No one looks forward to a trip to the Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s emergency room (ER). Yet many of us have spent a little time there.
No matter what the reason for the visit, we are fortunate that we are no longer forced to make the 60-some-odd-mile drive — in all types of weather — to the ER in Durango when an emergency arises.
During 2013, there were 4,782 visits to the ER at Pagosa Springs Medical Center. That is more than 90 visits a week, or 13 people a day.
Since the ER and hospital were built and opened in Pagosa Springs in 2008, the growth in services and programs has been incredible. Primary care opened in 2010, general surgery was added the next year and, in 2014, services expanded to include mammography.
Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s FAQ sheet states the following needs for additional expansion:
• Emergency department visits have increased 20 percent since 2009 to 4,782 visits in 2013 and annual Primary Care Clinic visits have increased 309 percent since opening in 2010, to 15,776 in 2013.
• The Primary Care Clinic has grown, in four short years, from one medical professional providing services one day per week to six medical professionals available six days per week. After adding six new clinic exam rooms, orthopedic surgery, digital mammography, expanding the pharmacy and moving billing and wellness departments off-site in 2013, the medical center’s facility is at capacity and cannot expand without building new space to meet community need.