Aspen Valley Hospital is a community-owned healthcare organization that is comprised of physicians and staff who are members of our community. That is what makes us, and other community hospitals, special. We are quite literally community members serving community members, if we allow for a broad definition of our community to extend throughout the valley, and to include full-time, part-time and some-times residents and guests. We also have members of our team who live outside of our valley, sometimes outside of our state, who are no less a part of our AVH community and who share a common commitment to our patients.
The number one topic of concern among all hospital executives, around Colorado and in all 50 states, is workforce adequacy in today’s turbulent labor market. My fellow executives at AVH and I are well aware of our own challenges, and yet we are grateful when we hear the all-too-frequent tales of bed closures and limited operations being experienced by other rural and urban hospitals. Of course, hospitals are not alone; there isn’t a business sector in our economy that isn’t feeling the pain amidst our nation’s great resignation. In our organization, in our community, we celebrate the overwhelming majority of our staff who are a part of our community, who are dedicated to and take great pride in what they do.
This past week, on Wednesday, we celebrated National Doctors’ Day. It was an opportunity to recognize that our physicians, at AVH and in our community, are our lifeline and our defenders against all maladies and injuries. We can’t say enough about the poise and courage exhibited by our physicians in the face of the continued pandemic and all of its uncertainties and the rapidly evolving science around its prevention and treatment. Our physicians cared for us, informed us and assured us throughout these past two years, and for that we are grateful.
In this issue, we shine a light on our rehabilitation staff of highly trained and even more caring professionals. These are our physical, occupational and speech therapists who are our personal guides when we need help getting back on track after an injury or illness. You will learn about the high degree of specialization that is supported by intensive training and ongoing education to assure that our professionals have the most current knowledge and honed skills to provide the most effective therapies our patients need. Anyone who has been in the hands of one of our therapists, which is most of us, knows how important that bond of trust is between us and our therapist. When we are trying to get back to what we enjoy doing, or sometimes what we must do to live full lives, there isn’t anybody more important to us—or who we appreciate more—than our therapist.
Next month, we will celebrate National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week as a time to pay much due credit to all of our nurses and staff at AVH and in our community for what they do, and how they do it. We have over 400 members in our AVH family—employees, contractors and others who are our heroes among us. Like our physicians, our staff have stood dedicated and strong during the worst of COVID and its aftermath of staffing shortages and a very busy season. It feels good to celebrate and to be grateful. It is in that spirit that we also thank you, our community, for standing by us, supporting us and trusting us. That is what being a community is all about.