New practice targets on-the-job health problems

If you’re looking for a preventive approach to your work-related health, Arbor Occupational Medicine might be just the ticket.

Drs. Sander Orent and Lori Long will head the office set to open Monday, Feb. 4, at 1860 Industrial Circle, Suite D in Longmont. Arbor already has offices in Boulder and Broomfield – the Boulder office has its own X-ray facility and physical therapy.

Orent said he likes to focus on keeping workers healthy, whether they’re out and about, such as firefighters and police officers, or desk jockeys who need special keyboards or to have their office chairs lowered or raised.

“We take a preventive approach, including proper body mechanics and ergonomic issues so people don’t have problems with repetitive motion, for example,” Orent said.

Separately, retired police officers have shown high levels of heart attacks within five years after they leave the job, Orent said, showing that many may benefit from preventive care such as light exercise and stress relief.

In all, Arbor has about 65 employees at its various sites, including one in Greenwood Village. All Arbor offices are Pinnacol Assurance SelectNet providers. In Boulder, Dr. Bruce Cazden heads the office; in Broomfield, you can see Dr. David Kistler. Local physician assistants include Clint Dillard, who will work in the new Longmont office, and Richard Shouse.

ER signup at Good Sam

Two or three emergency room patients per day have been using an innovative online signup sheet since it went into service about a year ago at Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette.

If you don’t have a life-threatening emergency, the InQuicker system can be a good way to go.

Patients using the emergency room signup have included people who have non-life-threatening injuries that need to be seen quickly, or people with illnesses who want to see a doctor, said Judy Gorham, director of emergency and trauma services at Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center. About 115 patients per day come through the emergency room, Gorham said.

If you sign up online, Exempla guarantees you’ll be seen by a health-care professional within 15 minutes of the time you arrive. The idea is to allow people to wait in line from home instead of counting the minutes in the waiting room.

Exempla’s two other Denver-metro hospitals — Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver and Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge — also offer the service.

If a patient needs to see someone immediately, he or she gets a call from someone at the hospital, Gorham said. So far, the emergency room staff has only had to make a few of those calls.

Exempla Good Sam is an accredited Level 3 Trauma Center, meaning it can take any kind of emergency, Gorham said. It’s also an accredited stroke center — important when minutes count.

Exempla is a member of Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, a faith-based, not-for-profit health system operating in Colorado, California, Kansas and Montana.

Bioscience jobs

On a job-related note, the Colorado BioScience Association expects its industry to grow across the state by 232,000 new science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related jobs by 2018.

In response, the nonprofit trade group wants to raise $100,000 for a new Colorado BioScience Institute in Denver – an educational and workforce program to train scientists and business entrepreneurs in bioscience-related applications.

Of the six companies represented on the trade group’s board of directors, three are local – Aerial Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Broomfield, Arca BioPharma Inc. in Boulder and Clarimedix Inc., in Boulder.

For more information, go to http://CoBioInstitute.com

Health-insurance stats

Finally, let me leave you with just a few thoughts about the federal Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The controversial plan signed into law in 2010 calls for every American to carry health insurance or to pay penalties.

In Colorado, an estimated $22 million to $26 million operating budget will be needed to operate an online health-insurance exchange for individuals and small businesses, according to the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange board of directors, quoted in the industry newsletter Colorado Managed Care.

While two federal grants totaling $61 million have been approved to get the Colorado exchange running, it has to be run with private funds by 2015, according to Colorado law.

An estimated 16 percent of the Colorado population is uninsured, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics – about 500,000 people.

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.

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