The Hospital District seeks to address its highest priority facility needs, including replacing the outdated E. Dene Moore Care Center and adding inpatient beds and other much-needed space at the hospital in Rifle. The projects would save 86 existing full-time jobs and create an estimated 200 new jobs.
Yes, engineering studies indicate that the 50-year-old care center has reached the end of its life expectancy. The plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems are obsolete. The systems are so outdated that it is difficult to find replacement parts as well as technicians qualified to work on them.
Four out of five patients are currently turned away from the care center each week due to a lack of space. That is more than 200 patients each year. This includes many long-time residents who have worked hard to make our community what it is today.
The Hospital District has invested millions of dollars of existing reserves to improve our community’s hospital. These improvements have allowed Grand River Health to expand from 12 to 47 physicians, add and enhance services, position itself to care for sicker patients by adding a hospitalist and specially trained nurses, obtain a four-star rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and significantly increase patient visits.
Patients are most often diverted to Glenwood Springs, Carbondale or Grand Junction. This is a hardship on both patients and their families. This situation is particularly challenging for elderly family members who wish to be with their loved one but cannot make the long commute. And for working people, having to travel outside our service area results in more time missed at work.