Election Represents Important Step for Telluride Regional Medical Center

 Hospital District wins approval to move forward with plans for a new critical access hospital, elects new board of directors

Telluride, Colo. — May 19, 2022 — A dream shared by many to build a new hospital in Telluride became much more tangible when the results of the May 3 election in San Miguel County were officially certified on May 16.  Voters approved Ballot Issue A, which allows the Telluride Hospital District to borrow money to replace the current Telluride Regional Medical Center  facility with a new Critical Access Hospital. The new hospital will offer new services including MRI, mammography, surgery, colonoscopy, bone density, and patient beds for overnight or extended stays.

Voters also elected a new board of directors for the Hospital District. Richard Betts and Chris Chaffin were re-elected to three-year terms. Paul Reich joins the board as a new member elected to a three-year term, and Allison McClain was elected to a one-year term. Robert Pinkert remains on the board through the end of his current term next May.

“We are deeply gratified that the voters agreed that Telluride needs a new hospital,” said board chair Richard Betts. “I look forward to working with our new board members to make that dream a reality. I also want to thank our outgoing board members Lynne Beck and Dan Caton for their extraordinary service to our community.”

For more than 20 years, space shortages have forced the medical center to take a series of stop-gap steps to keep up with increased demand and new technology. In 2015, the Hospital District moved administrative offices to an office suite on the east side of town to make accommodations for additional exam rooms. In 2018, the medical center added a shipping container outside the facility to provide space for some administrative functions. In 2020, the medical center saw patients with respiratory symptoms in outdoor tents before eventually securing a lease at the adjacent Depot. And beginning June 1, some primary care and behavioral health appointments will be scheduled at the Chair 7 Clinic, a new satellite office in the Cimarron Lodge at 300 S. Mahoney, Suite C-1.

The ultimate solution is a new critical access hospital, which the Telluride Hospital District hopes to break ground on sometime next year.

“It is no secret that we have outgrown our current location,” said Betts. “Our staff has been very creative, especially during the pandemic, to meet the needs of the community. But it is long past time to move to a space that better serves our patients, our staff and our community by making more essential healthcare services available close to home.”


Jon Pushkin
Pushkin Public Relations
[email protected]