Marta Estes joins Rangely District Hospital board

RANGELY — At its monthly meeting, the Rangely District Hospital board accepted the application of Marta Estes and then Chairman Jack Rich administered the oath of office to Estes, affectionately known as “Marty” to her friends and co-workers.
Estes replaces Joyce Muller who resigned the end of 2008.
In the continuing effort to bring more and better services to the community, new programs and equipment are being added to the hospital.
The new system that allows real-time Internet and visual communication from the hospital to Colorado Neurology for the immediate treatment of stroke victims is now fully functioning and the board discussed the future purchase of new colonoscopy equipment to replace the older units currently being used.
The new chemistry analyzer that is being purchased had increased from $110,000 to $115,000, but the board feels the money saved from sending out tests to other firms and the projected revenues will still be more cost effective in the long term.
Radiology department manager Nancy Droste stated the new bone density analyzer has been getting a heavy workout, with dozens of scans being done every month and work continues on the procurement of a digital mammography system.
That new system will cost about $300,000 and numerous grants and other funding sources are being researched.
The board approved the emergency action of CEO Merrill Frank to purchase new file servers for the IT system.
Numerous recent system failures occurred when the outdated system crashed causing data and Internet service loses.
Rangely Ambulance Director Shanna Kinney reported their old ambulance has been sold to ColoWyo Coal for $15,000 and they are waiting for them to come and get it.
She also stated meetings are going to held with Dinosaur officials on Feb. 11 to have them help pay more of the $25,000 per year costs of our ambulance service to Dinosaur and western end of Moffat County.
The nationwide economic downturn has yet to seriously impact the financial status of the hospital. Reports show that revenues were up 12 percent above 2007 figures and expenditures have held fairly steady in 2008. The board feels, however, if the situation worsens it may have an impact on services, staff raises or even cause the termination of the annual incentive bonus program.