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Hospital shows off upgrades

Steve Benson
Registered nurse Ed DuBord discusses a new piece of equipment in a surgery room at Aspen Valley Hospital on Saturday. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox.
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Aspen Valley Hospital has received a variety of upgrades during the past few years, and more than 100 guests were granted an insider’s view of the improvements during a public tour Saturday morning.The tour included stops in the cardiology clinic, trauma room, emergency room and radiology facility.While some of the improvements have been taking place over the course of several years, most are very recent. Private donors, along with the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, which helped raise funds to build the hospital in the 1970s, made it all possible.”This is unbelievable,” said Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud, at the end of the tour.The following is a breakdown of the upgrades:

• A new, extensive $196,000 patient monitoring system.• A remodeled trauma room, which was a gift from part-time Aspen resident Prince Bandar in 1998.• Two new X-ray machines, which will cost $156,000 a year for two years.• Digitized radiology, costing $600,000.• A new, $759,000 CT scanner.

• A new, $16,344 bone density machine.• New pulmonary testing equipment, costing $37,000.Emergency room manager Steve Knowles said the upgrades bring Aspen Valley Hospital on par with the finest hospitals in the country.”I’ve worked in L.A. and Atlanta, and everybody is on the same demand to catch up with the technology,” Knowles said. “This brings us in line with what you would see in major medical centers.”The hospital has been under fire recently over management policies and personnel cutbacks, but there were whispers from staff members Saturday that things are heading in the right direction.

Klanderud said she had no idea how extensive the improvements at the hospital were.”The hospital board is moving forward,” she said. “Hopefully they get the word out that this is truly impressive.”Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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