SAN LUIS VALLEY — Rio Grande Hospital is now recognized as one of the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation. The highly known and respected Chartis Center for Rural Health (CCRH) is an arm of the consulting firm The Chartis Group, which provides advisory services and analytics to the healthcare industry. CCRH recently released its findings, which honored only four of the top 100 hospitals nation wide designated as Critical Access Hospitals, including Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte.
Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Congress created the CAH designation through the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
When the previous hospital in Rio Grande County closed many years ago, several fatalities and other issues emphasized the need for a hospital on the west end of the San Luis Valley that could also serve Mineral County. Many physicians and community members came together to design the solution, Rio Grande Hospital.
With financial crises for rural healthcare in the media lately, it’s good to know that RGH is raising the bar for the community. “Our CEO and the board don’t only think rural, they look at the needs of our community and how to fulfill them, said Eva Timberlake, RGH’s Development & Communications Officer, “We have some exciting things that we hope to share soon, more needs for our patients and their families will be achieved.”
The CAH recognition comes soon after RGH was also chosen as a 5-star hospital in the United States, and the only one in the San Luis Valley. The Monte Vista Medical Clinic of Rio Grande Hospital was also recently awarded with being an Exemplary Provider accredited by The Compliance Team, which is a national recognition.
Their recent increase in services like cardiopulmonary, new surgeries, colonoscopies, and their state-of-the-art wound care with hyperbaric oxygen therapy brings in people from outside the Valley as well. Last year when a pharmacy in Rio Grande County closed, RGH stepped up and started delivering most prescriptions to their various clinics to help with the community’s need. They are still doing it today. RGH has proven repeatedly when there is a great healthcare need, they unify the community and strive to satisfy that demand.