Message from the CEO

Challenges and Changes Continue for Health Care in 2017

While I reflect on the many successes the hospital experienced in 2016, I am now clearly focused on the challenges and pending future changes in healthcare. As I move into my fifth year as the CEO of Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), it is amazing to look back at the challenges we have already faced, programs we have developed and the successes our team has achieved. It has been an honor to serve the hospital and community during this time and it is encouraging to see the path ahead for health care in our community.

DCMH is now a health care system serving all the communities and areas throughout Delta County. We employ over 600 people that have dedicated their time, energy and expertise to providing high quality care to the families and patients of our community. In addition to providing health care the hospital contributes as an economic engine in the county with a payroll over $30 million. We take our role as an anchor community health system seriously and continue to strive towards continuous improvement and engagement.

The hospital started this year with a strategic planning exercise that involved many people from different agencies, and feedback from members of our community. The focus is to create a plan that will take the hospital into the next 3-5 years with an emphasis on long term financial viability. A community health needs assessment was completed and indicated that our community feels the hospital needs to focus on three main issues; access, affordability and improving mental health services.

Over the next year the hospital will open a new primary care clinic in the town of Hotchkiss to improve access for our North Fork residents. We will also add mental health services and integrated health services to the practice. We are also in the process of opening a walk in clinic in the town of Paonia to improve patient access including, after hour and weekend access. In addition to these two new clinics, our efforts to improve and enhance our existing clinics will continue with an emphasis on customer service, improving efficiencies and focusing on prevention and wellness services to promote health.

Access to mental health services is a growing concern in our community and throughout the region. In addition to integrating mental health counseling into our primary care offices, the hospital will also focus on crisis intervention. We will continue to work collaboratively with our regional health care partners to improve early intervention and access while working towards decreasing the existing stigmas around mental health. We believe that individual health and wellness involves both physical and mental well being and the hospital needs to take an active role in promoting both in our community.

Health care continues to change and develop at a rapid pace due to the Affordable Care Act and the pending changes to the law. We continue to believe that through continued collaboration with our various regional partners that we will make each other stronger, and most importantly improve health care throughout our region. In the coming year we will work towards strengthening our relationships with our regional partners to enhance viability for all.

While much of our focus has shifted to outpatient services we have not lost sight of our need to maintain and strengthen lines of service at the main hospital. In 2016 we invested heavily in new technology and equipment to provide state of the art care. Those investments will continue to include improvements in infrastructure, technology, billing, education and staff development. We will strive towards providing top quality services so our community can have access for their health needs close to home.

DCMH has received a significant amount of recognition over the past couple of years to include selection as a top performing hospital in the nation two years in a row. While I am proud of those accomplishments I also know that we have more work ahead of us to continue our progression towards high quality care and improved access. Our future goals are focused on improving the overall health and wellness of our communities and a clear path to that goal is being put in place.

The team at DCMH is honored to serve our great community and appreciates the responsibility we have for providing health care services in Delta County.

Jason Cleckler, CEO