I am not offended when I am reminded that hospitals are generally not a happy place. It’s true. Most of the time, similar to a dentist’s office, our patients and visitors would much prefer to be someplace else. Any place else. And sometimes hospitals witness terrible tragedies and the end of life. These are not happy occasions, for sure.
Then again, hospitals also have the privilege of witnessing and facilitating the most joyous occasions in our lives – the birth of children. As parents, we forever relish the miraculous moment that our babies come into the world, innocent and pure. Of course, as any obstetrical physician or nurse will tell you, they are always prepared for when nature’s most amazing process doesn’t go as it is intended, and we are fortunate to have their well-honed skills at the ready, along with the equipment and facilities they will need.
This is National Breastfeeding Month, and a perfect time to reflect on what splendor it is to behold when a baby latches on for the first time and receives the nourishment and immunities that only breast milk can provide. That special moment is not to be taken for granted. While instinctive and natural, successful breastfeeding also requires support and education. This is why Aspen Valley Hospital is designated as a “Baby Friendly” facility in the state of Colorado, as we explain in this month’s edition of our enewsletter. We are very proud of this hard-earned and important designation, and we are thankful for Heather Knott and her fellow professionals in our Aspen Birth Center who place a high priority on assuring our babies receive the best possible start in life. And thanks to our moms who do the heavy lifting before, during and after birth!
We are also excited to introduce you to two new members of our physician team, Dr. Nathalia Dolan and Dr. Matthew Dunn. Dr. Dolan is an emergency physician whose firsthand experience as a patient in our emergency department, along with volunteer experiences in Nepal, inspired her to pursue a medical degree. Her specific interest in rural-based care brings an extra level of dedication to AVH, to our patients and to the treatment of injuries and illnesses driven by the dynamic nature of our adventure-inspired lifestyle. Dr. Matthew Dunn is a hospitalist who brings a deep understanding of what it takes to provide compassionate care at the bedside, for both pediatric and adult patients, once they have been admitted to the hospital. He is board-certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine. After starting a successful Meds/Peds Hospitalist program at the Flagstaff Medical Center in Arizona, he joins our own hospitalist program at AVH, enhancing the quality and timeliness of care to our patients.
As I write this, we are experiencing another delightful afternoon thunderstorm, and I can’t help but count our blessings during a busy summer with abundant rain, clear air and beautiful green mountains. And of course, for every healthy and happy baby that is born into our community.