Member of the Month: Delta County Memorial Hospital


RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2014
Contact: Bridgette Olson, Outreach Program Manager
303-832-7493 or bo@coruralhealth.org  

Delta County Memorial Hospital Recognized as Colorado Rural Health Center’s Featured Member of the Month

Denver, CO— The Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) is proud to recognize Delta County Memorial Hospital as its featured member of the month. Each month, the CRHC recognizes one of its members whose work supports the CRHC’s vision that all rural Coloradans have access to comprehensive, affordable, high quality healthcare.

Delta County Memorial Hospital is a nonprofit hospital district with over 500 employees serving residents of Delta County and the neighboring region for over a century. Located on Colorado’s western slope, approximately 165 miles southwest of Denver, Delta County is home to 29,841 residents and one of the largest flat top mountains in the world.

Like many rural areas in the state, the population over 65 is expected to grow substantially in the coming years. The current population 65 and older represents 21 percent of the total population and is the only age demographic with a positive population growth expected over the next five years. The population 65 and older is expected to grow by 6.7 percent compared to negative 8.4 percent those 64 and under.

With the aging population growing, Delta County has maintained 33.5 skilled nursing facility beds per 1,000 elderly individuals, equal to the state average and just under the national average of 41.

Based on recent County Health Rankings data, Delta County has some of the top health outcomes in rural Colorado. When compared to the rural average, Delta County has higher percentages of mammography screening and higher rate of influenza vaccination [66 percent mammography screening compared to rural average of 63 percent, and 40 percent influenza vaccination compared to rural average 37 percent].

This type of data is frequently used by health facilities to evaluate the current and future health status of a community. Applying projections to current and past data helps create a picture of health for a community.

Delta County Memorial Hospital – a CRHC member for over seven years – completed this type of evaluation in 2010 through a Community Health Needs Assessment.

“Community Health Needs Assessments are designed to provide a base from which a community action plan can be formulated,” says CRHC’s director of workforce and outreach Melissa Bosworth. “Developing a strong, local healthcare system creates high-paying jobs, ensures healthcare dollars are spent locally and makes a county more attractive as a place to live and work.”

The Colorado Rural Health Center recently aggregated over 100 health measurements, many of those identical to the type of data used in a Community Health Needs Assessment, into a data bank called Health Awareness for Rural Communities (HARC).

“The HARC Data Bank serves as a low cost solution for those interested in rural specific health data,” says Bosworth. The HARC Data Bank is the first data bank created to examine the health dynamics of rural and frontier counties in Colorado.

It is through this type of systems-level planning and strong leadership, Delta County Memorial Hospital has made many notable accomplishments in recent years.

“Delta County Memorial Hospital is a great example of a healthcare facility that has used county level health data to guide their long-term planning,” said Bosworth. “The hospital continues to thrive given the uncharted waters of today’s healthcare environment – they are a great healthcare facility to recognize as this month’s featured CRHC member.”


Last year, Delta County Memorial Hospital was the only hospital in the region to receive an “A” Hospital Safety Score rating by The Leapfrog Group based upon preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

The hospital is also involved with other CRHC programs and services, such as quality improvement initiatives and health information technology support. Kathryn Steele, CRHC’s quality improvement specialist, works extensively with the hospital. “Delta County Memorial is the healthcare hub in Delta County. We often think of hospitals as places to go when we are sick – associating them with illness instead of wellness,” says Steele. “Delta County Memorial is truly a leader in promoting community health and a culture of inclusiveness.”

In addition to the hospital, the following clinics also provide care within the community; Premier Women’s Healthcare of Delta, Delta Pediatrics, Internal Medicine Associates/Pulmonology, Colorow Family Medical Center in Olathe, Grand Mesa Rheumatology Center, Grand Mesa Oncology Center and Delta Montrose Home Health Services.

To learn more about Delta County Memorial Hospital, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook.

About The Colorado Rural Health Center
The Colorado Rural Health Center was established in 1991 as Colorado’s State Office of Rural Health. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, CRHC’s serves dual roles as the State Office of Rural Health with the mission of assisting rural communities in addressing healthcare issues; and as the State Rural Health Association, advocating for policy change to ensure that rural Coloradoans have access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare services of the highest quality. For more information visit www.coruralhealth.org, call 303-832-7493, or call toll free 800-851-6782 from rural Colorado.

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