Non-Urgent Elective Surgeries Canceled to Maximize Fight Against COVID-19

MONTROSE, CO – Effective Monday, March 23, Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH) will be canceling non-urgent elective surgeries until further notice to help conserve supplies that may be needed in the fight against COVID-19.

In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the American College of Surgeons, and now an Executive Order by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, MMH will be canceling surgeries that involve otherwise healthy patients. Some examples of cases/surgeries affected include carpal tunnel surgery and screening colonoscopies.

“To best meet the potential health needs of our Friends & Family during this unprecedented time, we are choosing to follow the safest possible guidelines available,” said James Kiser, CEO, Montrose Memorial Hospital. “This move will help to ensure that vital resources are available in the event they are needed.”

This change does not impact patients in need of urgent surgeries: life-saving operations will still take place as needed. This effort is the same or similar to most hospitals across the region and the nation.

The change is expected to help the organizations conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other resources that could potentially be needed to address the impacts of COVID-19.

The novel corona virus, COVID-19 is one of seven types of known human corona viruses. Over 2,900 people have been tested in the state of Colorado, with only two deaths. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montrose County.

On March 19, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a three-week halt to “elective and non-essential” surgeries between March 23 and April 14, 2020.

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About Montrose Memorial Hospital (
Montrose Memorial Hospital is a 501(c)3 nonprofit healthcare system serving Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, Delta, Hinsdale and San Juan counties. The health system offers an extensive range of inpatient & outpatient health care services, including interventional cardiology, oncology, Robotic Assisted surgery, laboratory, medical imaging/radiology, Mountain View Therapy, Level III Trauma Center, Acute Rehabilitation Unit and the family birthing center. The health system partners with regional providers on joint ventures to meet local healthcare needs, including CareFlight air ambulance service, San Juan Cancer Center, and Black Canyon Surgical Center. Montrose Memorial Hospital is the second-largest employer in Montrose County, with more than 700 employees and 100 physicians who represent 23 medical specialties.