CEO Update: National Rural Health Day

CEO Update: National Rural Health Day

November is a time to give thanks.  Did you know that Thanksgiving was created as a day to “give thanks for the blessings of the harvest and of the preceding year?”  Today many of us recognize it as a day to be with family and friends.  For my family, most years there are about twenty of us that gather to celebrate; this year we celebrated in person with five.  Although a change from most years, only having five made food preparation a lot easier and we were able to decide which games to play faster!  It was a great day of laughter, fun and catching up.  Time is one of those things that we never have enough of and I’m grateful to have this day dedicated to just spending quality time together.

This month, CRHC staff had the opportunity to give thanks to all our rural communities, through a day called National Rural Health Day.  National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to celebrate the Power of Rural, highlight innovation and collaboration and the unique challenges faced with healthcare in rural communities. Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida, CO hosted CRHC for National Rural Health Day this year and on behalf of all CRHC staff we wish to thank Heart of the Rockies for all they do to support rural communities! We were so fortunate to spend the day with a whole group of community members from Chaffee county representing different roles in healthcare. Those who couldn’t join us shared in the fun on twitter where 335 impressions and a swarm of retweets made the day a success outside of Salida.

As you know, Colorado is a rural state with 73% of the landmass and 47 of 64 counties designated as rural or frontier.  Rural communities are the backbone of Colorado and are a great place to live and work.  Each year, 2.3 million people participate in hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching in Colorado, contributing an estimated $3 billion to the economy.  Healthcare specifically supports rural economies and communities, often serving as one of the top three employers in a rural community. Rural communities also have unique healthcare needs, with an older, sicker and poorer population.  Rural Colorado counties have a 32% higher rate of public insurance than urban counties with the average rural payer mix at 46.3% private pay, 15.7% Medicare, 26% Medicaid and 11.4% uninsured. Colorado expanded Medicaid in 2014 and the combined Medicaid and Medicare enrollment by rural county from 2015/2016 data shows rates between 18% and 68%.

On National Rural Health Day, 22 rural Colorado hospitals were recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health for overall excellence in categories including Quality, Patient Perspectives, and Outcomes, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

We are delighted to see Colorado’s rural providers recognized for their continued commitment to performance excellence. National Rural Health Day provides the perfect forum for celebrating these rural hospitals as they demonstrate their ability to serve their staff, their patients and their community, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility.

The Performance Leadership Awards are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging data from public data sources, the INDEX aggregates data from 50 rural-relevant metrics across eight pillars to derive a single overall percentile rating for all Critical Access Hospitals and Rural and Community Hospitals.

Awarded Colorado hospitals are listed in their category or categories below:

 

Quality

  • Colorado Plains Medical Center
  • Estes Park Medical Center
  • Mt San Rafael Hospital
  • Rio Grande Hospital
  • Sedgwick County Memorial Hospital
  • Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center
  • Yampa Valley Medical Center
  • Yuma District Health

 

Patient Perspectives

  • Aspen Valley Hospital
  • Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center
  • East Morgan County Hospital
  • Estes Park Medical Center
  • Gunnison Valley Hospital
  • Pagosa Springs Medical Center
  • St Anthony Summit Medical Center
  • Yampa Valley Medical Center
  • Wray Community District Hospital

 

Outcomes

  • Aspen Valley Hospital
  • St Thomas More Hospital
  • East Morgan County Hospital
  • Estes Park Medical Center
  • Grand River Medical Center
  • Mercy Regional Medical Center
  • Montrose Memorial Hospital
  • Pikes Peak Regional Hospital
  • Sedgwick County Memorial Hospital
  • Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center
  • Sterling Regional Medical Center

 

Rural hospitals, Rural Health Clinics, Community Health Centers, Community Safety Net Clinics, Public Health Departments, Mental Health Centers, and all rural providers and staff are making a differences in their communities and in the quality of life for those that live there; that’s the Power of Rural.

 

 

 

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