The Memorial Hospital wins bid to provide health services to Moffat County schools
November 21, 2016
Craig — Student health services will soon be provided by The Memorial Hospital after the Moffat County School District Board of Education approved a contract with the hospital at their Nov. 17 meeting.
"TMH is looking forward to working with the school district staff and students," said TMH CEO Andrew Daniels. "Our goal is to provide exceptional care to students. The school nurse and health technicians will have a broad array of resources available to them to help ensure that all students receive appropriate care."
The contract is through the end of the 2016-17 school year with the option to renew.
It will cost the school district the same as in-house services, estimated in the budget to be $181,000 for the entire school year. TMH will receive a pro-rated amount according to Superintendent Dave Ulrich.
The school district began out-sourcing health care after registered nurse Karie Fisher left the district in early October.
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"I felt I could not safely and adequately care for the children under the model that existed at the beginning of the school year," Fisher said. "It broke my heart, but it was always about the kids getting the best care possible."
After Fisher's resignation students began receiving nursing care through a short-term contract with Northwest Colorado Health.
The district opened a search for a new school district nurse at the same time issued a request for proposals to determine if it would be feasible for one of the area health care providers to continue contract care without adding to the health service budget.
Northwest Colorado Health and The Memorial Hospital at Craig presented proposals to the school district in November and, "The Memorial Hospital proposal stood-out," Ulrich said.
A team of school district staff including representation from the district office, counselors, a special education teacher and preschool director, created the terms of the proposal.
Under the new contract, "The Memorial Hospital will provide a full-time registered nurse and four health techs," said Vice President of Hospital Operations Jennifer Riley. "This met the school district's request. The district currently employs three health technicians, and we are talking with them about the possibility of them transitioning to TMH."
During the school board discussion, board member JoAnn Baxter asked if four health techs were adequate.
"I believe we can provide great health care services under that model. If they can't then we would work with that group and re-evaluate or even go back to earlier models," Ulrich said.
School board members Charity Neal and Daryl Steel were not present at the meeting.
Those school board members in attendance unanimously approved the contact.