Rural Heath Clinic survey underway

Hospital volunteers are busy around town asking residents and part-timers alike??to complete a demographics survey.

These surveys will be compiled and the information used to go after grant money to fund a Rural Health Clinic and urgent care facility at the old Mary Fisher building adjacent to Pagosa Mountain Hospital.

Currently, the emergency room at the hospital is inundated with routine medical situations that are more suited to a clinic facility rather than an emergency facility.

A visit to the emergency room starts in the $500 range, which is pretty expensive for just treating the common cold or a twisted ankle. A Rural Health Clinic would run about $60 for the same treatment. Since so many people cannot afford the emergency room bill, the hospital is left making arrangements for payments and oftentimes receives no payment at all.

A Rural Health Clinic would benefit everyone in our community, in that it would provide affordable health care for those who really need it and are currently having to use the emergency room as their only alternative for that care.

The survey asks for no identifying information at all, just the general basics of whether someone is employed or retired, approximate income level, whether the person is covered by insurance, about recent doctor/hospital visits and where, and includes a section on what services the person would like to see offered at a clinic here in Pagosa — such as ophthalmology, pre-natal care, mammography, cardiac early detection, and others. There is also a space to note any services not on the survey that would be of benefit to our community and there is a space for any additional comments.

If you are asked to complete a survey, please do so. If you have not been asked and would like a survey or further information, contact Pagosa Mountain Hospital at 731-3700. Surveys are available in both English and Spanish in an effort to reach out to all areas of our community.

On an additional note, the hospital is still in need of volunteers in many different areas such as the gift shop and medical records, and for special projects such as conducting the survey. If you have some time you can give to benefit your community hospital, either regular hours or on an as-needed basis, contact Kelly Johnson at Pagosa Mountain Hospital, at 731-3700.

Photo Cathy Rose
Hospital volunteers were at downtown City Market last week, asking locals and part-time residents to complete a Pagosa demographics survey concerning health care in the community.