Blog

August 28, 2018

After a big-hospital experience, patient recognizes the AVH difference

Few patients have a greater appreciation for Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) than John Runne. That’s because several years ago, he had total hip replacement surgery performed at a large hospital in Denver. The surgery seemed to go well. In the weeks afterward, however, John was diagnosed with a dangerous post-operative staph infection that left him unable to walk and required three additional surgeries, including a second replacement of the affected hip.

Carbondale resident John Runne felt like “a million bucks” after his hernia surgery and recovery at Aspen Valley Hospital.“I had a great deal of experience being at a big hospital,” John said. “It’s very trying to lose almost three years of your business career and activity with your family. It was a very depressing series of events.”

Eventually, John healed and was able to go on with his life. And then soon after he and his wife moved to Carbondale in April 2017, Quick read more or view full article he was diagnosed with a hernia. His primary physician referred him to Lesley Fraser, MD, General Surgeon at AVH, and friends seconded the recommendation.

Given the painful journey after his hip replacement in Denver, John admitted to having some trepidation about having surgery again. However, he scheduled a consultation. “All of my apprehensions went away as soon as I walked through the door and met Dr. Fraser,” John said. “From that point, I had no doubts, fears or concerns. It was pretty amazing. That was my first surprise!”

Other happy surprises were in store. For example, John was comforted to learn that AVH has a post-surgery infection rate far below state and national averages. On the day of his hernia surgery, he was “amazed at the care and kindness from every person on the staff, from the registration desk to the recovery room,” John said. “Having been in a large hospital where I had to hit a buzzer every time I needed help, I was really impressed to see the dedication and attention of the AVH staff.”

The surgery itself was a resounding success, with John reporting that he suffered no postoperative pain and “felt like a million bucks” just one week later. “All in all, my experience at AVH was phenomenal,” he said. “I came to the right place." Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Outstanding quality and cost savings

August 22, 2018

Midvalley Imaging Center provides great MRI value

Shopping around for an MRI in the Roaring Fork Valley? If so, the Midvalley Imaging Center is rewriting the rules of healthcare with a mission to provide MRI services at a lower cost without compromising quality.

The center has all the benefits you deserve and many you don’t expect:
  • High-quality images
  • Low costs that include professional reading of the images
  • Convenient Basalt location
  • No waiting
  • Personalized attention
  • Ample parking
  • Friendly service
“A lot of our business is driven from large, self-funded employer groups, which are always looking for lower-cost alternatives that provide quality services, and we serve as that crucial link in our region,” said Tim Burns, Executive Director of the center.

“At the same time, a lot of individuals with high-deductible health plans are comparison shopping for the best diagnostic images at the lowest cost. The Midvalley Imaging Center provides that option for elective MRIs, especially since our pricing is all-inclusive.”

Apples to apples

Value is one of the major Quick read more or view full article benefits provided by the Midvalley Imaging Center, because prices include both taking the images and having them read by physicians at Denver-based Radiology Imaging Associates. Other imaging services in the region have pricing structures that do not include having the images read.

“When you’re exploring your options, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples,” Burns said. “It’s important to know what is included in the cost and what is not included.”
As a bonus, Midvalley Imaging Center self-pay patients who pay in full at the time of service may be eligible for an additional discount.

Benefit from our balance

The Midvalley Imaging Center is able to offer cost savings thanks to a business model that balances low overhead expenses with high-quality services. And it’s important to note that the center boasts highly experienced, tenured staff. For example, Natalie Johnson, RT, MR, has been the face of the imaging center for a decade.

“Everybody loves a familiar face,” Johnson said. “We have a small and very tight, cohesive team. That improves our efficiency, performance, patient outcomes and safety. All of those result in cost savings we pass along to our patients.”

Particularly convenient for residents of Basalt, Carbondale and surrounding areas, the center has only appointment-based visits, with Johnson scheduling one patient per hour so no one has to wait. “I’m the primary provider there, and patients like having one person help them every step of the way. They know they’re not going to get lost in the shuffle,” Johnson said. “It works very smoothly, and our patients love it.”

The Midvalley Imaging Center is conveniently located at the
Midvalley Health Institute
1460 E. Valley Road, Basalt
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays (by appointment)
970.927.5087 Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

AVH, OrthoAspen Partner with US News #1 HSS

August 14, 2018


 
Creating Orthopedics ‘Medical Bridge’ with New York
 
Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) and its renowned OrthoAspen specialist group are entering into a co-management partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) to ensure the world’s most advanced orthopedic care for the Aspen community.  Following months of development, the relationship was endorsed by a vote on Monday, August 13 by the AVH Board of Directors.
 
Hospital for Special Surgery has been ranked the No. 1 orthopedic hospital in the nation for the past nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report ‘Best Hospitals’ (2018-19). AVH, Colorado’s only five-star rated critical access hospital by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will adopt HSS best practices standards and leverage its orthopedic resources and capabilities. HSS will provide AVH with services including clinical knowledge transfer, medical staff development, professional education, research and academic programming, and practice quality enhancement.
 
“This partnership is a great example of our different approach to transforming healthcare,” said Louis A. Shapiro, Quick read more or view full article president and CEO of HSS. “Innovative collaboration amongst two organizations committed to excellence in a focused specialty offers an alternative source of value to the trend of mass consolidation and commoditization in healthcare.”
 
“Embedding HSS’s knowledge, expertise, and best practices in AVH, enables world-class care to be more accessible and more individuals to live life to the fullest,” he added.
 
“We are thrilled to partner with Aspen Valley Hospital, an exceptional institution in its own right,” said HSS Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director Dr. Todd J. Albert. “Together we will provide an even higher standard of quality to a community with an especially strong appreciation for the value that will come from that.”

“This is a unique opportunity to advance the excellence of OrthoAspen and assure the most discerning consumers of world-class orthopedic care right here in Aspen,” said Dave Ressler, CEO, Aspen Valley Hospital. “This transformative partnership is very exciting for both AVH and HSS because it clearly demonstrates our shared commitment to delivering the best possible orthopedic outcomes.”

“It will also enable us to better control costs and deliver value to the Aspen community,” added Mr. Ressler.
 
Both nonprofit hospitals have long histories of serving their respective communities – HSS was founded in 1863 and AVH has been serving Aspen for 127 years.
 
 
ABOUT ASPEN VALLEY HOSPITAL
Founded in 1891, Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) is one of the most sophisticated rural hospitals in the U.S. With twenty-five beds, AVH is designated as a critical access hospital and level III trauma center, meeting the needs of the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley communities, plus thousands of visitors from around the world every year. Combining the warmth and friendliness of a small town with the technical expertise of a major medical center, AVH has been recognized with numerous awards, including a Five-Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid; "Hospital of Choice" award (based on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems results); and a "Top 20 Best Practice in Financial Stability" designation from the National Rural Health Association for critical access hospitals in the U.S., among others. AVH offers a full range of services with board-certified specialists in 25 fields of medicine, with expanded expertise in orthopedics and sports medicine. For over 125 years, Aspen Valley Hospital has been working to deliver extraordinary healthcare in an environment of excellence, compassion and trust. Learn more at aspenhospital.org or 970-925-1120.
 
ABOUT ORTHOASPEN
The OrthoAspen team of physicians is dedicated to improving and restoring the health of recreational and competitive athletes, adults, seniors and children. OrthoAspen has earned worldwide acclaim for its expertise in orthopedic care, providing the latest technologies and comprehensive services for its patients. Utilizing diagnostic imaging technology, minimally-invasive techniques, and the Mako surgical robot for total and partial joint replacements, OrthoAspen brings state-of-the-art orthopedic care to Aspen and surrounding communities. OrthoAspen's research findings have been reported in major medical journals and at academic conferences throughout the world. Learn more at orthoaspen.org or 970-544-1289.
 
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


               
                              
  Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Our Volunteers Make a Difference Every Day

July 1, 2018
Volunteers are at the heart of what we do at Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH). Here are experiences from two of our volunteer unit leaders who make a difference in the lives of the hospital’s patients and staff.

When Deborah Konig became an AVH volunteer about three years ago, she was drawn to Sally’s Gift Shop. “I was in retail for part of my professional life, so this was a natural fit for me,” said Konig, who is now Unit Leader of the shop’s volunteers.

True to form, she goes out of her way to help visitors select gifts for patients. Occasionally, she also receives phone calls from people who are out of town and want to send a gift. In those situations, she will take photos of several items — the shop has an array of cards, balloons, toys, books, candles, seasonal items and more — that might be appropriate. Then, she will send the photos to the customer, handle the sale remotely and make sure the purchased items are delivered to the Quick read more or view full article patient’s room.

“What I like about volunteering in the gift shop is that you’re helping out and putting a smile on someone’s face,” Konig said. “Plus, it’s a pretty easy job; the only qualifications are that you be kind and cheerful.”

‘It’s a good feeling’
Kindness and cheerfulness are also required for the good work done by volunteers in AVH’s Emergency Department. The environment there, according to Unit Leader Linda Waag, is greatly varied and often fast-paced.

“You get a little bit of everything, and it’s never boring,” Waag said. “Some days when I get home, I’m just flat-out tired. But I know that I’ve done a good day’s work of helping out, that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life and done something worthwhile. It’s a good feeling.”

That may explain why Linda has been a volunteer in the Emergency Department for 20 years. When she started, volunteers were more directly involved with patient care: helping to lift patients off gurneys, cutting boots off injured skiers and assisting with suturing. While that has changed, volunteers still have plenty to do.

“We bring a lot of comfort and love to our patients,” Waag said. “Some of our patients are frightened or don’t have a friend or family member with them. Volunteers can sit and reassure them in a way that our doctors and nurses may not have time to do. That warm blanket and smiling face can be very comforting.”

AVH is currently seeking volunteers for the gift shop and important clinical areas such as the Emergency Department and Same Day Surgery. To learn about these and other exciting volunteer opportunities, please call 970.544.1296 or visit aspenhospital.org/volunteer to download a volunteer application. Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Whitcomb Terrace:

July 1, 2018
Assisted living -- with emphasis on living!

The request, when she first heard it, struck Maggie Gerardi as both unusual and wonderful. As director of Whitcomb Terrace Assisted Living, Gerardi was accustomed to acting on requests from residents interested in visiting local art galleries, restaurants, shops and events.

In this instance, though, a resident wanted something out of the ordinary. “He used to be a snowmobile enthusiast, and he really wanted to go out on a snowmobile again,” Gerardi said. “It was important to him, so we and the staff at T-Lazy-7 Ranch made it happen, and he had a great time.”

Such personal touches are a hallmark of Whitcomb Terrace, which opened in 1990 as Aspen’s first assisted living facility. Over nearly three decades, Whitcomb Terrace has maintained its mission of encouraging residents to live as actively and independently as possible and to provide opportunities and resources to help them do so.

Staff members plan outings to sites, shops and events. Residents’ loved ones are always welcome to visit and Quick read more or view full article share a delicious meal in the dining room. Most importantly, volunteers from the community bring in educational programs, music, arts and crafts often, while area businesses offer services and programs to support residents’ health and happiness. For instance, Aspen Music Festival graciously donates tickets to concerts throughout the summer, a highlight for the residents and the volunteers who accompany them.

“We are really blessed with a community that cares so much, as our volunteers and local businesses prove time after time,” Gerardi said.

Helping residents stay involved
Residents can also be proactively involved in the community. For example, one resident attends classes at a local college — and another teaches college classes. In addition, the Pitkin County Senior Center is located in the same building as Whitcomb Terrace, giving residents easy access to those programs. With so much to do, many residents report feeling more socially engaged and having a greater sense of community after moving to Whitcomb Terrace.

There are other benefits, as well. At Whitcomb Terrace, assisted living includes employees taking care of residents’ housekeeping and managing medications. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served every day. There’s even a medical director, Joshua Seymour, MD, who makes “house calls” and staff who continually oversee residents.

“Most of our staff have been with us for years, so they have longterm, caring relationships with our residents,” Gerardi said. “That’s not what most people expect of assisted living; they expect it to be impersonal and institutional, which could not be further from the truth at Whitcomb Terrace. We strive to keep our residents independent, engaged and happy — even if that involves a ride on a snowmobile.”

To find out more about Whitcomb Terrace, call 970.544.1530 or email mgerardi@aspenhospital.org Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>