PMC Expects Little Impact from St. Mary-Corwin Layoffs


Craig Loveless, CEO of Prowers Medical Center, told the Prowers County Commissioners during his monthly update, that the 300 layoffs announced recently at Ventura Health/St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo, won’t benefit PMC through potential medical hires. “I really don’t expect to see anyone from that medical field looking in our direction in Lamar,” he explained.  Loveless said there would be a downside to those layoffs though, mostly in the Pueblo region.

“There will now be 400 beds that will no longer be available. We’ve learned that it took two days for a patient to receive a bed in the emergency department while they had been transferred to Parkview Hospital from our location,” he explained, adding that the decision by Ventura to withdraw from the in-patient care business will hurt Pueblo more than any other area and it will hurt PMC on transfers.  “We had a bed guarantee with Parkview and now they may not be able to honor that.  Because they don’t have the room anymore, so when you cut half the beds in a community that was already at full capacity, that makes it hard.”

When asked why they took that action by Commissioner Buxton-Andrade, Loveless explained, “Their statement was, ‘we have to stay in the lines of business that we can support or sustain financially,’. They are keeping orthopedics, the emergency department, a limited ICU and oncology.  It hurts us as a community, too, as you’d think there could be more jobs for us, but they probably won’t come to Lamar for employment.”  He added that one of the concerns for PMC patients is that future referrals to specialists have been decreased.  Loveless said there are some alternatives to sending patients to University Memorial in Colorado Springs where PMC has a great relationship and in April they will function as a telemedicine provider for the hospital.  He explained that what happened in Pueblo is part of a national trend with the occurrence of various mergers and consolidations.

Loveless noted some approaching milestones on the Prowers Medical Center calendar, stating May 11th will mark the hospital district’s 50th anniversary, although PMC is physically older than that.  He said the evening will feature a gala fundraiser dinner and entertainment.  Friday, March 30th, will be an Open House during Doctor’s Day at the Clinic between 2pm and 4pm and doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be noted for their service.  Although PMC mini health fairs are held from February through April at schools, businesses and other locations, the 40-years plus, PMC Health Fair will be conducted from May 8th to the 10th.

The rebranding campaign begun at the hospital two years ago continues with plans for a new, more permanent illuminated brick and mortar sign replacing the identity banner at the front of the hospital and he’s working with CDOT for additional wayfairing signage directing motorists to the campus from areas of the community. The hospital continues to receive very high marks for the second year in a row for its home-health department.  “This is a group who provides health care to the home bound portion of our population and they continue to do an excellent job,” he stated.  Loveless said he is signing a letter of intent with a general surgeon with a background in osteopathy who will offer support for Doctors Smith as well as Swanson, who is back on a part time basis.

Loveless said because there were only as many applications to the board of directors as there were openings, the May election has been called off. “We have a good group in our board.  Ron Farmer, Matt Schneider and Connie Brase had their terms up for expiration, but now they will be able to continue to serve us as they have in the past,” he stated.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCountyFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyTransportation


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