Submitted by Hugh Qualls

Mt. Grant General Hospital Administrator

As announced last month, Sharon Ruch MD will start seeing patients this June at the Mt. Grant Clinic. Her first day is June 5. Dr. Ruch’s planned schedule at this time is Wednesday through Friday every week. Please call her office at the clinic and speak to Paula (945-3668) to make an appointment. We are all looking forward to her return; in addition, Mr. Chris Ruch will be re-joining our nursing staff. Two outstanding additions to the Mt. Grant General team and our community.

Time is running out. Mt. Grant’s Second Annual Hospital Week 5K is Friday, May 10. Register today by stopping by the hospital and seeing Jaime or calling her at ext. 255. Good for your health, all proceeds go to hospital scholarship fund and you get a snazzy t-shirt—what more could you ask for. But wait, there’s more: our Wellness Expo takes place the following week, Tuesday, May 14 from 2-6 in the afternoon at the Hawthorne Fire Station. Our goal is to promote healthy lifestyles. Experts will be there to talk about wellness, proper hand washing techniques, other preventative measures and benefits, heart and vascular health, fitness, St Mary’s Cyber Knife, nutrition, available local resources, Telemedicine, Nurse Health Line and a heck of a lot more—plus a Kid’s Corner. Lots of free gifts as well for participants. Hope to see you there.

We received disappointing news earlier this month that Doctors Stanko and Durant will no longer be providing ophthalmology services in Hawthorne. After 25 years of regular visits to Mineral County, they are scaling back their practice and staying in Reno at the Sierra Eye Associates office on Ryland Street. They hope to see you there in the future. Care & Share is available for those needing transportation to and from Reno for such appointments; at least one trip a month, sometimes two. Call 945-5519 for more information. Dr. Stanko assured us his out-of-town patients will receive high priority for their appointments.

Update on proposed building projects at your local community hospital. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” comes to mind when I reflect on this process so far. With the best of intentions, we consulted interested architects and builders from Carson and Reno. All looked promising until their proposal arrived; talk about sticker shock. Management and engineering fees nearly equaled the actual construction costs. While remaining dedicated to our plan of a new maintenance building, business office and nursing home expansion, getting this done right at a price we can afford will take time—especially as we are determined to use as much local labor and expertise as possible. My thanks to Hawthorne contractors Rod Leavitt and G Dubs for guidance and advice. Our buildings and expansion will become a reality—just not as quickly as hoped. Stay tuned.

In March, 256 patients visited our emergency room. That may be an all time high according to veteran hospital employees. The good news is that very few of these visits warranted emergency care (less than 20 percent). As mentioned a few months ago in this column, most patients who arrive at the ER actually require some level of Urgent Care (as we provide now for walk-in patients in the clinic). As also noted before, these visits are usually less expensive, with minimal waiting time. Consequently, in the near future, once a medical screening exam has been completed (as required by law), patients who are not emergent will be seen in the clinic during weekday business hours; evenings and weekends, they will be treated in a non-emergent room. While we may be a frontier hospital, our goal is to provide all patients with the best care possible, in the most appropriate setting. After all, we are here to serve you.