AVH long overdue for an upgrade | AspenTimes.com

AVH long overdue for an upgrade

Dear Editor:

The planned expansion of Aspen Valley Hospital is long overdue. In a community where our schools look like colleges and homes are state-of-the-art, an updated and improved health care facility serving a highly educated population with high expectations for excellence should not require a second thought.

But the AVH expansion is much more than a cosmetic fix. Just spend some time with me in the back hall of the hospital and tell me how comfortable you feel when you see a friend or neighbor rolling down the hall in a surgical bed after a procedure. They don’t want to be seen and you don’t want to look.

And when you are a patient in the emergency department or in the patient care unit and sharing personal medical information with the doctor or nurse, or you are suffering in pain, you do not want to be overheard by your neighbor. In a big city, you will probably never know the folks in the next ER bay, or in your hospital room, but here in a small town, it is likely you will.

Lack of privacy is unacceptable for a hospital in one of the wealthiest communities in this country! Privacy is more than a catch phrase. It is something patients deserve and need if they are to be respected, valued and allowed the dignity to recover and heal. The proposed expansion will protect your rights of privacy as a patient, and that is no small thing in providing excellence in health care!

The AVH expansion will also be important in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest physicians. A number of our doctors and nurses will be retiring in the next few years, and we need the best health care facility to attract highly trained and capable medical staff members.

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The passage of 5A and 5B are critical to the funding of the AVH expansion. Philanthropy will play an equally critical role, and the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation is preparing for an extensive capital campaign. As most people familiar with the world of philanthropy know, the first portion of the campaign is known as the quiet phase, where multimillion-dollar lead gifts are sought to begin the campaign. The campaign becomes public only when at least half of the goal is raised. The entire board and staff of the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation strongly support the passage of 5A and 5B and are totally committed to raising the remaining needed funds to facilitate the successful completion of the hospital expansion.

Our community hospital has provided us with the finest health care in an environment of compassion and trust over many decades. We have the chance to say thank you by supporting the hospital’s efforts to provide the best facility to meet our health care needs now and in the future.

Join me and the board of the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation in support of 5A and 5B and vote affirmatively Nov. 2!

Kristin Hoegh Marsh

president and CEO, Aspen Valley Medical Foundation