Farewell, Steve…

by Brian Orr

HUERFANO- Steve Perkins should have felt the love at what was his last Board meeting for the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.  Perkins, who has served for the past five years and three months as SPRHC’s President, is resigning in order to run for County Commisioner in District Two.

    Board members and co-workers all waxed poetic over Perkins’ leadership abilites.  “Steve, you will be missed,” said Nursing Home Administrator Gary Dickey.  “You’re a dear friend; thank you.”    Registered Nurse Polly Hill talked about when Perkins first came on board, and “the incredible change Steve has made here.  The shoes the Board has to fill are incredible.”  Board President  Dr. David Zehring  also commented on how difficult it would be to find Perkins’ replacement.  Perkins replied that he will still be around, and that he “plans to continue to support this wonderful institution.”  

    On a more sober note, Perkins told the Board about his recommendation to enter into a 60 month lease for a new CT scanner, made by Philips.  The new scanner will be a 40-slice model, up from the one-slice machine the hospital now uses.  The machine will also be upgradable “without having to use a forklift.”  After 60 months, the hospital will have the option of purchasing the machine for $138,000. 

    Nursing Home Director Dickey reported that new regulations will be kicking in before the end of the year, rating nursing homes on a five-star scale.  “This could be devastating or great for the industry,” Dickey noted.  When asked where the CSVNH would initially place, he predicted three stars, perhaps four.

    Dickey also stated the hospital is back in compliance with the State, and will begin doing its own nursing training in August, starting with LPNs.  He also noted as an aside there is a stomach flu virus going around.