Clearing up misconceptions about hospital

Dear Editor:

This letter is written to clarify a number of inaccurate statements regarding the Aspen Valley Hospital expansion:

• The hospital – including staff, physicians, administrators and board members – have thoroughly studied, analyzed, and projected the health-care needs of the community. The Master Facilities Plan, which was conceptually approved by the Aspen City Council in 2009, was developed in a thoughtful manner – mindful of demographics, community health-care needs, and financial matters.

• AVH serves a community far larger than the local population of Aspen – the district extends throughout Pitkin County and serves a large number of visitors.

• The sequencing of construction was determined with the guidance of experienced health-care architects and based on site topography, infrastructure requirements, and the need to continue to function while under construction. All four phases of the project are of equal importance.

• Utilization of the existing facility has changed significantly since the hospital opened in 1977, primarily because of changing technology, advances in diagnosis and treatment, the shift from inpatient to outpatient services, and changes in patients’ expectations for privacy.

• The expansion/renovation has been and is being paid for in the following four ways: revenue bonds, tax-supported general obligation bonds approved by the voters of the district in 2010, cash reserves, and philanthropy.

• Medical office space is leased to private practices at fair-market values and has (or will) significantly improve the patient experience.

• Aspen Valley Hospital is financially healthy with a Baa2 bond rating by Moody’s Investor Services, a very high rating for a small hospital and an indicator of effective financial management.

Finally, please keep in mind that a construction site is never visually appealing. When the crane is removed, more landscaping is done and begins to mature, site work is completed, and various aspects of the project are finished, the benefits to our community will far exceed the impact of the construction process.

If a friend, neighbor, or acquaintance presents a “fact” to you that makes you question the hospital’s plan, please contact me at 970- 544-1296 or If I can’t provide you with the information needed, I will see that you are connected with the appropriate person. All questions are good questions, but please don’t believe everything you read and hear.

Ginny Dyche

Director, Community Relations

On behalf of employees and physicians of Aspen Valley Hospital