TMH Living Well: TMH fulfills voters’ intent to bring quality care to county | CraigDailyPress.com

TMH Living Well: TMH fulfills voters’ intent to bring quality care to county

The Memorial Hospital

Myndi Christopher

We've just finished up an election and we will soon celebrate the results of an election from years past. It wasn't too long ago that the people of Moffat County voted to bring improved healthcare services to the area. The result? A new hospital that is much more than a new building. That crucial vote on Nov. 6, 2007 got the wheels turning to bring physicians and specialists to our community and to expand healthcare services offered near home.

2007 ballot measure determined fate of hospital

"Community members wanted more doctors and services close to home, but we knew they wouldn't come unless we had the infrastructure to support them. It was sort of a chicken versus the egg situation," said Jennifer Riley, chief of marketing and business development for TMH.

The facility needed much improvement to bring it up to code, and repairs would have cost a lot of money. Services were bursting at the seams of the building on Russell Street.

"We presented a lot of information to the community about our needs including video showing how we had outgrown the space. The surgery suites were so small that people and equipment were literally crammed into the space. It just wasn't working any longer. People wanted more services, and we needed the space to accommodate them," Riley added.

It was a close vote as the school also had a bond on the ballot, but it passed — which is good news for anyone seeking healthcare in the county, today.

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Expanded options, more services, many physicians

It took two years to build the new hospital which opened its doors on Nov. 12, 2009 — five years ago this month. With a new great space to offer, hospital leaders got busy attracting and hiring top physicians and employees. The total number of doctors grew from just a few in 2009 to 11 today, and the number of staff went from about 150 to over 200.

Several crucial service lines were added or expanded, including family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, OBGYN care, cardiology and an on-site lab and walk-in clinic in the medical clinic. A hospitalist service was added at the hospital, providing 24/7 physician coverage within the hospital. Recently, a nurse navigator for cancer patients was added to Women's Health Services at TMH, along with a 24/7 suction clinic for babies in the ER.

The hospital continues to acquire cutting edge equipment to provide the best care possible, including a 4-D ultrasound for obstetrics and new infant monitors in the special care nursery, to name a few. Coming in the summer is a comprehensive orthopedic program — one that hopes to attract patients not just locally but across the state, and even the nation.

History of TMH

In 1946, a group of concerned Craig citizens banded together in an effort to build a local hospital through fundraising and a Hill-Burton grant. They were successful, and The Memorial Hospital on Tucker Street was dedicated in November 1949. In 1952 the hospital was deeded to the citizens of Moffat County, making it a county-owned hospital. In 2007, after opening the new the new hospital, the "old" hospital became the location for the current TMH Medical Clinic.

Some employees have been around since the early years. Marie Kettle, infusion nurse, is approaching nearly 39 years of service: "The positive vote allowed us to expand services and receive more specialists. Adding the private rooms and the state-of-the-art operating room were big improvements. We are more patient centered than ever before, and new hires talk about our family atmosphere and healthy environment. We are here for one another and especially for our patients," Kettle concluded.

Thanks, Moffat County voters for saying "yes" to a new hospital way back when!

This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig — improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.

TMH’s five year celebration

The Memorial Hospital invites you to come celebrate five years on Hospital Loop and the expanded healthcare services now available in Moffat County.

When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday

What: Tours of the hospital including the state-of-the-art operating suites. Refreshments will be served.