The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

Rebecca Ensminger joins Haxtun Health's Board of Directors


February 2, 2022

Haxtun Health welcomed a new member to the Board of Directors. Rebecca Ensminger took an oath of office to serve on the local hospital district board in a meeting in late January.

Ensminger’s addition fills the one vacant position on the board, bringing the board to full membership. Others serving the local hospital in a volunteer capacity as board members include Kent Bamford, Chair, Rod Salvador, Vice Chairman, Jeff Firme, Secretary/Treasurer, and Pastor Jeri Soens.

“This is a great Board, Chief Executive Officer Dewane Pace said following Ensminger’s appointment. “Truly dedicated citizen of our community that have a passion to make sure that we have the best hospital in Haxtun.”

As the new year pushes on, the Board of Directors will have an election for two board members, including Firme and Soens, both of whom have terms that expire this year. Pace is hopeful both will agree to run for another term. Elections will take place on Tuesday, May 3.

Self-nomination and acceptance forms are available at the Hospital office and must be filed with the election official by Friday, Feb. 26. For more information on the local hospital district election, email Rebecca Baier at [email protected] or call (970) 774-6123 ext. 1990.

In a Jan. 24 meeting with the Board, Pace gave members an update on a recent meeting with the head of Medicaid. In mid-January, Pace met with Kim Bimstefer in Denver. Bimstefer is the Executive Director for the Department of Health Care and Financing, also known as Medicaid. Pace said she is a strong supporter of rural hospitals and has been instrumental in recently helping obtain financial support for rural hospitals, including Haxtun Health.

Pace, who currently serves as the Chair for the Eastern Plains Healthcare Consortium and on the Colorado Hospital Association, met with Bimstefer to discuss continued support for rural hospitals.

“Discussion centered around new and continued support for rural hospitals including something Bimstefer is calling ‘Providers for Distinction’ where hospitals receive funds to improve the quality and level of care provided for their communities,” Pace explained.

The local CEO said many patients living in rural areas travel to the front range for care and some are not able to travel and therefore, do not receive the care they need. “This is not bet for patients,” he added.

Pace went on to tell board members that if rural hospitals had funds to invest in higher level of care in their communities, this could be greatly improved.

“Bimstefer has proposed several million dollars in the current State budget for this purpose and while the legislative session for 2022 just began, there are many hoops and hurdles to pass for this to happen. But the proposal has been made.”

Pace said communication with Medicaid and hospital groups such as the Eastern Plains Healthcare Consortium and the Colorado Hospital Association are critical and currently taking place with more to come.

As two major construction projects forge on, Pace also gave an update on the infrastructure project at the main campus. He said the hospital part of the building has been temporarily moved over to the Extended Care Unit side of the building. “While this is somewhat disruptive to our routine, we continue to be able to admit and care for hospital patients,” he said.

The ceiling in the hospital side of the building have been removed and new piping is being installed. Pace said a crane will be on site soon to move the large rooftop units up onto the roof of the hospital to replace the old units. When this is completed, the hospital will have brand new heating ventilation and air condition followed by a new ceiling, new lights and an overall cleaner and refreshed look.

“We plan to use this down time to also do a refresh and remodel to some of the hospital rooms and the nurses station,” he added.

As for the main street project including new clinic space, Pace said it is hard to miss the progress. He said steel is now up and it is starting to look more like a building.

“Look for concrete pours, more steel erected and some plumbing to be done in the next month,” said Pace.

In his Chief of Staff report, Dr. Ben Stephenson said that while positive COVID cases continue to be high, positive cases locally seem to be coming down, along with the rest of the State. He said in regards to testing supplies, Haxtun Health has begun to conserve tests due to Nationwide shortages. For example, he said plans are to discontinue weekly testing for ECU patients and individuals who present for rapid tests after having a positive home COVID test;

• Stephenson reported that a recent study has shown that a third dose of the COVID vaccine elicited a potent cross-neutralization of Omicron and other variants. “This supports the need for continued deployment of the vaccine to help curtail the emergence and spread of highly mutated COVID variants,” the local Doctor said;

• Pace said with the recent addition of a C-Arm to the specialty clinic, Haxtun Health is looking to add new and more complex procedures to what is offered to patients in Haxtun. A C-Arm, he said, is a piece of radiology equipment, shaped like a C, that allows doctors to use x-rays in real-time to perform procedures on a patient while seeing the inside of the body. This technology exists at hospitals along the front range, Pace added, and many patients have been traveling there to have procedures done that Haxtun can now do.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021