Letter: Aspen Valley Hospital provides high quality care for all

High quality care for all

I read Meredith Carroll’s column (“A meaningful hospital expansion,” The Aspen Times, Jan. 6) and feel compelled to respond. First, I’d like to say that I am happy for her favorable outcome with respect to her cancer diagnosis.

Four hours of my day is spent commuting to Aspen Valley Hospital where I work as a nurse. When people ask me why I choose to do so, I can answer without equivocation that it is because AVH has, at its core, the most compassionate, caring and competent clinicians that you will find anywhere. Carroll says what she wants in her oncologist is someone who deals with cancer patients each and every day. We are fortunate enough to have an oncologist that does exactly that. Dr. Rovira, our medical oncologist, has provided care for more patients dealing with cancer than he’d like to admit — each and every one of them unique and treasured. And yes, that’s day in and day out. Carroll is correct with respect to Dr. Frasier. He is indeed a breast specialist, and we are fortunate to have him on board. She asks, “How well-versed is the operating room support staff in surgeries such as lumpectomies, mastectomies and reconstruction?” I can tell you, they are extraordinarily well-versed in these and countless other procedures. She is correct when she states that it is clinicians with dedicated training and experience that can be invaluable in a patient’s follow-up care. Fortunately, we have them here in abundance. I work with them. They are the best and the brightest and their dedication to patient-centered care is inspiring. Many of our health care providers are over-qualified for their current positions. We have registered nurses working as techs on our patient-care unit just to be a part of this extraordinary team.

Carroll laments that, with respect to AVH’s expansion, the improvement still will not be enough to “keep many people from driving to the Front Range or flying to other large cities for basic procedures.” Here, I must respectfully disagree. I work in our oncology department. We have patients that have consulted with oncologists in every major cancer center who still choose to receive their care here. For these patients to be able to receive their chemotherapy without having to travel is a quality of life issue — one that we are very happy to oblige.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention our extraordinary ancillary staff. From the food servers who provide nourishing meals to our patients to the housekeeping staff that keeps our facility sparkling to our registrars who will greet you with a smile of recognition at every visit, AVH is, in my view, second to none in the provision of holistic care to each and every patient day in and day out.

Carroll, should you ever require the services of AVH, you will find that you are cared for by health care providers that dedicate their lives to the provision of high quality, evidence-based care for all.

Siobhan Conway

Glenwood Springs