traffic patterns are just emerging, marketing has had to adjust signage to match real-world traffic patterns, and to address previously unforeseen consumer questions.

“For instance, we discovered with three floors, we need both the service line and doctor’s name on the signage,” said Marketing Director Marji Ackermann. “And by the way, we need more wheel chairs now [due to extra floors].

The helicopters will move over from Buena Vista to the HRRMC campus June 4 or 5 and once they are moved, [marketing staff] will collaborate with them on response plans to get transfers to the hospital faster.

Under new business, in addition to the board and committee appointments, the board approved a resolution on the sale of the HRRMC campus lot 10 to Solvista Health.

The Board of Trustees then moved into executive session to discuss two topic areas. The first, quality issues and physician credentialing, is related to the U.S. Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 in relation to risk management a grievance reports. The second confidential topic related to property interests and negotiation strategies related to real property negotiations.