PMC, Ready to Finalize the Renovation Project



“The project is completed at the hospital for all the punch list items,” stated Craig Loveless, CEO for Prowers Medical Center, during a recent update for the Prowers County Commissioners. He said a few tasks still need to be completed, such as the installation of a reverse osmosis system for the hospital’s boilers.  Loveless said he wanted some time beyond the completion of the renovation project before he announced a community-wide open house.  “We just want to make sure all the departments are working as smoothly as we expect before we announce a date,” he explained.

Loveless reiterated that although general surgeon, Dr. James Smith is in Honduras fulfilling his military reserve commitment until September, Dr. Jessica Swanson has been on staff for the past three years and is handling surgical cases that comes before the hospital. “We want to make sure that the general public is aware of Dr. Swanson’s availability and capability as a surgeon at PMC.  She rents a house in town and has become a part of our medical community bringing with her, a solid professional background.”

Loveless said there’s been an uptick in ER visits and the daily census for patient beds at the hospital averages from six to eight in the summer and is expected to increase from 10 to 12 as it usually does in the winter months. “A personal observation on my part, and not a portion of the hospital’s strategic plan, is to develop a site somewhere between the emergency room and a clinic.  It is lacking in the community, a place where we could offer a quick stitch for a cut hand or an x-ray for a twisted ankle and bypass the ER.  It’s a way to fill some medical gaps that go beyond primary care, but not on the ER level of need,” he stated.  Loveless said he’s been discussing options with Eric Niemeyer, the Executive Director for High Plains Community Health Center.

The CEO explained that the number of helicopter flights at the hospital have increased slightly. We’re expecting to see some changes when the new ambulance service opens in town.  The big issue is to maintain patient care and when a flight only takes 27 minutes for a patient’s delivery as opposed to three or four hours, that will take priority.  The new addition will also help reduce the wait time for an ambulance to respond from Rocky Ford, the next closest location in southeast Colorado.  The hospital is still working to increase the number of medical providers and reduce the amount of transfers that go to another hospital for care.  “We average from 25 to 40 a month which has a medical and financial impact on families through increased costs.  One of the major illnesses is cardiac care that requires a transfer.  When we can develop a higher level of care in those areas, we can work to keep our patients local.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedHealthPublic Safety


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