August 12, 2011

Patient welfare, not new hospital, PVHS priority

The president and chairman of the board of directors for North Colorado Medical Center Inc. published a guest editorial in mid-July in Northern Colorado newspapers saying Poudre Valley Health System plans to build a hospital in west Greeley. Subsequently, the Northern Colorado Business Report published an article about his information and thankfully offered a more well-balanced account.

I’d like to make sure NCBR readers have all of the correct information.

The fact is that PVHS has never even discussed the possibility of building a hospital in west Greeley or anywhere in Weld County. We agree with the chairman’s assertion that such duplication often serves only to increase health-care costs.

However, I can’t believe that Banner Health System – the Phoenix-headquartered organization that manages NCMC and owns McKee Medical Center in Loveland – is overly concerned about duplication because it has announced plans to build a third hospital in Morgan County.

As the largest locally controlled provider of health care throughout Northern Colorado, PVHS is committed to ensure that our internationally recognized patient-care services remain both accessible and affordable to you.

For that reason, we will continue to work with physicians you have grown to know and trust in Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, or at the Greeley Medical Clinic in Weld County to explore innovative ways to provide state-of-the-art care close to the homes of community members.

The PVHS goal is for regional neighbors in the health-care profession to work collaboratively so collectively we focus on what’s right for patients and physicians. We will continue to work with regional and local providers wherever possible.

The road has been less smooth at times than we would like. Since formalizing our relationship with the Greeley Medical Clinic we’ve endeavored to use existing medical services in Weld County, even if those services were part of another health system.

Unfortunately, our options were limited a year ago when NCMC leadership elected to deny access to the hospital to specialists working with GMC.

Regardless, GMC and PVHS are committed to finding every way possible to meet the medical needs of residents of Greeley, Windsor and the rest of Weld County, as well as Larimer County and elsewhere in our region, with our outstanding clinical care.

Plan for growth, collaboration

Our joint plan for growth in Fredrick with Longmont United Hospital and our recent management agreement with the hospital in Sidney, Neb., are two recent examples of collaboration to ensure local control to keep quality high and costs low. Additionally, our impending affiliation with University of Colorado Hospital will ensure the PVHS tradition of world-class quality continues side by side with UCH’s world-class research and education.

Inaccurate assumptions and conclusions as were displayed in the most recent guest editorial serve only to confuse community members and erode the reputations of PVHS; McKee Medical Center, Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland; Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins; and NCMC. If my actions in the past have contributed to this inaccuracy, I want to apologize for the confusion.

Northern Colorado residents are fortunate because we have excellent hospitals in PVH, MCR, NCMC, and McKee. Like MCR and PVH, NCMC is a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, a distinction enjoyed by only a small percentage of U.S. hospitals.

We also have access to the foremost in new technology, such as the TrueBeam STx linear accelerator PVHS is now installing and will be treating cancer patients with in the very near future.

As PVHS works to enhance services offered by our two hospitals – MCR and PVH – we have opened new clinics and affiliated with existing ones to maximize quality while creating efficiencies to keep costs down.

Such efforts are crucial as we work to address national health-care reform. Organizations must work together to be more efficient and undergo a fundamental shift from the current model of treating patients in hospitals to keeping patients healthy so they remain out of hospitals.

I hope all of us in the Northern Colorado health-care community will be better able to work collaboratively as we address the constantly changing healthcare environment.

I encourage you to stay in touch with PVHS by reading www.pvhs.org and my blog at visionary.pvhs.org. Please offer your thoughts on what we do well and where you think we can improve. With all of us working together, I am confident we will better meet your health-care needs.

Rulon Stacey is president and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System.

The president and chairman of the board of directors for North Colorado Medical Center Inc. published a guest editorial in mid-July in Northern Colorado newspapers saying Poudre Valley Health System plans to build a hospital in west Greeley. Subsequently, the Northern Colorado Business Report published an article about his information and thankfully offered a more well-balanced account.

I’d like to make sure NCBR readers have all of the correct information.

The fact is that PVHS has never even discussed the possibility of building a hospital in west Greeley or anywhere in Weld County. We agree with the chairman’s assertion that…

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