Latest News – December 17

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St. Vincent Hospital Foundation: Sharing & Giving

St. Vincent Hospital’s commitment to the Leadville and Lake County community is shining bright this time of year with a number of giving and donation programs in place for the holiday season.


The St. Vincent Hospital (SVH) group did a great job in the Parade of Lights on December 7 in downtown Leadville. Their parade entry highlighted the Tree of Sharing program, with marchers spinning about as lit-up Christmas trees!

This year’s Tree of Sharing mission is Helping Children have a Happy Holiday Season. Run under the auspices of the hospital foundation, the program’s success is dependent on the generosity of Lake County residents and businesses and helps children ranging in age from newborns to 17 years, with gifts of toys, books and warm outerwear.

United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots with help from SVH "elves" help load up Santa's "sleigh"

United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots with help from SVH “elves” help load up Santa’s “sleigh”

In fact, this year’s donations helped brighten Christmas for 481 children local children. The program also received a helping hand from the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program when they loaded Santa’s “sleigh” full during a recent visit to the soldiers’ warehouse.

The Tree of Sharing volunteer “elves” wrapped and distributed the gifts to local children last Saturday, Dec. 14.  Thanks to everyone for helped Lake County children have a more festive season!

Tree of Sharing donations will help brighten Christmas for 481 local children. Thank You!

Tree of Sharing donations will help brighten Christmas for 481 children. Thank You!

Obit_Spacer_ThinIn other St. Vincent Hospital news . . 

The St. Vincent Hopsital Foundation is installing a donor wall to acknowledge past and future donors. Wall_Donation_Dec_StVincentHospitalIn an effort to ensure a spot on the wall, the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation is inviting the public to help them by supplying your donation history with supporting documents. Donor recognition on the wall begins at $500. For more information about this or other programs or to make a donation to the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, contact Karen Rinehart, SVH Community Relations Coordinator 719-486-7135.Obit_Spacer_Thin

When I look out the window I see another season is gone and yet another is on the way. While I know Mother Nature has a lot of power to produce some troubling weather, I like the change of seasons. It seems to me it is the way things are to be; now the earth hibernates to renew its strength, knowing it will return to full growth again in the spring. We never doubt spring will come again. 

At St. Vincent Hospital we too know without doubt our hard work and dedication will result in full growth. All the evidence is here, a new digital mammography unit is now being used, new flooring shines in hallways, a patient room remodel has been completed, and the Physical Therapy remodel is completed. We still have Long Term Care rooms to be remodeled, a new wheelchair accessible van to be purchased in the coming months, a new heating system soon to be in place and a remodeled O.R. in our future. We are moving forward at a rapid pace. 

On October 31st we kicked-off a one month employee donation pledge challenge. Our goal is $100,000 in employee pledges over 3 years. It is this commitment from our employees that will bolster us as we move into a very aggressive and much-needed capital campaign for our OR remodel and HVAC needs. By the end of the day on the 31st we were just shy of $30,000 pledged by our employees. That total was achieved with only 20% of our staff pledging. Imagine what we can accomplish in the coming months.    

In other news, the St. Vincent Hospital Board met for strategic planning in early October. This session resulted in 4 top strategic initiatives being identified for the hospital in 2014. I’ve listed the initiatives below.  

  1. Quality of the Patient Experience: Recognizing that our patient’s experience is key to the viability of the hospital, we never want to be satisfied when it comes to quality. When you go up a notch, you look for the next notch, and that is what we are doing in every department at St. Vincent Hospital. 
  2. Culture of Teamwork: The Board recognizes that creating a culture of teamwork is essential to the hospital and creating an outstanding patient experience. Although many staff members feel there has been tremendous movement in this area, most acknowledge there is still room to go.  We have formed several employee led committees at our hospital and have recently conducted an anonymous employee survey. Our efforts to prioritize teamwork are on-going and robust.   
  3. Physician Recruitment: After hearing and seeing data presented by our management group, Quorum Healthcare (QHR), the Board directed me to recruit 1 to 2 more family medicine physicians to meet the needs of our community in the future. Recruitment of physicians is not a new initiative at SVH. Currently the hospital is working with Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger to recruit a full time physician whose time would be split between Rocky Mountain Family Practice and St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Department. Recruitment of visiting specialists is also a priority. 
  4. Facility Improvements:  More than 50 years have passed since our facility was built. Though there have been many upgrades that some of you in the community helped implement, the hospital is now faced with repairs that are crucial to its future. You are probably aware that we need a new HVAC system throughout the hospital. In the coming days, weeks, and months you will hear more about that need. An additional need is the remodel of our O.R. to a modern surgery suite that meets code and promotes a wider variety of surgeries which can be performed at SVH.  This would serve the community with improved access to healthcare and create new revenue streams for the hospital. 

In regard to patient experience, an area of immediate focus is patient surveys. Now, a random selection of patients who are discharged from the hospital or Emergency Department will receive a survey phone call from HealthStream, an impartial third party vendor. The patients who are called will be asked to report on their experience at St. Vincent Hospital. 

The uses for the surveys are 3 fold. First, the survey is a tremendous tool for hospital staff to effectively gauge areas for improvement. Second, the survey produces data about patients’ perspectives of care that allow objective and meaningful comparisons of hospitals on topics that are important to consumers. Third, the survey results are reported publicly, on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website for anyone who wants to learn more about St. Vincent Hospital and how it compares to other hospitals. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for being engaged in the success of our hospital. In late November our foundation will mail and email information on “end of year giving” and St. Vincent Hospital’s current fundraising initiatives. I hope you find it in your heart to pledge to make SVGHD a better place whether it is through a one-time monetary donation or through an on-going pledge. Together our future looks bright as we come together as a community to improve St. Vincent Hospital and access to quality healthcare in Lake County.

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