Hospital Happenings – November 2019

Our Community Health Needs

Montrose Memorial Hospital has been serving our communities with high-quality compassionate care for many years. Our mission is to provide healthcare services to our communities with excellent service, compassion and fiscal responsibility and we keep that vision front and center every day as we make decisions for our Friends and Family. Every three years the hospital conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to help identify local health and medical needs and we then put together a plan of how MMH will respond to such needs.

To complete the CHNA, data was gathered from multiple well-respected sources to build an accurate picture of our current community and its health needs. A survey of key community stake-holders was performed to review the hospital’s prior 2016 CHNA, give feedback and then ascertain what the current priorities are. The 2019 significant health needs identified for Montrose County are: Mental Health, Drug/Substance Abuse, Suicide and Affordability. Hospital staff are now developing implementation strategies for these four needs including activities to continue/pursue, community partners to work alongside, and measures to track progress.

Community Health Needs Assessment

In the 2016 CHNA, mental health and suicide were identified as significant needs and MMH led the initiative to establish a Behavioral Health Collaborative group that includes executives from Montrose, Gunnison and Delta hospitals, The Center for Mental Health, River Valley Family Health Center, Health and Human Services and Tri-County Health Network. The goal of this collaborative was to improve access to behavioral healthcare and systems integration throughout the region as well as improving and enhancing emergency psychiatric services. This team has been instrumental in assisting with the Center for Mental Health crisis center, improving transportation for those with mental health needs, assisting to enhance mental health providers in primary care physician offices and supporting the co-responder program that partners a mental health expert with law enforcement officers who respond to people during a mental health crisis. The collaborative group meets regularly and will continue to address the mental health needs of our community.

In response to the drug/substance abuse need, MMH is working with many others in our community to address this. We received a $200,000 grant for planning around opioid prevention, treatment and recovery and formed a consortium to work together on community solutions with The Center for Mental Health, River Valley Family Health Center, PIC Place, Hilltop Family Resource Center, Montrose County Health and Human Services and the 7th Judicial District. This group is conducting surveys and focus groups to gain knowledge and consider next steps.

In addition, MMH is participating in the Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) project through the Colorado Hospital Association to reduce opioid use in the emergency department. Surgeons are limiting the number of opioids that are prescribed post-surgery and all providers are actively looking at alternative ways to treat pain. The MMH medical staff receives continuing education on opioids and the safe dosing of opioids. We are also working to recruit a physical therapist to work in our Emergency Department to assist with alternate pain control methods.

We will post the completed 2019 CHNA and the implementation plan on our website in December. We encourage you to read it and let us know if you have any suggestions. We all live in, work in, and enjoy this wonderful community, and working together, we can make our community healthier for every one of us.

Leann Tobin, Senior Director of Community Engagement, MMH 240-7344