Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program impact in Moffat County:
The Memorial Hospital Clinic: $49,808.30
Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition: $40,827
In a recent round of rural health care grants, Moffat County institutions received more than $90,000 in state funds, the most awarded to any Colorado county.
The Memorial Hospital Clinic was awarded $49,808.30 and the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition received $40,827 to improve health care service.
On June 1, Gov. Bill Ritter announced in a news release that $1.075 million was awarded to the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program.
According to the release, the grant program began in August 2007, when it began to distribute $7.5 million over six years.
“As we continue toward our goal of providing access to high-quality, affordable health care to all Coloradoans, it is critical we support our rural communities,” Ritter said in the news release. “These investments will have significant impact on care and on people’s lives from Montrose to Kit Carson.”
The TMH Medical Clinic plans to use the funds to update its information technology system, according to the clinic’s grant proposal.
Since the clinic moved into TMH’s old facility at 785 Russell Street in December 2009, it has undergone renovations to make it a useable home for the clinic and several medical specialists.
Recently, a consulting company reported weaknesses and barriers in connecting with the new hospital facility, citing weaknesses and barriers in phone and message connections.
The proposal asks for funds to improve network services that facilitate the flow of information among clinic staff and physicians.
“The infrastructure request of information technology improvement will improve access to providing outpatient care,” the proposal said.
Shandy Deakins, clinical practice manager at the clinic, said the grant will “improve functionality all around.”
“It’s going to update our phone system so it can handle our phone calls better,” she said. “We’ll be able to talk better to the hospital electronically, and to everyone else. We won’t be having dropped Internet and stuff like that.”
At the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition, the grant money will be “huge,” executive director Janet Pearcey said.
The Dental Coalition will buy a new X-ray machine with the $40,000.
“We will be able to take basically a radiograph off the nose down,” Pearcey said. “You can find cysts, tumors (with the machine). The one we currently have isn’t working properly and the repairs that it needs are not ideal.”
She said she is thrilled the grant came through because the machine is a costly piece of equipment that will help the non-profit organization.
“It’s pertinent to a comprehensive treatment plan for patients,” Pearcey said.
Deakins said she was thrilled the state government recognizes both the importance and the needs of health care in rural areas like Craig.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “For them to see the need for rural communities to get the supplies and meet the needs they have so they can treat their patients is just great.
“It’s very exciting.”