AVH’s mission is clear

Dear Editor:

In 2009, I offered the following comments in support of conceptual approval of Aspen Valley Hospital’s master facilities plan: “As a member of the hospital’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee, I have increasingly appreciated the AVH staff and board’s thorough, thoughtful and consultative approach to this project. As a result, I believe the basis for this proposal includes prudent projections of future community needs, comparative analysis of accepted, current standards for quality patient care and prudent consideration of financial requirements.

“It is clear that our current facility, while serving this community well over the years, is stretched beyond its capabilities physically and was not designed to provide today’s standards of care as viewed from the patients’ and their families’ perspective.”

The passage of time and my personal experience with the hospital have confirmed these views. Unfortunately, much of this confirmation comes as a result of the hospital’s role in providing “end of life” care to my wife, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in mid-2010. Critical-care emergency evaluation, ambulance ground transport and Life Flight all were provided in meeting our family’s needs during this difficult time.

Fortunately, the professional competency of the AVH physicians and staff was beyond reproach. They were extraordinary, especially Drs. Bernard, Balko and Schultz. As our community hospital, care comes with a human element, which is likewise extraordinary.

In contrast, I had an opportunity to see firsthand that AVH’s physical plant does not meet current health-care standards and does not compare to the other modern hospitals we necessarily encountered. Phases III and IV of the AVH master plan will specifically remedy the deficiencies in our emergency and critical care facilities.

I continue to have confidence in the AVH staff and board’s thorough, thoughtful and consultative approach. Their community outreach has been sincere and inclusive. From our community advisory committee that has been meeting since 2006 to countless open houses, neighborhood meetings and informational sessions, AVH has demonstrated its commitment to providing proactive community outreach. The work on Phases I and II has been well managed, on schedule and within budget.

The proposal before you will allow for the necessary completion of the master plan, enable current standards of care to be achieved and is in concert with the conceptual approval previously granted for the entire project. I urge you to give favorable consideration and vote to approve.

Bob Purvis

Snowmass Village