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Grand County Rural Health Network to hold monthly meetings

Sky-Hi News Staff Report

The Grand County Rural Health Network hosted a community meeting on Jan. 27. The goal of the meeting was to begin the conversation to identify possible solutions for long-term, 3-5 year change in the existing health and human services industry. Over 100 community members attended.

The Network and Home Health representatives gave updates on Hospice and Home Health and discussed the potential short-term solutions for their patients. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nursing Association has taken over care for the current Hospice patients and will review taking additional Hospice patients on a case-by-case basis.

Grand County Home Health is actively working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to find an agency willing to take over their patients before the department closes on February 12. Home Health’s goal is to ensure a smooth transition for those patients. The nursing staff at the Kremmling Memorial Hospital reminded attendees that they offer transitional care and extended in-patient care close to home and other services such as physical therapy are also available.

Brenda Bock, the county coroner has instated called the Grand County Physician’s Hospice Program. The program allows community members with a terminal illness to plan, alongside their Grand County primary care provider, to die in their homes without having a coroner’s investigation. State law requires any death not attended by a doctor be investigated unless there is enough documentation that this person’s passing was expected. The local primary care providers now have forms that allow friends or family members to call the non-emergency dispatch number upon the person’s passing to arrange for transport but avoid a coroner’s investigation or emergency personnel arriving to the home with lights and sirens.

Due to the interest in continuing the conversation, the Network hopes to identify funding to hire a neutral facilitator for future community meetings.

“We believe in transparency, and as such, we have a stake in the game, too,” states Jen Fanning, Executive Director. “So we should not be facilitating the future conversations. We need to be a participant.”

To get involved in future meetings, please contact the Grand County Rural Health Network at (970) 725-3477. The next community meeting will be held in late February.


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