Wyly gift will help Aspen hospital switch to electronic records | AspenTimes.com

Wyly gift will help Aspen hospital switch to electronic records

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Thanks to the generosity of local donors, records at the Aspen Valley Hospital will soon be kept electronically.

Part-time Aspen residents Cheryl and Sam Wyly recently donated $600,000 to Aspen Valley Hospital in honor of local physician Dr. Mindy Nagle, the hospital’s fundraising arm announced Tuesday.

At Nagle’s request, the hospital will use the gift to convert its record keeping to an electronic system.

The new system will expedite communication about patients’ medical history, enabling better diagnosis and treatment, said Kris Marsh, Aspen Valley Medical Foundation director. The new system is to be up and running within a few months.

According to Marsh, the Wyly gift was given to mark Doctors’ Day, a holiday celebrated March 30. This year, the foundation has begun asking patrons to consider marking the holiday with a gift in honor of their local physician.

The Wylys chose to honor Nagle, Marsh said, because she has not only served as a physician to the Wylys, but has also been their “medical point person,” in Aspen, helping them navigate the local health-care system.

The Wylys are well-known philanthropists who have given generously to nonprofits such as the Aspen/Pitkin Animal Shelter and the Aspen Writers’ Foundation. They are equally well known for their large contributions to conservative political campaigns and candidates.

The Wyly gift will cover the entire cost of implementing the new electronic records program, Marsh said. A $250,000 donation given by Jim McManus in honor of Dr. David Borchers several years ago will pay for two years of maintenance, she added. Borchers had also asked that McManus’ gift support electric medical records.

According to the medical foundation, former President George W. Bush mandated all hospitals to begin keeping electronic records by 2010, but he authorized no federal funding to meet that goal.

President Barack Obama authorized $17.2 million in the recent stimulus bill to encourage all doctors to go digital by 2014. The federal government is deciding exactly how to allocate that money.


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