Overheard around town


Meet me for coffee & conversation...

Med Center Matters: Wednesday, July 13, 9a.m. at Between the Cover's High Alpine Coffee. Meet John Gardner, the Telluride Regional Medical Center's new CEO to share ideas and learn about the new facility envisioned for the community.

And, as always, reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns: jgardner@tellmed.org

As new members to this community, my wife Jeannie and I have taken to attending nearly every event from Senior Lunches to the Free Concert Series in Mountain Village. As we are still enjoying relative anonymity we've found ourselves inadvertently overhearing how many truly feel about the Telluride Regional Medical Center.

I have to tell you; it's been gratifying to overhear so many positive stories about the incredible care people receive here. People have shared their lifesaving experiences at the Medical Center and I hear glowing reports about how wonderful all of our staff are.

And sometimes we hear things that just aren't true.

For example, we recently overheard someone explaining how the med center's vision is to build a hospital in Mountain Village that is larger than the one in Montrose and to hire “a bunch of specialists from outside the region.”

Well, that's just not true—and as I work to understand all the misnomers about our new facility in Mountain Village and where misinformation comes from, I think it would be most prudent for me to start here, on my blog, to dispel this particular myth.

Our goal is to develop a facility that provides greater access to basic health services, the same high quality of primary care services we offer now, and improved diagnostic capabilities. Because we have adopted the Patient Centered Medical Home model of care, we also expect to designate space for our mental health counseling staff and our Healthy Lifestyles training.

We also envision space for limited surgical capacity, which will provide access to simple surgical procedures and colonoscopies. We do intend to partner with regional medical and surgical specialists to come to the medical center. We expect those visits once, maybe twice, per month to hold specialty clinics and perform surgeries as appropriate.

We will have less than 10 overnight beds in our facility. A typical patient hospitalized in our facility would receive antibiotic therapy, extended diagnostic services and/or observation. At our altitude, patients with altitude issues and dehydration could be part of our inpatient population. With the addition of surgical surgery, we may see some surgical patients that might need an overnight-extended recovery period.

The new facility in Mountain Village is envisioned to be 40,000 sq. ft., a size consistent for a hospital with less than 15 beds and a busy clinic. And while that may seem large, compared to today’s building—a residential home built in the 1960s—here’s some context: Independent consultants (Mahlum Architects) determined our current facility would require a build out to 20,000 sq. ft. just to meet current building codes and today’s demands, with no consideration for future growth or added services.

The future medical center for our region will serve as a model that delivers the community access to more health care services without the inconvenience of three to five hours traveling by car. By working with other health organizations to make these specialists available to the community, rather than hiring providers to work solely in Telluride, we provide high quality, cost effective, exceptional care.

I’m also inspired, but not surprised, by the increasing evidence that the quality of care in facilities such as the one we envision provide equal or even better care, than what is received in large urban medical centers.

Please, if you ever have a question about the new facility, services, size or scope, do reach out to me directly. Also, stay up to date with our progress by checking back here and signing up for email updates here.

John Gardner, CEO, FACHE



CEO BlogBeth Kelly