DELTA HOSPITAL PHARMACY TEAM COMPLETES NATIONAL CERTIFICATION
Delta, CO (November 13, 2019) - When it comes to the pharmacy department at Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), their contribution to patient care is vital. From mixing IV medications to completing medication reconciliation, pharmacy technicians are essential in providing high quality pharmaceutical care.
In June 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed HB19-1242 to regulate pharmacy technicians. Effective March 2020, Colorado will require pharmacy technicians to pass a national certification exam and pass a criminal background check to obtain licensure from the Colorado Board of Pharmacy. With news of the bill, DCMH is excited to announce that all of their pharmacy technicians have passed the national certification exam ahead of the deadline.
Part of pharmacy technician's effort to provide high quality patient care starts with maintaining a high level of knowledge and education about their profession. They will be required to complete the continuing education requirements to maintain licensure.
"The new certification definitely challenged my team to ask questions and prompted them to think differently," said Mark Carlton, Director of Pharmacy at DCMH. "It is a challenge to pass the test, but it is great to have a requirement that raises the standards for providing pharmaceutical care."
The new requirements will raise the professional standards needed for pharmacy technicians in Colorado. Prior to the bill passing, technicians were able to obtain certification in a few different ways like completing 500 hours of experiential on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
"Having the new certification process will only make our profession better," said Kelly Morfitt, Pharmacy Technician and Medical Staff Clerk at DCMH. "It will help our patients and will improve our overall patient care. Our top priority is always patient care at DCMH."
"We're handling medications that are extremely important for our patients," said Sergio Corona, Certified Pharmacist Technician. "With the new certification, it is important that we keep our knowledge up to date. It makes us feel more fulfilled and proud of ourselves."
The pharmacy department plays an important role in patient care. Pharmacy actively participates in medication safety, dispensing medications, clinical rounds with providers, discharge counseling and medication reconciliation. Our pharmacists promote evidence based medicine working collaboratively with doctors. Pharmacy works to ensure patient safety by making sure that medication lists are accurate so the patient's transition to home is as seamless as possible.
"When patients come to DCMH, a pharmacy technician will visit with new patients to create their medication list. Pharmacy technicians work hard to ensure the medication list is accurate. At every transition of care, there is an opportunity for error, so we really have to be diligent. Medication list accuracy is vital for any transition of care" said Carlton.
Pharmacy works in partnership with nursing to ensure medication safety for our patients. The pharmacy team at DCMH continues to strengthen its commitment to quality patient care and it shows.
"We have the lowest turnover in any department in the hospital and have a great reputation on the Western Slope," said Carlton. "People know this is a great place to work and they know that we are partners. When you create partnerships in a working environment where people can use their energy for positivity - it really pays off."
Carlton said that he asks his team to grow beyond what they might be comfortable with, but it is all in an effort to maintain the high standards the team has created.
"We've built a staff where we hire the best people we can find. It feels like it's a magnetic kind of place," said Carlton. "People see that we are happy and they want to be a part of that. The barrier for entry is high, but once you are in, you are fully part of the team."
"We're really proud of our team. We see our techs as colleagues and we work together toward the same goals. We always include the whole team in our strategic planning. We've built this strong culture and it's working," said Carlton.
The Gift of Gratitude
After 20 years of service, Volunteer Chaplain Sherry Mitchem still has the same sense of gratitude she had in the beginning for the work that she provides for patients at Delta County Memorial Hospital.
"I am grateful for an environment where I get to help people work through a time in their lives that can be very difficult," said Sherry. "I get to visit with people that I've never met before and because I am a people person, it is rewarding that I just get to sit and visit with them."
After moving to Paonia from Denver 20 years ago, Sherry was introduced to the DCMH chaplain program by another Pastor in the area. He asked her if she wanted to join, and she has been volunteering ever since.
"Just in the last couple of months I had a patient who told me that God sent me," said Sherry. "I was ministering to that patient and they felt like they really needed it at the time. When they told me how important it was to them I really felt appreciated."
Nurses and other staff members have also shown their gratitude for Sherry's work by telling her the impact she is having on the lives of the patients she works with.
"One nurse called me in and gave me a heads up that a patient really needed me," said Sherry. "When the nurse saw that I was working with that patient, she told me that she was glad I came in because that person really needed a chaplain."
Over the years more and more research has been done showing the power and benefits of practicing gratitude and showing people that you appreciate them. It boosts happiness and helps to foster overall physical and psychological health. That could not be truer for the people that give and receive care in all forms at DCMH.
"After 20 years I am still so grateful for the opportunity to partner with the hospital to provide spiritual care for the people that need it the most," said Sherry.
Giving the Gift of Time
It is often said that the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. For Holly Brooks, Wellness Aide for DCMH's Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Department, that means volunteering at the Abraham Connection Homeless Shelter in Delta.
"Giving someone your time and making them feel like they're worth it is so important," said Holly. "My first year at the shelter I was eating with a gentleman who told us that he loved coming because it was the only place where people looked him in the eye. He said that when you're homeless people go out of their way to avert their attention from you, but he loved coming to the shelter because he was treated like family."
Holly started volunteering at the after seeing a Facebook post about a family with a son in need of clothing and a bed. Holly's son had just grown out of his size in clothing so she brought down clothes and a pack and play bed for the family. When she arrived, Abraham Connection told her that they needed volunteers and she has been helping ever since.
"Giving your time really changes lives," said Holly. "Whether it is meal volunteers or overnight volunteers, any amount of time helps. Even if you don't feel like you're making a big difference, just smiling at someone only takes a second and that smile can change someone's whole day." Setting a positive example for her children is another reason why Holly is passionate about giving her time during the holidays.
"I don't want my kids to ever feel nervous to talk to a homeless person, and I want them to see how important it is to give back to your community in some way," said Holly. "I also give my time for religious reasons because I believe it is part of my responsibility to treat other people like human beings." In the summer of 2019 Holly started as a case manager for the shelter and they have helped get two longtime residents into permanent housing.
"The goal of the shelter is to get people back on their feet," said Holly. "We don't want people to be life users, so being able to see them go from needing us to being fully independent is a great success. We always celebrate that."
For Abraham Connection, community members volunteering their time is the only way the shelter can keep its doors open. "The gift of time for the Abraham Connection literally means that people get a meal in their bellies and a roof over their heads," said Holly. "The shelter wouldn't be able to stay open if volunteers weren't there to help."
Time is precious and choosing to give a portion of that away is truly one of the greatest gifts you can give.
Cleckler Nationally Recognized as Rural Hospital CEO to Know Three Years in a Row
Delta, CO (April 12, 2019) Jason Cleckler, CEO for Delta County Memorial Hospital, has been recognized as "60 Rural Hospital CEO's to Know in 2019" by Becker's Hospital Review for the third year in a row. "It is an honor to make the list again this year, but it is the team around me that deserves the credit and recognition," states Cleckler. "I am surrounded by a hardworking dedicated group that strives every day to provide quality care to the community we serve. They are the ones that make this hospital great."
According to the Becker's Hospital Review they "considered leaders making a positive impact on their organizations. The CEO's featured lead hospitals consistently recognized by the National Rural Health Association, American Hospital Association and HIMSS as top institutions. Others sit on local chamber of commerce boards and serve state hospital associations." Mr. Cleckler has also been recognized by the American Hospital Association with its 2018 Grassroots Champion Award for his leadership and noted as a "tireless advocate for patients and hospitals."
Mr. Cleckler has worked for the hospital for the past 11 years, and has served as the CEO since 2012. The DCMH health system includes a 49-bed hospital and nine outpatient care clinics throughout multiple communities in Delta County, and employs over 600 people.
Under Cleckler's positive, engaged and forward thinking leadership, he has guided Delta Hospital to become a leader in integral regional partnerships. Working together with other communities in progressive collaboration; striving every day to become a part of rural healthcare's long term solution.
Cleckler has become a resounding voice for rural healthcare by advocating for change at local, state and national levels. He has invoked growth, health and sustainability which are essential components for any healthcare organization, but especially to a rural community hospital.
Mr. Cleckler is also a member of the Colorado Hospital Association board of trustees and serves on the boards of: Western Health Care Alliance, Collaborative Care Organization, Western Workforce Development, Centers for Mental Health, San Juan Accountable Care Organization, River Valley Health Center, Delta County Economic Development and is a member of the Delta Rotary Club.
A Volunteer's Hero
Delta, CO (April 11, 2019) - Just nine short years after Patrick Kennedy, son to John F. Kennedy and wife, Jackie, died just 39 hours after his birth; Stacy (Hall) Tindall was born with the same disease that took Patrick's life. Hyaline membrane disease, now known as respiratory distress syndrome, was at that time the most common cause of death among premature infants in the United States, killing at that time an estimated 25,000 babies each year (New York Times, 2013).
Born two months early at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, Stacy was flown from the hospital accompanied by Dr. Jung, M.D.to the NICU department of University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. "There were only 25 spots for babies with hyaline membrane, and she took the 25 th spot," recalled Barbara Hall, Stacy's mom. "I didn't see her for almost five weeks."
Barbara Hall, president of the volunteers at Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), recalls the impact that a volunteer once had on her and her family during this troubling time. "There was a volunteer there (at University of Utah Hospital) that held her the most. [She] called herself, "Grandma Grace". She lived close and went in two times a day and rocked and sang to her," said Hall. "I know that her care kept Stacy growing normally and she could bond with her. It's a marvelous thing to have a volunteer care like that and give their time."
Stacy Tindall now lives and is a director of a childcare center in Delta, Colorado. "I think the care [Grandma Grace] gave her contributes to the kind person she is today," states Hall. "It makes her one of my heroes."
Likewise, Hall has been a volunteer most of her life. Growing up in Cedaredge, Colorado, she has known the importance of giving back and has been a volunteer for her church, local 4-H program, Vista Volunteers, Adopt a Grandparent Program, as a young lady would clean the elderly's homes and a volunteer at DCMH for almost eight years, "Some were more fun, but I can't say they were more important."
Barbara knows from personal experience the value a volunteer brings not only to an organization, but at times to the families, "It was personal to me. It is not always directly personal to everyone; but it is necessary."
April is National Volunteer Month, and DCMH would like to thank all of our volunteers for the countless hours and the immeasurable impact they have on our staff, patients, families and communities. In 2018, DCMH volunteers gave over 14,000 hours to the hospital. Thank you.
Interested in volunteering? Call Delta County Memorial Hospital today to find out more about how to become a DCMH volunteer, and perhaps even change someone's life.
"Volunteers are important. What they do for the hospital is important," Barbara Hall.
DCMH Doctor Asked to Speak at National Convention: Dr. Goldberg Talks about Integrative Oncology
Delta, CO (April 8, 2019) - Delta County Memorial Hospital's (DCMH) Integrative Oncologist, Dr. Goldberg, MD, was invited to be the opening speaker at the March 2nd Baptist Health Systems 2019 Cancer Update in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Goldberg was asked to speak about the Foundations in Integrative Oncology highlighting the work done at Grand Mesa Oncology at DCMH. Her lecture focused on the key foundations that go into incorporating an integrative model with a traditional model. She stated, "It's basic."
Some of the "basic" concepts she shared are what have made Grand Mesa Oncology's integrated approach a success as seen in the patient satisfaction and care. "I talked about our free massage program to patients and caregivers, yoga classes and acupuncture and the scientific backing of the positive impacts [of these modalities]." As she smiled she went on to say, "It is amazing to see a local farmer who has never gotten a massage in his life receive one for the first time and enjoy it. Ultimately it helps him and his caregivers cope and relax." Dr. Goldberg did not want to leave San Antonio without getting across the most critical message that the most important aspect of a successful clinic is "to spend enough time with the patient. It is really that simple."
Dr. Goldberg also talked about the success of Grand Mesa Oncology by focusing on the importance of staffing, "a clinic needs adequate staffing so the patients' needs are met quickly. Grand Mesa Oncology staff's with the patient's needs in mind with a robust nursing, front office, volunteers and oncology nurse navigator's staff.
"A lot of questions and concerns were based around finances and reimbursement," to which there is not on a lot of with these integrative modalities. "It is not about direct reimbursement, but about investment into patient satisfaction and the community. Our community is economically challenged but our patients still deserve to receive top notch personalized care. [Grand Mesa Oncology] is a personalized patient clinic," said Dr. Goldberg. Many larger clinics do not offer even the privacy of individual treatment rooms, but instead are "all lined up in one big room."
Nutrition was another topic Dr. Goldberg touched on in her presentation. "You can't change people's diets...you have to encourage people from the culture they are from." There are people that cannot or will not eat all organic or change what kind of foods they eat. Dr. Goldberg encourages her patients on smaller more adoptable changes and to "use the best of the [local] talents and choosing food grown locally when possible."
"We are always proud when one of our providers is asked to speak on a larger platform about the expertise they offer our community. I think it just shows the caliber of providers and care here at Delta Hospital," states Jason Cleckler, CEO at Delta County Memorial Hospital. "Dr. Goldberg brings a unique and needed aspect of integrative medicine that we hope is just the beginning."
DCMH to Offer Pain Alternatives During Labor
Delta, CO (March, 19 2019) - As a designated Baby-Friendly birthing facility, Stork's Landing Obstetrics unit at Delta County Memorial Hospital, starting late March will be offering nitrous oxide to women during labor as an alternative, or alongside of other pain controlling measures. "It's a wonderful opportunity that our patients have another option for pain management during labor," stated Dr. Brian Eades, OBGYN for DCMH. Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as "laughing gas" which has been widely known for being used in dental office procedures, will be offered to expectant mothers during delivery at Delta Hospital. However, this is not the first women have been using nitrous oxide to control pain. Countries such as Canada, Australia and areas in European have been using nitrous oxide for decades.
During labor the nitrous to oxygen concentration is at 50% and at a self-administered dose. "We are very excited to start using nitrous oxide at Stork's Landing," states Carol Swingle, Clinic LDRP Nurse Manager in the OB unit at DCMH. "To be able to offer women an alternative to opioids is amazing. While it [nitrous oxide] does not take all the pain away, it is another method to fill the gap prior to other options, like epidurals."
Nitrous is easy to administer, less invasive, safe, and can be cost effective for families. "The cost to the patient is far less than that of narcotics and/or epidurals," said Swingle, "it should be a huge adjunct in alleviating anxiety as well. But it also does not leave her feeling out-of-it, but rather allows her to still be in the moment during what should be beautiful bonding experience for the whole family."
Stork's Landing at Delta County Memorial Hospital is a 6 bed unit equipped with jetted tubs in every room. Each room is set up as a Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum, (LDRP) designed for family-centered care in one homelike room. LDRP rooms are specifically designed so the mom and baby do not have to be moved after delivery to another room. "And now with the nitrous oxide option, we can truly go above and beyond to make this experience a memorable one."
Grand Mesa Oncology Provides Hospitality Cart
Delta, CO (March, 1 2019) - Inside the Grand Mesa Oncology and Infusion Center, patients and caregivers find a blue cart adorned with badges of support for cancer awareness, education materials, and comforting items. It is known as the Hospitality Cart and is updated each month with new items to bring awareness to different forms of cancer and hopefully to show support for those that are affected. The Hospitality Cart was started back in November with Grand Mesa Oncology Staff donating all the items on the cart for the benefit of patients and caregivers.
Theresa Wrich, Nurse Navigator at Grand Mesa Oncology says, "We are trying to increase cancer awareness and prevention in a warm, inviting and fun way. Patients and their families are excited to see what's on the cart monthly!"
The Hospitality Cart brought joy to so many patients and caregivers, Oncology Manager Nysha Wilson wanted it to continue without relying on the Grand Mesa Oncology team to provide all the items. That is when Wilson turned to the DCMH Foundation. The DCMH Foundation, a 501(c)3, primarily supports the Delta Hospital through continued education scholarships, equipment purchases, and innovative programs that benefit the communities' access to healthcare.
"When Nysha approached the Foundation about funding the Hospitality Cart, it was a no-brainer. The Foundation immediately loved the idea," said Kaitlyn Jones DCMH Foundation Director.
Community members that wish to remain anonymous have also generously shared their knitting and sewing talents by donating hats in every color. The items on the cart range from knit hats, key chains, stickers, magnets, and also books and literature that can provide support and education.
Wrich describes how the Hospitality Cart has made an impact in the few months it has been available, "These items and the recognition they provide has empowered the patient's and their families in their fight against cancer. It increased their pride and sense of support. It helps them to embrace the idea that they are survivors from the day they are diagnosed, and also provides educational materials."
If you're inspired to donate items for the Hospitality Cart please contact Theresa Wrich at Grand Mesa Oncology at 970-874-6429 or if you would like to make a monetary donation please contact Kaitlyn at the DCMH Foundation 970-399-2610.
Extraordinary Nurses Recognized at Delta County Memorial Hospital
Delta, CO (February, 18 2019) - Nurses at Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) were honored Friday, February 15, 2019 with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses ®. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.
The Fourteen DCMH DAISY recognized nominee RN recipients were: Misty Armendariz, April Bonata, David Brodhead, DeEtta Frank, Rhonda Galvin, Lisa Garcia, Cindy Hirsch, Elizabeth Knob, Cristina Liddick, Tiffany Morford, Taneesha Rodriguez, Lorie Spencer Kelsey Stark and Kathy Wiley.
The DAISY Award Winner for this quarter overall was April Bonata, RN, a Medical/Surgical nurse nominated by two of her patients. The application letters highlighted her compassionate care and ability to listen, along with a positive attitude and researching unanswered questions. "April demonstrated compassion by listening skills and straightforward approach to answering my questions and explaining drug effects and treatments as well as the desired outcomes of treatments. Her empathy and team work were noted...[Her] patience with a myriad of questions excellent communication skills, a funny sense of humor and amazing kindness are some of her admirable attributes.
"She demonstrates patience, love of nursing and selflessness by putting her patients' needs first. She loves her job and it shows, "said Dawn Arnett, Medical/Surgical Unit Nurse Manager, "April is dedicated to her profession and demonstrates daily how she engages in patient care at the bedside. I am honored to have her recognized and so proud of her compassionate care."
The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Nurses can be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues. The quarterly DAISY award recipient is chosen through a select Daisy Committee and DCMH's T.E.A.M. M.A.S.H through a scoring rubric recognizing the nurses P.E.T.A.L.S. (Passion, Empathy, Trust, Admirable attributes, Love and Selflessness). Applications are blinded to these committees and scored. Awards are presented four times throughout the year at celebrations attended by the Honoree's colleagues, patients, and visitors. Each Honoree receives a certificate commending him/her as an "Extraordinary Nurse." The certificate reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." Honorees also receive a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer's Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.
Said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super human, extraordinary, compassionate work they do."
"The kind of work the nurses at DCMH are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award," commented Daisy Coordinator Dawn Arnett. "We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in The DAISY Award program. Nurses are heroes every day. It's important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that."
This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation to express gratitude to the nursing profession. Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, The DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and The DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at http://DAISYfoundation.org.
Delta, CO (February, 14 2019) - In 2018 Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) had astonishing low cesarean (C-section rates) of 8%. According to the CDC, in 2016 the national average of all deliveries by cesarean was 31.9% (cdc.gov). It might come as a surprise that the most routine surgery performed in the United States is the C-section. And although at times a C section is absolutely necessary; according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), most pregnancies, which are low-risk, the C section is not necessary.
Delta County Memorial Hospital's C-section rate comes as no surprise to Jody Roeber, Chief Clinical Officer for DCMH. "We are really trying to do our best in providing excellent care, but also only proving medically necessary interventions when needed."
One contributing area is DCMH progressive approach and allowing Trial of Labor After C-section (TOLAC) formally known as, VBAC's. This option allows mothers who have experienced a C-section in previous pregnancies, the opportunity to have a natural birth. "If a woman decides to do this [TOLAC] and it is something she wants to explore, she meets with her physician and together they review the criteria. If she qualifies based upon safety, this could allow a woman to not have an unnecessary C section.
An astonishing 1 in 3 births in the United States are born via C-section, and according to at 2017 Consumer Reports study found that about 26 percent of healthy women with low risk pregnancies and who are considered full-term are undergoing C-sections. This rate is considerably higher than the 10 to 15 percent the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies as the "normal" rate. And just within the United States, C-section rates can vary not only between states, but even between hospitals in the same region or city.
"Our physicians work together as a team with the nurses to help support and care for our patients. With a strong team approach trust is built between care partners and better outcomes for the patient, "states Roeber. "It has become the expectation here [at DCMH] that we take the time and attention and allow things to happen more naturally."
Women and families are taking it into their own hands to become educated consumers and research surrounding local hospitals and asking these kinds of questions. Carol Swingle, Stork's Landing OB Clinic Manager for DCMH states, "We have women coming from all over the area because they hear about the incredible care we provide."
"It is really just about meeting our patients exactly where they are, listening and supporting them throughout the entire process," Roeber.
Delta County Memorial Hospital Receives Accreditation From College of American Pathologists
The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded accreditation to Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), Delta, Colorado based on results of a recent on-site inspection as part of the CAP's Accreditation Programs.
The facility's director, Dr. Michael Benziger, MD, FCAP, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the excellence of the services being provided. DCMH is one of more than 8,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide.
"Accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) sets the highest standards for Laboratory and Pathology Services in the Industry. Delta County Memorial Hospital Laboratory continues to provide high level care for the patients of Delta County and surrounding areas. This is an excellent laboratory and one we can all be proud of," said Dr. Benziger.
Jason Cleckler, Chief Executive Officer, upon learning of the laboratory's accreditation, said: "This accreditation speaks to DCMH's commitment to providing quality health care services to the community we serve. Our lab provides state of the art services and is constantly focused on quality improvement and customer service. I'm proud of our lab team."
The U.S. federal government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, as being equal-to or more-stringent-than the government's own inspection program.
During the CAP accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients, inspectors examine the laboratory's records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.
About Delta County Memorial Hospital - Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) is a 49 bed non-profit hospital located in beautiful southwestern Colorado. Established in 1913, DCMH has been serving the region for over 100 years and has been named Top 100 Hospitals in the Nation for three years in a row.
About the College of American Pathologists
As the world's largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. For more information, read the CAP Annual Report at cap.org.