Hospital board, staff to work together |

Hospital board, staff to work together

Well, if you ever wondered whether people were really reading your paper, I can assure you that they are!

Needless to say, I have had a number of interesting phone calls since the article in your paper Tuesday. Talk about improved communication! I certainly have never conceived of myself as “top doc,” and quite honestly was probably elected to this position because I am usually very uncontroversial.

My biggest concern in this entire issue was the negative perception that Aspen physicians do not care about the indigent population in this area, due to the closure of the only upvalley indigent care center, and the rapidness with which it was done. I feel that my letter to the editor on Dec. 22 explained this very clearly, and the article Tuesday gave a much more negative tone than I ever intended.

Hospital board members have pointed out to me that their decision to close the clinic did not specify a time frame, and that there was never any intent to leave physicians out of the decision; in fact, they thought we were informed all along.

I should note that I was not at the last board meeting, where the decision was finalized. (I was informed about it the next day.) Therefore, I was not there to express any concerns I had at the time.

As I expressed in my Dec. 22 letter, it was not the decision that was most concerning, it was the way the entire closure was handled, causing much of the public to have a very negative view of the hospital and its physicians. My intent in getting involved in this issue at all was not to antagonize hospital board members or Aspen Valley Hospital.

I have had a number of positive conversations with John Sarpa, chairman of the hospital board, and he is determined to turn this situation into a vehicle for improved communication and a better relationship with the medical staff, including how the management of the hospital develops information brought to the board for action.

He made it very clear that the board members are not only concerned about the financial situation at the hospital, but are equally concerned about patient care, and wish to work on improvements in that area with full input from the medical staff in the future.

Claudia Nelson, M.D.

Aspen Valley Hospital

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