By Randi Pierce
Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) recently applied for and received a $500,000 since instance surgery is very difficult specialty so it is not that rare to see unexpected openings pop up and to infection control improvements at the facility as well.
As indicated in a letter from Greg Schulte, the chair of the Upper San Juan Health Service District (USJHSD) Board of Directors, to Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Executive Director Rick Garcia, PSMC intends “to utilize the funding for infection control facility improvements to respond to COVID-19 including front entrance screening and negative air pressure treatment rooms in our outpatient clinic.”
The grant stems from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is a Coronavirus Relief Fund Special District allocation. DOLA has allocated $25,364,512.34 to special districts across the state so far, according to its website.
The Coronavirus Relief Fund was created by Gov. Jared Polis in May to direct the expenditure of federal CARES Act funds and was created to reimburse costs to counties, municipalities and special districts for “necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency” that were not accounted for in the entities’ budget and that are incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30.
At the USJHSD board’s Aug. 25 meeting, Schulte explained that the district received $500,000 — the maximum amount allowed through the special district funding.
The letter, unanimously approved by the board at the meeting, expresses appreciation to DOLA “for the continued support we’ve received during these exceptional times.”
“As I’m sure you know, we were recently the recipient of $500,000 CARES Act Special District grant funding from DOLA to assist with our efforts to address the challenges we’re experiencing locally from the COVID pandemic. As a critical access hospital and a rural health clinic, Pagosa Springs Medical Center is continually challenged in providing health care for our rural community – even before the pandemic. This additional funding will help us to provide the highest level of care for the citizens of our community,” the letter states before delving into the district’s infection control projects.
Schulte’s letter also notes that PSMC’s HVAC system renovation is underway, with that project funded in part by a $911,000 DOLA Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund Grant.
“Pagosa Springs Medical Center and DOLA have had an excellent and productive relationship over the years and our local DOLA representatives, Patrick Rondinelli and Randi Snead, have been wonderful to work with,” the letter states. “We certainly look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with DOLA.
“Thank you very much – we are more grateful than words can express.”
At the meeting, Schulte noted the USJHSD has received close to $4 million in funding from DOLA.