MEEKER I The face of medical care in Rio Blanco County has taken on a new look as approximately 500 people attended the grand opening celebration of the new Pioneers Medical Center (PMC) on Saturday.
The facility is located off Highway 13, just northeast of Meeker, at 100 Pioneers Medical Center Drive.
“We are excited to showcase our new healthcare building,” says Ken Harman, PMC Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to the local townspeople, guests from The Memorial Hospital in Craig, and Valley View Hospital attended, as well as State Sen. Randy Baumgardner.”
The ceremonies began at 3 p.m. with the ceremonial cornerstone setting conducted by the Rio Blanco Masonic Lodge No. 80. A seven-member brass band greeted the audience with the “Star Spangled Banner.” During the ceremony the cornerstone was blessed and community members were invited to mud the stone and help prepare it for the setting.
Next, Twyla Jensen, the human resources director for PMC, shared a list of contents included in the time capsule to be placed behind the official cornerstone. The contents include a list of the contents of the original time capsule set in 1949 at the 345 Cleveland location, and historical pictures to commemorate the history of 65 years of healthcare in Meeker.
In addition, a photo booklet that documents the construction progress was included. Several letters from PMC board members, staff and community members were received for the timeline, and a list of 2015 PMC employees rounded out the contents of the capsule.
The time capsule was placed and the cornerstone set. Mason Charles J. Mills, 32nd degree Mason with Lodge No. 80, and a member of the Haselden construction team, dedicated the cornerstone and set it in place.
“With this facility, PMC opens a new chapter in Meeker’s healthcare history, which was launched with a vision and collaborative efforts of a group of progressive individuals,” Meeker Mayor Regas Halandras said.
“Today we are excited to dedicate this beautiful healthcare facility, but it is a tool; the talented staff and the access to a variety of local healthcare services is the greatest thing we celebrate today,” said Mike Hoke, chairman of the board for the hospital. “We had a great construction team, both in the construction workers themselves and in our PMC employees overseeing this project. This new facility will not only replicate the great resumé of services currently being offered, it will allow us to expand local care to better serve our community.”
PMC board members cut the ribbon and everyone was welcomed into the building for tours. When you first walk into the lobby one is greeted by an open lobby, whose focal-point is a fireplace constructed of rock re-purposed from the original healthcare building. Centered on the fireplace is a picture of Freeman E. Fairfield.
Attendees enjoyed music by the Clover Loafer Band and its members, Mary Kay Krueger, David Cole and David Main. Many attendees took the time to enjoy a plate of tri-tip steak, and salads prepared by Ben Rogers and Wendll’s and Bobby Gutierrez.
Throughout the facility the walls are decorated with a variety of pictures and paintings.
“We have so many talented people in Meeker, and we are thrilled to have approximately 50 pieces of local donated art displayed throughout the facility,” said Margie Joy, director of Community Outreach for the hospital.
The new medical campus will include the Level IV Emergency Department, including 10 private hospital rooms, the Meeker Family Health Center and the Walbridge Wing. Within each of these areas, there are several new or enhanced services.
1. Flexible, private rooms adaptable to address unique needs like isolation, bariatric or palliative care. Two rooms are equipped for isolation care (Flu, MRSA, TB, etc.) as well as bariatric care. Additionally, two other rooms were designed for patients having longer recovery stays or end-of-life situations.
2. Physical and occupational therapy resources, such as kitchen and bathroom learning centers, transitional care beds and stroke recovery support.
3. Expanded surgery outpatient treatments to include an oncology partnership with Valley View Hospital, pain management, infusion care and surgical recovery options. PMC’s Surgery Care offers a variety of outpatient services.
4. Starting this fall, PMC will be offering orthopedic surgery as part of the Northwest Colorado Orthopaedic & Joint Center, in partnership with The Memorial Hospital in Craig. Dr. Kevin Borchard is joining the team to provide orthopedic surgeries in Meeker.
5. An expanded Meeker Family Health Center. The Pediatric Clinic is staffed by our local family physicians who have also received specialty training in pediatrics and adolescent medicine. The new pediatric clinic offers the most up-to-date developmental screenings and guidance recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) and follows the gold standard for pediatric and adolescent care. The physicians at Pioneers Medical Center have partnered with Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic to develop a pediatrics program for the Meeker community.
6. A redesigned Walbridge Memorial Wing (skilled nursing home) to help aging members of our community stay in a comfortable, home-like environment with private rooms, living and gathering spaces, and new cooking and gardening options. Having private rooms will help patients maintain independence longer and creates more of a home-like environment. Private rooms also helps minimize infection and germs being shared from one person to another.
Strategic partner, Pioneers Healthcare Foundation worked to secure philanthropic contributions to support many of the services listed above. As of May 31, 2015, more than $775,000 has been raised.
“Our community is very generous,” said Joy, who also serves as foundation executive director. “We appreciate the support from individuals, foundations and corporations.”
Pioneers Medical Center moves this week to its new location.
The Emergency Department, Hospital and Walbridge Wing Nursing Home are now open. Meeker Family Health Clinic and Pioneers Physical Therapy are closed today for moving.
All departments will be open at the new location (100 Pioneers Medical Center Dr.) as of Friday.
Effective immediately, the facility at 345 Cleveland is permanently closed.