As I write this letter the community is celebrating the July 4th weekend, and our country’s independence, while our guests flock here to enjoy the cool mountain air and our world-class amenities and music events. While we celebrate, let us also be thankful that our community embraced vaccinations because, otherwise, our summer could be looking very different. Take Mesa County, for example, where the vaccination rate is much lower, and the Delta variant is spreading aggressively. The hospitals have been nearly overwhelmed and the nursing homes are enacting safety measures to protect their residents from outbreaks. As President Biden recently lamented, the country is not out of the woods for not having reached herd immunity through achieving a targeted 70% vaccination rate, but once again, our community is out front and showing other communities what can be accomplished through a commitment to our collective health.
In this month’s newsletter, we provide some insights into how Aspen Valley Hospital and our partnerships contribute further to a healthy and vibrant community. As a shining example, we hope you enjoy learning more about our 40-plus-year partnership with the Aspen Ambulance District — a true community-supported and life-saving resource. Gabe Muething, our Emergency Medical Services Director, outlines the capabilities of the Aspen Ambulance District such that you can be assured our EMS professionals are prepared to handle whatever they encounter. The fact is that our combination of rugged mountain terrain and the adventurous spirit of our locals and visitors can lead to the need for combined agency efforts to perform challenging rescues that can only be safely accomplished by a highly trained and skilled team. And the advanced medical care provided in cooperation with our emergency physicians, trauma surgeons and staff assure the best possible outcomes. Our emergency medical teamwork is a critical reason why AVH has maintained our Level III Trauma Center designation over the decades, which is an important factor in maintaining our community’s standing among sporting events and elite athletes from around the world.
This issue also introduces you to the newest member of our Aspen Valley Hospital Primary Care team, Dr. Rahul Shah. With the addition of Dr. Shah and his pediatric board certification, our practice now covers the needs of patients of all ages, from birth to our eldest seniors, with our full complement of family medicine, internal medicine and now pediatrics. Our community’s health and wellbeing are important to AVH and are essential to achieving our vision of being the healthiest community in the nation. Working with our community primary care providers and specialists, and our mental health partner agencies, we continue to enhance access to essential medical and behavioral care. To learn more about AVH’s Network of Care, including our locations in Basalt and Snowmass, check out our website.
Later this summer, you can learn more about how you can participate in our Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation Summer Polo Benefit “Chukkers, Champagne and Caviar,” which has become a signature community “fun-raiser.” Also, later this fall, we are looking forward to our Health Fair in a modified format to be COVID safe, and to providing low-cost screening tests that are an important tool to stay healthy.
We hope you have a safe and thoroughly enjoyable summer in our beloved mountain town. And be assured that your medical and healthcare needs will continue to be our highest priority as your community hospital.