A ‘community perspective’

Human services partnership looking for public input on old hospital building

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Nearly six months after The Memorial Hospital moved out of its old facility at 745 Russell St., the future of the old building remains under discussion.

The Moffat County Human Services Partnership, a group of representatives from 12 local nonprofits interested in finding the best use for the old hospital building, is now looking for public input on the future of the county-owned Russell Street building.

An online survey is available to gauge community interest in use of the facility by local nonprofit organizations.

A five-question online survey is available at http://surveymonkey.com/s/R6QM6YL.

Partnership director Mary Brown said public involvement in the process is vital to finding the best and most-needed use for the location.

“It’s important we get some community perspective on what they believe their public hospital should do,” Brown said. “ It’s a significant block, right in the middle of Craig. If the entire community were clamoring for it to be torn down and have condos built, well, that wouldn’t bode well for getting financing to renovate it.”

Currently, the TMH Medical Clinic and several TMH specialists utilize space in the building.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, which leases the south end of the building, also is part of the partnership.

“I think I can fairly say that the VNA would like to own their portion of that building and that a couple other not-for-profits are interested in being co-located in that space,” Brown said, citing agencies such as the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and Northwest Colorado

Mental Health.

A year ago, the partnership received an $85,000 grant from the state Office of Rural Health to examine the possibilities for the Russell Street building.

Brown said the idea was to first evaluate interest among local nonprofits in the community to occupy the building in some capacity.

The second step was to evaluate the condition of the building and determine what the space is suitable for.

That phase was completed in mid-March when two engineering firms — one structural and one mechanical — submitted a completed evaluation of the building.

“They basically said that the hospital did a great job of maintaining aging equipment and that in its current state and configuration, it’s all usable,” Brown said. “They said it’d be well-served to update mechanics of the building, but that the building is structurally fine.”

The next few steps will be time-consuming, Brown said.

“Well, clearly there will be some need for financing of some kind,” she said. “At a minimum it would mean applying for grant funds, for which community support is a compelling issue.”

The future of nonprofits in the Russell Street campus is also dependent on the ability of TMH clinic and specialists to find a new space — or build one — which could be years away, Brown said.

“It is very, very conceptual,” she said. “ No one is signing on a dotted line. The partnership remains interested in exploring possibilities.”

Comments

George Robertson 4 years, 7 months ago

Convert the old emergency room portion into a stripper bar (I think the poles are already there) and use the profits from that to fund the renovation of the rest of the building.

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og174 4 years, 7 months ago

Wasn't this (the old hospital)the building that the public was lead to believe was in such terrible shape that we had to spend millions of tax payer monies to biuld a new one. Is anyone else thinking we may have been dooped?????

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Cole White 4 years, 7 months ago

OG,

That depends on where you want to get your healthcare delivered. Did you go to the old TMH to get care or did you drive to Steamboat or Junction in the past? Also, are you comfortable with getting your healthcare delivered at City Market or the Court House? Both of those buildings are perfectly fitted to perform a task to the public but aren't necessarily fit to have a hospital operated out of them. Would you feel safe having a surgical procedure performed in the produce section of the super-market? Think it's sterile enough? The old TMH is very similar to other old building in town. It still has form and function, just not the form and function necessary to practice modern medicine.

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longjohn25 4 years, 7 months ago

Nimrod,

My 50 year old mother is laughing her a** off, that is a great idea. I think that the revenue the strip club would benefit the whole community. Job opportunities!!!!!

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McGruber 4 years, 7 months ago

highway1340-your comments are too logical and straightforward for many here to grasp.

notthefacts in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

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og174 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey 1340--Great guestions if you get the answers you want--but guess what--All my kids were born at TMH--my family had numerous (some recently, before it closed, and we all did VERY well) surguries at the old TMH--I can't ever remember anyone saying that TMH was City Maket or the court house--what a ignorant comparision --nice try, but you failed miserably to make a valid point, and your having to use sarcasim, proves you probably don't believe in your opinion. Why do you people think something has to be pretty to be effective??? I can't ever remember anyone saying the hospital ever hurt or hindered their health or recovery. I will never belive that the new hospital was anything more then just a group of people's pet project and they did a great job in wearing the community down in believeing we needed it. When the hospital comes back saying they can't pay for it, lets let all you "pretty hospital" supporters pay the difference and stay out of the rest of our pockets!!!! I am not trying to be nasty, and I do respect opinions, but really people, use some common financial sense and fore-sight and try and please leave the sarcasim out of it!!!!!

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David Moore 4 years, 7 months ago

Highway 1340, while wide on comparison, is dead on in their comments. I wish photos were possible on this blog as I have a ton of them portraying the struggles we overcame everyday that would show the need for this new building. Even thought the building is attractive, there was no "pretty" in our minds when designing this place, function was the name of the game and this facility was designed around clinical needs, not looks or big offices. Nobody's health or recovery was hindered at old TMH, it was the delivery of that care which became hindered, we just ran out of room for modern medicine. Second to that was the privacy factor, HIPPA regulates that patients have to have privacy, sharing a room with another patient is a thing of the past. Day Surgery was a 5 bed room divided by curtians, you had to sit there and hear the person next to you share their most valued medical secrets. Now all of that has changed with private rooms on the Med/Surg wing and in the Day Surgery area, bringing TMH up to modern privacy expectations. I have yet to hear any negative comments about the new facility from any patient coming through Surgery, most of them are very happy for us and think that our community deserved better than a 60 year old dysfunctional building. As for a medical clinic, old TMH is perfect as they have also been able to expand their space to provide quality healthcare in areas such as OB/GYN, Orthopedics, General surgery and Urology with plenty of room for expansion if any other specialties want to locate here. Sounds like a perfect use for an old hospital to me.

My general offer still stands (which as of today nobody has taken me up on), if anyone wants a tour of the old or the new or both, please look me up, you know where to find me.

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Harlan 4 years, 7 months ago

I am a Craig resident who has, and will continue to drive to Steamboat & GJ for medical care. Craig does not have the population to attract top of the line doctors. These doctors choose other areas because they can better attempt to see more patients, increase their wages, and pay back their medical school loans. I don't care if their building is old or new. I care about the quality of the medical care I receive. Out of town, I am asked thorough questions regarding my health. In town, I am asked thorough questions about how I will pay the unknown costs of today's visit. Off subject, I am curious as to why the Memorial Hospital spends so many dollars on advertizing. We know the hospital is here. Some of us choose not to use it, but our taxes pay for the advertizing anyway. It is not my intention to degrade the fine physicians who decide to make Craig their home. They do the best they can with the circumstances they have. I do question the administrative decisions that our local hospital makes. I believe many of these decisions tie the physician’s hands to the point that it hinders their ability to provide exceptional care.

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og174 4 years, 7 months ago

To Mr Moore- I am sure your blog contains some very valid points -- I am sure people using the facility think it is very nice--and I have no doubt that there were many issues with the building-- I only hope that when our hard working cash strapped county (and I only see it getting worse) gets asked to dole out more of our hard earned wages to prop up a facility that was built soley for the reasons you state, that you and the rest of the proponents of the facility are the first to step up and pull out your billfold.

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David Moore 4 years, 7 months ago

It was not built solely for the reasons I stated, that was just scratching the surface. And yes, I have, and will continue, to monetarily support our local health care system and I'd be willing to bet that those working there and their "proponents" would as well.

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Cole White 4 years, 7 months ago

OG,

My point is that a building can have a lot of function, but doesn't necessarily mean it is cut out to be a hospital. Hospital use to be field tents and doctor's homes, but over time they evolved into very specialized buildings. The demands of modern healthcare demand facilities where state of the art medicine and technology can be safely provided. The old TMH building can easily be used for just about anything your mind can imagine, but if you want to operate a hospital out of it you'd have to put in millions of dollars to bring it up to state and federal standards.

The new TMH wasn't built for today. The old TMH was capable of providing services to our residents in the present. The new TMH was built for the next 50 years of healthcare here in Moffat County. The old TMH would have been shut down in just a couple years due to the fact it would not have been able to have kept up on state and federal requirments for quality and safety.

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og174 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree that 1340 and Mr Moore have valid views and I appreciate hearing them---but I believe that the old TMH was providing adequate/quality services on the day it was closed--granted it may have presented some privicy issues--and there were some building issues--But can we say that the only option available was a multi-million dollar facility that is a duplication of the same type facility located only 45 minutes to an hour away to the east, and with a world class facility that is located in Grand Junction just 2.5 hrs away, and neither one of these facilities cost the tax payers of Moffat County a thing. I think we are beating this whole issue to death, but it sickens me to think about the potencial financial burden that the new hospital is going to put on the shoulders of the tax payers of Moffat County in the near future. With coal mining being cut back and oil and gas drilling pulling out of the state, I sure hope that tourism, ag and the area hunting business picks up to help with all the debt we as a community are piling up.

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David Moore 4 years, 7 months ago

OG174, I respect your viewpoint and I am with you on the fact that the economy is bad, however business at TMH is good, at least in my world it is...we are busier than ever before. The choice of where you receive your health care is ultimately yours, but it would not make much sense to speed to Steamboat while your having a heart attack when you can get the same care here. TMH has saved countless lives, delivered numerous new humans into our world and repaired many broken or malfunctioning individuals. I am very secure with the thought that if any member of my family needed health care, we would have it here, and we do. A replacement facility was the best option as remodeling of the old was not cost effective due to it's structural defects, it would still have cost millions to bring it all up to code, which then people would have complained "why didn't we just put all that money into a new one". Besides, the neighbors were tired of hearing sirens all the time and the landing of the helicopter was not a pleasant awakening at 3 in the morning for them, now we only bother the deer and field rodents. It all lies under the same concept that brought the new school, except they don't seem to take the beating that TMH does for the same reasons. Occasionally I wander through the halls of the old building and I have to wonder how we did it for so many years, how did we stuff all that equipment and people into the trauma room in ER, how did we deliver babies in the OR...cramming in 10-12 people along with all the necessary equipment and instruments. I'll tell you how, we were just good at getting the job done with what we were given and we kept it to ourselves until the time came that the job became tougher to do with the expanding technology required to do it. I don't think there is one employee that misses that old place, maybe for sentimental reasons I'll buy but for functionality, not one. I'll buy you lunch OG, come on up and tell our concierge that I sent you, let me show you around in both places, it's quite an eye opener. Hopefully you will at least come away with the feeling that you got your moneys worth, I know I did.

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McGruber 4 years, 7 months ago

Harlan, This is a pretty ignorant statement.

"Craig does not have the population to attract top of the line doctors. These doctors choose other areas because they can better attempt to see more patients, increase their wages, and pay back their medical school loans."

What do you base this on? Do you know what medical schools the doctors in this community went to? The quality of their respective residency programs ect.

Do you think you have better care when your doctor is trying to see more patients? Wages for most doctors are actually higher at hospitals in rural areas than metropolitian areas (think supply and demand). Surprise some doctors want to live in rural communities.

Gets your facts straight before you go out and smear hard working people that are doing a great service to this community.

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