Delta Hospital Has Come A Long Way in Adapting to a Rapidly Changing and Challenging Healthcare Environment

By Jason Cleckler, CEO
This year marks my 10th year with Delta County Memorial Hospital and my 6th year in the role of CEO. It is remarkable to look back over the past decade and see how far our hospital has come in a rapidly changing and challenging healthcare environment. The hospital has grown to be a system that is focused on improving access, quality of care and treating the whole person. We have improved our access to primary care services while adding additional access points and therapies to provide a well-rounded healthcare experience close to home.

We have started this year with a comprehensive strategic plan that involves all employees in leading our hospital on the journey from good to great. The plan is focused on continued quality improvement, long-term financial viability, continued strengthening of our hospital culture and areas that we need to stabilize, develop and grow.

The hospital will continue to work on providing improved access to behavioral health services and addressing the Opioid prescription drug crisis. We will also be attentive to what our patients and community want from their healthcare provider. We are quickly moving towards a consumer-driven environment and the hospital is responding with greater transparency, convenience and customer care. This also includes not only our continued emphasis on being here for times of illness or traumatic injuries, but also improving overall health and wellness. We will continue to build on our complementary and low-cost classes and educational events to help our residents live healthier and happier lives.

I am proud of the team we have assembled to provide high quality care and the recent awards over the past several years have validated my beliefs. In 2016 and 2017 we were picked as a Top 100 rural hospital and I recently received notification that we made the list again in 2018 making us one of the few hospitals to be selected three years in a row. We lowered our post operative surgical infection rate to 0.17%, which is well below the national average. We recently received an "A" grade for safety and quality by a nationally recognized company. I credit these successes to the great staff and their dedication to our vision and community they serve.
The awards and recognition are valuable, but I also believe it is time to move our hospital system from being a consistently good provider to an exceptional one. We have the right team assembled and a strategic plan to guide our way over the coming years. Delta County Memorial Hospital will continue to be a voice nationally for rural healthcare by strengthening our dedication and focus on providing quality care to the people we serve. I appreciate the ongoing support we have received throughout Delta County and thank you for trusting us with your healthcare.

Accomplishments in 2017 included:
Opening DCMH West Elk Clinic in Hotchkiss and DCMH West Elk Walk-in Clinic in Paonia with a long term commitment to the families and patients in the North Fork. - Medical Oral Expanded Care (MORE) program.
Grant for $525,000 for West Elk Clinic - Hotchkiss
Behavioral Health integrated into family medicine clinics
3D mammography and 3D mammography biopsy table - medical imaging
Achieved Baby-Friendly Designated Facility
LAB accredited with CAP (College of American Pathologists)
ER Trauma Review - Level IV Facility - State of Colorado - with zero deficiencies
DCMH Urgent Care Clinic named as an Exemplary Provider and accredited as a rural health care clinic
Dermatology offered by Dr. Jesus Ochoa, through DCMH Primary Care
San Juan ACO - population health - working with family medicine providers to assist Medicare, higher risk patients with preventative health recommendations
Growth of Grand Mesa Oncology with integrated oncologist, Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Rouch and soft touch approach of clinic RNs
New family medicine providers employed- Dr. Jon Richman, Dr. Matthew Lebsack, and Nurse Practitioners - Certified for West Elk Walk in Clinic in Paonia, and DCMH Family Medicine in Delta

Community Outreach

Food Drive - 3 tons (6000 pounds) of food and several hundred dollars in cash which was distributed to the food banks in Delta, Hotchkiss and Cedaredge as well as the Abraham Connection and the animal shelters. DCMH teamed up with Salvation Army - Delta to assist 22 children and families in need of assistance with warm clothing and Christmas gifts

Purchased steer in Sept during Delta County Fair for employee BBQ and employee meat giveaway

Annual early blood draw and health fairs - assisting over 2000 people from our community with low-cost blood work as a preventative health measure

DCMH donated over $10,330 to Delta County events and organizations

DCMH Employees participated in career and science fairs for Delta County schools

Hospital departments volunteered to serve breakfast to the homeless at Abraham Connection in Delta

Classes offered to the community - Stepping On, Tai Chi, Senior Cardio Fitness, Get Up and Go, Tobacco Cessation, Diabetes Cooking Classes, Weight management and Diabetes Management thru Primary Care, Oncology - Music therapy, art therapy, yoga, stress reduction, Look Good, Feel Better, speakers - a naturopathic physician, Nuclear Partners, started new women's cancer support group
DCMH Foundation

Two Fund Raising Events were held in 2017, "Eat Drink and Be Very Generous", a wine, beer and food tasting in Hotchkiss for the new West Elk Clinic and the "6th Annual Pea Green Pedal" in Delta - totaling $32,500 raised for both events

Received donations from Alpine Bank for $3,500; First Colorado National Bank for $1,500.
DCMH Employee Scholarships (14) totaled $7,080.00 for 2017.

Rural Track Funds Reallocated to Help Recruit a Physical Therapy Student to DCMH through offering to pay down his student loans in the amount of $5,000.00 in 2017.

Foundation Purchased for the Hospital during 2017:
$9,025.00 HIVAMAT Therapy Unit for Physical Therapy;
$9,280.00 for new white boards for Med-Surg; $3,203.00 for a folding machine for the business office; $2,542.00 for Education for new mannequin and accessories for ACLS classes; Oncology Line Items for $56.65 Lymphedema Sleeve; $379.00 for Yoga equipment, and $10,150.00 to help furnish the new DCMH West Elk Clinic Hotchkiss
The Foundation raises and administers funds for Delta County Memorial Hospital for projects, equipment and provides support for employees to pursue healthcare related careers through scholarship funds.

Over the years, the DCMH Foundation has provided more than $330,000 in scholarships, $10,000 in state-of-the-art equipment for the hospital and $20,000 in donations to area organizations advancing healthcare for our community.

Some 75 Volunteers donated some 16,000+ volunteer hours to the hospital in 2017.
Hospital Volunteers donate their time to cover the front visitor's desk, the concierge desk on the second floor, PACU (post-surgical area), ER, Oncology, Home Health, Physician Billing and the Gift Shop. Junior Volunteers, generally from local high schools explore possible health-related careers and volunteer during summers off from school.

The Hospital Volunteers awarded $4,000 in Delta High School scholarships to students going on to college in health-related programs.
Volunteers donated monies raised in the hospital Gift Shop for: ICU Gen II PICC with IV & Arterial Line Vascular Access Ultrasound Trainer $2581, West Elk Walk-in Clinic - $200 for children's furniture, $50 for Oncology Flowers for Outdoor Containers, $125 in memorial donations for Volunteers who had passed away to the DCMH Foundation.