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Rural hospital

Dear Editor:

Re: Three ER patients transferred to Mercy, PSMC continues to grow capacity.

I thank Ms. Hayward for bringing the issue of patient transfers into the public eye. Since the Pagosa Springs Medical Center opened in 2008, it has quickly grown to accommodate sicker patients with a broader range of medical problems. This is thanks to a supportive Board, a forward thinking administration, caring nurses and technicians, talented medical staff, taxpayers, donors, and most importantly local patients that have graciously allowed for us to care for them in their hometown. Even in a fully matured rural hospital there will always be circumstances when a patient’s needs exceed the available medical resources. Expedient transfer to a higher level of care is inconvenient for the patient and their family so we only use this option when we have exhausted all other care options here in Pagosa. It is important to remember that an occasional patient transfer is a sign that our medical center is healthy and running the way a rural hospital should. Furthermore, it is satisfying to observe that patients used to come to our hospital expecting to be transferred; now they come expecting to stay.

David Shaeffer MD MPH

Chief of Staff

Pagosa Springs Medical Center

This story was posted on February 6, 2014.