In Brief: Hospital awards; Aspen Chapel to welcome Methodist bishop; full-moon dinners at Buttermilk

Staff Report

Hospital wins excellence award

Aspen Valley Hospital today announced that it has been named a 2022 Human Experience Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey, a health-care company known for known for developing and distributing patient-satisfaction surveys. This award is part of Press Ganey’s annual ranking of the top hospitals and health systems in the country, according to performance in patient experience.

As a winner, Aspen Valley Hospital is in the top 5% of health-care providers in delivering patient experience in the last year, according to Press Ganey. Aspen Valley Hospital’s Emergency Department achieved the 95th percentile or higher for any of a set of designated survey measures, including “likelihood to recommend,” “overall rating,” and “teamwork.” 

“We couldn’t be more proud of our physicians and our staff, and their determination to provide the very best care experience for our patients,” said Dave Ressler, AVH’s chief executive officer. “This is an impressive achievement in an era marked by numerous challenges. Our team has responded with overwhelming resilience while continuing to fulfill our mission of delivering extraordinary healthcare to the members of our community.”

“By putting their patients and workforce first each and every day, Aspen Valley Hospital is demonstrating their unwavering commitment to their employees and to the communities they serve,” said Patrick T. Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of Press Ganey. “The caregivers at Aspen Valley Hospital have inspired us with the compassion, empathy, and human connection they bring to the clinical healthcare setting. We are honored to partner with them as we celebrate their achievement.”

To learn more about Aspen Valley Hospital, visit

Aspen Chapel to host first gay Methodist bishop

On Jan. 15, the opening day of Gay Ski Week, the Aspen Chapel and the Aspen Community Church will co-host a service at 9:30 a.m. at the Aspen Chapel featuring Karen Oliveto, the first openly-gay bishop of the United Methodist Church.

Prior to being elected bishop, she was the senior minister of one of the largest Methodist churches in the country — Glyde Memorial Church in San Francisco.

She has a Master’s of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion, Master’s of Philosophy from Drew University, and a Ph.D. from Drew University in Religion and Society.

Rev. Dr. Gregg Anderson, chaplain emeritus of the Aspen Chapel, said: “One can even divide the two types of Christianity functioning today as exclusive and inclusive. The chapel’s mission, as well as that of the community church, are purposed to be very inclusive. We want people to be aware of such differences and know that there are religious organizations, which do promote inclusiveness and unity with diversity. Bishop Oliveto has a wonderful loving spirit and exemplifies the compatibility of her lifestyle with the compassionate ministry of Christianity.”

Buttermilk to offer full-moon dinners

Aspen Snowmass announced the return of the “Full Moon Uphill Dinners” at Buttermilk. Beginning Friday, as well as Feb. 5, and March 7, guests can hike or skin up Buttermilk’s main route to the top, Aspen Skiing Co. officials said.  

Cliffhouse Restaurant will open at 5 p.m., offering a cash bar and drinks. À la carte dinner options including the Mongolian Grill will be served from 5:30-8 p.m. No outside alcohol is allowed.   

Uphill passes and a visible strap are required for all attendees. These are available for purchase from any ticket office, including at Tiehack and Main Buttermilk ticket offices for $69, with $10 of this cost going directly to Mountain Rescue Aspen, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. the day of the event. Uphill passes are valid all season long. Guests are encouraged to pick up uphill passes and straps prior to the event at any ticket office, officials said. The uphill pass is included at no charge to all Premier Passholders. 

Parking is available at Buttermilk Main parking lot. No parking is allowed on the road at Tiehack. Officials encouraged participants to travel with a light and to watch for wildlife since there have been recent moose sightings on-mountain.  

Participants must follow the designated uphill route climbing and descending. 

Dogs are not allowed on Buttermilk Mountain on the nights of this event.  

Phone scammers working local phones

Phone scammers are striking in many of the municipalities and rural areas of Garfield County, Sheriff’s Office officials warned.

They may be using auto dialers that sequentially call numbers until someone answers. Recent phone scams involved the perpetrator telling the victim that they have missed a payment on a fine or failed to show for a jury summons and that an arrest warrant will be issued, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

According to officials: 

The caller says they are a law-enforcement officer, giving the name of a deputy or police officer in the area the person answering might know, along with the office or department. They claim that by making a payment now, you will be able to avoid additional penalties or even being arrested.

If you think the call is legitimate, get th agency’s name who is calling as well as the person’s name, then hang up. Call that agency through a number you have researched on your own — not any number that the caller has provided.

Other scams involve credit cards, past due accounts, or possibly accounts opened in your name. If they are offering you an easy fix — such as quick settlement through a store-issued cash card, or they want your credit card or debit card number you can be fairly certain — you are being scammed.

Scams may involve callers claiming to represent various charities or other organizations; some you might even recognize. If it sounds legitimate and something you want to support, ask the caller to mail you more information, so you can review it. If they are legitimate, they will not mind waiting.