WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Hospital District Board of Directors met January 23 and appointed Richard Schlink as the Designated Election Official for the upcoming May 2014 Board Election. Three director’s seats will be open for four-year terms in the at-large election. Those positions are currently held by Directors Dr. David Zehring, Al Tucker and David Gnaizda. The board also announced their regular meetings will again in 2014 be held at 12 noon on the third Thursday of each month. In other business, Spanish Peaks Regional Medical Center CEO Todd Oberheu reported the new Toshiba ultrasound has been installed and the unit will create better studies for both Radiology and Cardiology. Oberheu also said the facility has received notice from the American College of Radiology that the hospital’s Mammography Service was accredited at the end of December 2013. Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center’s commitment to service to the community was highlighted in the report when Oberheu announced gym bags had been donated to the JMHS girl’s basketball team through funds raised during the annual golf tournament; Kori Paisley is developing a Community Benefit Report, which will present and document the benefits the facility provides to all county residents through both financial support and scheduled activities. He also reported 16 Peakview, La Veta and Gardner elementary students took part in the annual MASH camp (see related story on pg 12). The hospital foundation’s annual Wine Tasting Event is set for February 22 at Career Building Academy. Tickets are currently available through SPRHC’s administration office. “The Foundation also donated $2,000 each to both RE-2 and RE-1 schools to provide assistance with science programs in the schools,” Oberheu said. The annual Community Health Fair is set for April 19 and will be held at the Huerfano County Community Center in Walsenburg. During the meeting, the board introduced Dr. Dale Gillan, general surgeon, the newest staff member at SPRHC. He began his practice at the beginning of this month. Architect Don Spencer has reworked the drawings for the proposed Assisted Living Center and work continues on the financial structure for the facility. Oberheu also reported the auxiliary donated 15 television sets to the Acute Floor and SPRHC has awarded over $6,600 in tuition assistance to five employees who are furthering their education. “The employees met with a review panel this month who determined the amount of (individual) assistance,” he said. In her report, Marty Schlink, Director of Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home-Walsenburg, said, “We are nearing the submission of the Bronze Quality Award (due today, Jan. 30). This has given us the opportunity to assess our mission, vision, and other key factors of the operation of our Home. It also provides a foundation for the Silver and Gold award levels.” Schlink said new marketing efforts will include billboard advertising in southern Colorado as well as updating their website to include photos and videos. The Employee Survey results have been tabulated, Schlink told the board members. “There is a good concensus that our staff are very proud to be a part of a facility that gives quality care to our residents and patients.” Schlink also said the mentorship program is being renewed for the CNAs at the nursing home. “This is designed to offer support to staff by their mentor as well as offer a carer ladder for our CNAs. This will assist overall in the continuity of care for our residents and is intended to create more stability and longevity of our staff, reducing turn over,” she said. Schlink also told the board she has recently been appointed as the chairperson for the Area Agency on Aging for Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
By Bill Knowles Huerfano County — An early spring snowstorm knocked out