Community News & Events


Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Matthew Heyn, MHA as the new Chief Executive Officer to start April 6, 2020.

“The Board of Directors is excited about the addition of Matthew Heyn,” said DCMH Board Chairman, David Lane. “Heyn’s extensive hospital financial and leadership experience will be a great addition to the already talented staff of DCMH.”

Heyn is a Texas native with an admiration for Colorado. After graduating from the University of Texas with his Bachelor of Science, he went on to receive his Masters of Healthcare Administration from Trinity University. Heyn started in hospital finances as a Senior Financial Analyst and moved his way up to a Chief Financial Officer at Rangeley District Hospital in Colorado and at Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend, Kansas.

“From there I was the CEO for two different hospitals in Kansas,” said Heyn. “First, I was at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital in Larned, Kansas and then AdventHealth Ottawa where I spent five and a half years. We saw growth in physician recruitment, quality scores, patient satisfaction, employee engagement and morale.”
Coming back to Colorado and starting as the CEO at DCMH is something that Heyn is very much looking forward to.

“In the day that I spent interviewing [in Delta County] I saw the energy that the staff brought and heard the questions they asked, I feel like everyone is hungry for engagement, culture and for growth.” said Heyn.
“Instantly it felt like a great match. When you have an organization that’s primed for those types of initiatives and that is built on a good foundation, you’ve got two of the most important ingredients necessary to take a health system to the next level.”

Heyn’s goals for DCMH will be carved out once he officially starts, but said that using insight from his career will help guide his decisions.
“What I can say is that there will be a pretty significant cultural transformation with employees to where they feel empowered and at liberty to discuss ideas on how to better care for patients. These will be aligned against organizational goals that will be developed in conjunction with the Board’s strategic plan,” said Heyn.

The Hospital’s goals should be lofty and those goals will be set in order for DCMH to reach a new level and bar that it hasn’t otherwise been raised to in the past, said Heyn.

“It’s not the CEO that does it; it’s the front line employees that are making meals, passing trays and it’s the environmental service techs that are cleaning rooms and keeping us safe from things like COVID-19 and other viruses” said Heyn. “It’s those areas plus compassionate clinical care and physician leadership that helps the hospital provide remarkable care. We will likely touch on every aspect of the hospital, giving the greatest attention to the areas that need it most.”

Heyn’s family shares in his excitement about moving to Delta, Colorado and starting a new adventure. Heyn met his wife Melinda while attending the University of Texas and have been married for 17 years. They have two daughters together; Madison, 10 years old and Leighton, 8 years old.

“While exploring the community, my wife and I were delighted by the expansive mountains and beautiful scenery as well as the warmth of the community” said Heyn.

Heyn said that he and his wife spent time walking through local retailers and enjoyed hearing all of the positive words they had to say about Delta and neighboring communities.

“When we made the announcement to the girls that we were moving to Delta, Colorado, they were jumping up and down with excitement,” said Heyn. “I think we’re going to have a lot of fun as a family in Delta County. We’re going to grow and experience a new journey and chapter.”

Delta County: Fiercely Resilient

Delta County has always been and will continue to be a Fiercely Resilient community that supports each other: Taking Heart, Taking Part, and Taking Action. From the first responders, doctors and nurses to grocery store employees, delivery drivers and beyond, every day we are proving that we are stronger together. No one can see into the future, but even in this time of crisis we know that it is bright. When a community comes together, we learn more from each other than we ever thought possible. It’s a time to help each other, treat our neighbors with kindness, and try to focus on what good we can do.

Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) remains dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of our patients, staff and community, and we will continue to provide you with resources, insights and information regarding COVID-19. DCMH and other local agencies have combined our efforts to keep the community informed and safe during this time.
In the coming weeks we want to encourage everyone to be productive, encourage hope, keep busy, and share all of it with us using #FiercelyResilient on all social media platforms.

Some things we can do during this time to stay busy is to: read a great book, listen to your favorite new podcast, try a new at-home exercise, help an elderly neighbor with their yard work, start a puzzle, learn a new language, or take a hike outside at a location that allows you to maintain a safe distance from others. Whatever it is you choose to do, remember that your health, safety and sanity are a priority.
We know that this is a hard time and we are all feeling the effects of the pandemic, but we are with you through it all, and we know that our community will come out of this stronger than ever.

For updates as the situation evolves, residents can sign up for the DCMH Email Newsletter HERE and can follow us on all Social Media platforms, or visit our Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

Thank you for being the best part of Delta County,
Jacque Davis

o The Hospital and Clinics will be conducting verbal screenings for all persons prior to entering any DCMH facilities. The Hospital and clinics will remain open for normal business hours, but patients must ring the doorbell at the clinics to be verbally screened before entering.
o Scheduled patients at the DCMH Hospital and clinics are being asked to arrive a few minutes in advance of their appointment to allow time for the verbal screening.
o DCMH has also enforced new visitor restrictions to ensure the safety of our Hospital and Community.
o Those with respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, etc. are restricted at this time.
o Visitors are limited to two dedicated adult visitors per patient.
o No visitors under age 18 allowed.
o Please do not bring any gifts/flowers from outside of the hospital.
o No pets.
o DCMH education classrooms are also being suspended for use until further notice.
o Ask your primary care provider about the Telemedicine option, available at all DCMH Clinics (except Urgent Care) starting Monday, March 23.

DCMH testing criteria has changed to address high risk individuals for COVID-19. The criteria is as follows:
o Symptomatic hospitalized patients.
o Health care providers or essential personnel such as law enforcement, EMS staff with need for patient contact.
o Immunocompromised status (organ, transplant, HIV, diabetes, chemotherapy/active cancer, immune suppressing medications for rheumatologic disease), emphysema or cystic fibrosis.
o Other high risk situations taken case-by-case.

If you have symptoms of a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, please CALL your Primary Care Provider (PCP) clinic for a verbal phone screening and further instructions BEFORE going to see your provider.

If you are experiencing severe respiratory distress and/or need immediate assistance, call 9-1-1 and let them know you are concerned you may have COVID-19.

If you present to the Emergency Department and have concerns about COVID-19, and have the symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath please remain in your car please and call 970-874-2221 and wait for further instructions.

We are recommending that community members take the CDC's recommended precautionary measures:

• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.


o Delta County Community Call Center: at 970-874-2172, open 8:00 and to 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.

o DCMH COVID-19 web page serving as hub for all information

Coronavirus Fact Sheet (English)
Coronavirus Fact Sheet (Spanish)

o One of the best ways to stay up to date on information is by calling the Delta County Health Department's hotline at 970-874-2172 or visiting their online information hub for COVID-19 HERE
o If you have general questions about COVID-19, you can call the state's help line, CO HELP, at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email for answers in English and Spanish (Español).
o You can also sign up for the West Region of Colorado Emergency Notification System CodeRED HERE.
o Colorado Department of Health and Environment page HERE.
o Centers for Disease Control page HERE.
o For Regional Resources visit Mesa County Health Department's page HERE.


Delta, CO (March 19, 2020) - Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) announced today that effective immediately it will no longer facilitate the COVID-19 Testing and Collection Site. This difficult decision comes after a guideline update from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

“We will be limiting our testing to high-risk, hospitalized inpatients, essential and symptomatic healthcare workers and individuals on a case-by-case basis,” said Jody Roeber, Chief Clinical Officer for DCMH.

“Delta County residents should contact their primary care providers and get instructions about what to do if they think they have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Roeber. “Decisions about residents’ best course of action will have to do with the nature of your symptoms and your underlying medical conditions if any.”

“COVID-19 testing isn’t a treatment, it’s a tool for us to understand and track the spread of the virus.” said Roeber. “We will continue screening everyone when they come into the Hospital and at all Hospital Clinics.”

If residents experience severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or low oxygen, call 911 or go to the emergency room. If residents drive to the Emergency Room (ER), they should stay in their car on arrival and call the ER at 874-2221; let the staff know that the COVID-19 virus is the concern so that they can take appropriate precautions.

Delta County is continuing with the Call Center for residents to obtain information, resources and to get their questions answered. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and can be reached at 970-874-2172.

Additional resources can be found by calling the Colorado State Health Department at 303-389-1587 or 877-462-2911 and by emailing questions to The CDPHE is constantly updating their website with information at The DCMH website is updated regularly with resources and information for residents. It can be found at under the Novel Coronavirus blue tab. Residents can also follow updates on the DCMH Facebook Page.

“We remain dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of our patients, visitors, community and staff,” said Roeber. “We will continue to work together with Delta County and the Public Health Department to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will remain a resource for the Delta community.”


Delta, CO (March 13, 2020) - Due to an increase in caution and protection for patients, employees and Delta County residents, Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) are verbally screening for all individuals prior to entering the Hospital and Hospital Clinics starting Monday, March 16.

The Hospital and clinics will remain open for normal business hours, but patients must ring the doorbell at the clinics to be verbally screened before entering. DCMH encourages patients to First Call their doctor if they have concerns about COVID-19 for a phone screening and further instructions before going to see their doctor.
Additionally as of Monday, March 16, DCMH will be directing all positively screened patients to DCMH Urgent Care, The Coronavirus/Influenza Testing and Collection Site located across from the hospital at 155 Stafford Lane. Once residents arrive at Urgent Care they are being asked to please remain in the car and call 970-874-7696 and wait for further instructions.

"We are dedicated to continuing to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and the Delta County community," said Jessica Walters, DCMH Infections Control Specialist. "As the recommendations and protocols change from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Delta County Health Department, DCMH has adapted our protocol to best protect the community."

Scheduled patients at the DCMH Hospital and clinics are being asked to arrive a few minutes in advance of their appointment to allow adequate time for the verbal screening.

Internally, DCMH has informed their providers, clinics and staff regarding how to treat and educate patients about COVID-19 while minimizing exposure, said Walters.
Access to community meetings in the DCMH education classrooms are also being suspended until further notice.
"The staff at DCMH is trained and able to respond to the COVID-19 situation," said Robert Thorn, DCMH Interim CEO. "Our staff has participated in numerous emergency preparedness trainings in preparation for situations such as this. We are always working on increasing our response efforts and are following the CDC and state guidelines."

Per the CDC's recommended precautionary measures, DCMH is encouraging residents to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and stay home if you're sick.

DCMH is working closely with the Delta County Health Department in their preparedness efforts and encourage residents to contact their hotline at 970-874-2172 if they have any questions. For more information on COVID-19 residents can visit the Centers for Disease Control and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment websites for national and statewide updates. Residents can also call the state help line, CO HELP, at 303-389-1587 or 877-462-2911 or email for answers in English and Spanish (Español).

DCMH also encourages residents to visit their designated COVID-19 webpage, sign up for their email newsletter and follow them on social media for updates as the situation evolves.

DCMH Celebrating Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week

Heather Driver

Jos Foley

Christine Hamilton

Joe McBeain

Clint Pitchforth

Delta, CO (January 22, 2020) - For over 150 years, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have been educated, trained and licensed to administer anesthesia to patients in nearly every clinical setting where there is a procedure requiring anesthesia to be done.

Today, in many rural hospitals CRNAS are used in surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms and physician and dentist offices. At Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) there is a team of five CRNAS with experience providing anesthesia care to patients.

"DCMH prides itself on having an exception team of CRNAs that always provide high-quality care for our patients," said Jody Roeber, Chief Clinical Officer at DCMH. "They provide a great level of support to the rest of the medical staff and ensure that we withhold all standards and procedures to keep our patients safe while administering anesthesia."

CRNAs have a long history of safe patient outcomes and CRNA's have been recognized by some managed care plans for providing high-quality anesthesia care with reduced expense to patients and insurance companies helping to control healthcare costs.

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), CRNAS are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America.

"I came to Delta because it is the type of rural practice and independence that I enjoy," stated Christine Hamilton, CRNA at DCMH since 2006. "[I am also able to have] more autonomy of my profession. Both my husband and I grew up in Grand Junction, so being close to family is also nice."

CRNAS enable healthcare facilities in medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management, and trauma stabilization services, says the AANA. In Colorado, 99.9% of counties with surgical services use CRNAs to administer anesthesia in various health care settings, with 71% of Colorado rural hospitals using CRNAs as the sole anesthesia provider.

"This region allows me to practice very specialized care for folks," said Heather Driver, DCMH CRNA who recently received her doctorate in nurse anesthesia. "I fell in love with Colorado when I moved to the state 30 years ago and have always felt called to rural communities and their unique healthcare challenges."

Today, CRNAs receive their Masters or are Doctoral Prepared Advance Practice Nurses who enjoy a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. Currently, there are 49,000 nurse anesthetists in the United States, and 512 CRNAs in Colorado according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

DCMH's CRNA team has over 55 years of combined experience. With the development of the CRNA department by Chris Marshall and Jerry Young in 1982, DCMH has been providing anesthesia care for DCMH patients for over 35 years.

"Developing the CRNA department at DCMH is important to us because we knew what an asset they are to the hospital and to the community of Delta County," said Joseph McBeain, Chief CRNA at DCMH. "I also chose to come to DCMH because I like smaller hospitals where everyone knows each other no matter what department they come from."

The CRNA staff each joined the DCMH team for varying reasons. For Clint Pitchforth it was about having an overall better quality of life.

"I was really looking to expand my practice and improve my quality of life by being part of a high quality anesthesia and surgical department," said Clint Pitchforth, CRNA at DCMH.

For Jos Foley it was a chance to put roots down in a place with strong family ties. Foley said that his wife's family has been on the Western Slope for over 120 years and they wanted to reintegrate back into the town that they love - Cedaredge.

"It's like a family," said Driver. "I think everyone works really hard. Everyone jumps in to help each other. It is based on empathy and compassion (with one another) for the best patient outcomes.

20/20 Foresight for Your Health with Bill Hellman

We sat down with Bill Hellman, Delta County resident and owner of the Hellman Toyota and Ford Dealership in Delta, Colorado to discuss what it means to have 20/20 foresight for health. Not only is Bill committed to the business that has been family owned and operated for over 60 years, but he is also passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and being proactive with his healthcare.

What do you do to stay healthy?

Bill: I think the biggest thing, that a lot of people never look at, is that what you do in your 20s, 30s and 40s catches up with you in your 50s and 60s. I played a lot of sports and I'm fortunate to have not gotten hurt playing them, but I think that when you're playing them it's good because it's always something different.

So whether you're playing sports or going to the rec center, you don't want to do too much of the same thing. You want to diversify your activity. Go on the treadmill or lift weights, but don't just do one thing all the time because pretty soon you'll tear down your body.

It's doing multiple things like running and lifting or just doing something - anything. It's about being active throughout life. That's all I think it is - just being active all of the time.

Are you proactive with your healthcare? If yes, how so?

Bill: I am proactive with my healthcare. I think it is really important to take your yearly exams and to get tests done because that is how you're going to catch something if it pops up. Once you reach a certain age it is important to get physicals every year, but even when growing up you should have them frequently. But then also getting your blood work done because that is how you find out whether something has changed. They're able to look and notice if you have any elevated levels, and so forth. You're really able to tell a lot through tests and blood work.

What other factors should people be aware of when it comes to understanding your health?

Bill: Sometimes it is just your genes. You want to go back in your history and take a look at your family's health history. From there you can say, "Hey we have problems with hearts in our family." You can access what things to start looking for. You can look at your past to see what your Grandfather had or what your parents had, and then you can decide to change something to offset those potential health factors.

Do you have any additional advice for people wanting to know how they can take steps now to improve their general health later in life?

Bill: Again, it is so important to take care of yourself when you're young. When you're in your 20s you don' think much about your health. You often feel as you did as a teenager and it hasn't kicked in yet. But it does start adding up once you get to your 30s and 40s. You realize you might not be able to eat like you used to, or your metabolism might have changed. Being healthy means a multitude of different things, but ultimately it is about eating right and exercising.


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, 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 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

To nominate a DCMH nurse and for more information go to:

C-Section Rates Low at DCMH

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% ( 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