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By Candie Fix
Managing Editor 

Haxtun Health selected for Tier 1 CORH grant


Haxtun Health Board of Directors heard from Dr. Nancy Dickey with the Center for Optimizing Rural Health in a late March meeting last week. The CORH team is part of the Texas A&M Rural and Community Health Institute tasked with ensuring health care remains available in rural areas. CORH operates under the HRSA-funded Vulnerable Rural Hospital Assistance Program grant.

This grant provides targeted technical assistance for vulnerable rural hospitals across the United States. Through an application and selection process, CORH identifies engagement opportunities with rural and community hospitals. Annually, the organization supports 30 hospitals per year, five of which are Tier 1 hospitals. Haxtun Health recently received designation as one of the five Tier 1 hospitals that will receive a high level of technical assistance, including a site visit, through the engagement opportunity.

According to Dewane Pace, Haxtun Health Chief Executive Officer, CORH works with rural facilities, their providers and their communities to improve the quality of care, maintain access to care and address challenges unique to small hospitals and the communities they serve. There were 30 engagement opportunities made available for rural hospitals and Haxtun Health was awarded the only one for the State of Colorado.

“This is a four-year engagement and is equivalent to $800,000 worth of consulting at no cost to the hospital. The team from CORH is conducting a site visit to Haxtun and will be meeting with the Board, providers, leadership team and communities members to better understand our community and how they can help us improve what we do for the community,” Pace told board members last week.

Some of the offerings, Pace explained, include board education, financial analysis, recruitment and retention, revenue cycle improvements, leadership training, quality dashboards, marketing and more.

“The team at Haxtun has already begun working with the CORH team and looks forward to this four-year engagement of additional technical assistance, access to the CORH knowledge center and peer mentoring — all at no cost to Haxtun thanks to the awarded grant,” said Pace.

In his report to board members last week Pace also touched briefly on current facility projects as well as Saturdays at Haxtun Health and the Fleming Clinic.

Pace said Haxtun Health is open on Saturdays including the clinic, pharmacy, lab and physical therapy departments. He said this is a good day to bet seen by a doctor, pick up a prescriptions, have lab work done or compete a physical therapy session.

“Word is spreading that we are open on Saturdays,” he added.

The Fleming Clinic is operating five days a week and Pace said is seeing a good volume of patients. “With virtually no wait times, same day appointments, walk-ins are welcome and a full service clinic is available,” said Pace. “The Fleming clinic is a new addition to Haxtun Health that you may not be aware of but might want to visit.”

As for the infrastructure project, both Pace and Chief Community Relations Director Julia Biesemeier gave updates in their reports to members of the Haxtun Health Board of Directors.

“The infrastructure project moved to area five this last month. Area five consists of the ancillary hallway and ER entrance,” Biesemeier said. “This aera was challenging due to the emergency access and lab access. Our Haxtun Health team did a great job of improvising.”

Biesemeier said minor work still needs to be completed in that area, but those tasks shouldn’t cause lengthy disruptions.

Area one, which includes the patient hallway and kitchen, was slated to begin last week. “We will address the patients rooms first, followed by the kitchen, starting April 4. The kitchen will be preparing meals for patients in the Haxtun Fire Department kitchen,” Biesemeier added.

On the marketing and communications side, Biesemeier said Haxtun Health is working on a new sign for the front of the main campus building. New window clings next to the ER door, nurses station window and med room window have all been installed. New registrations signs have also gone up in the physical therapy building.

Earlier, in the Chief Nursing Officer report, it was noted that since the last board meeting, in February, Haxtun Health has had zero staff members out with COVID and zero patients in the hospital with COVID. Additionally, no Extended Care Unit residents have tested positive for COVID so far in 2022.


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