Submitted by Hugh Qualls
Mt. Grant General Hospital Administrator
Someone once defined generosity as the “habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return.” Not sure who said that originally but he or she could have been describing some good people in this town.
Long story short: a few weeks ago, patient from Tonopah was transported here by ambulance. After a day or two of care, the patient was discharged, and free to return home. Unfortunately, the patient had no means of getting there: family or friends unavailable to make the trip, no daily bus service these days, and not eligible for a state-funded transportation program. Sadly, this patient is only the most recent Tonopah citizen left stranded in Hawthorne after an ambulance transport. More often than not, these discharged patients cannot afford the cost of a motel stay while arranging for a ride home. Not feasible for the hospital to keep them as we have few spare beds nowadays and need them for new patients. Fortunately, thanks to CAHS, the El Capitan and others, a safety net is in place to help these folks while here. Debbie, Erin and Amy at CAHS responded immediately when I called looking for help; they provided a voucher for a night at the El Cap—and personally delivered two overstuffed bags of shelf-stable food.
Korrie at the hotel front desk streamlined the registration process so Tonopah resident could settle in room quickly and comfortably. Her staff also kept a watchful eye on the guest (and later returned hospital wheelchair loaned to patient). The next morning a driver arrived and our former patient safely returned home. While this scenario is likely to continue for future Tonopah patients brought to Hawthorne, the good news is that Nye County officials are now aware of situation and considering possible solutions. Stay tuned.
Mt. Grant sent two teams to the annual NRHP Golf Tournament in Reno earlier this month. Proud to announce that for the second consecutive year, our Fearsome Foursome of Foster Kenton Jr., Foster Kenton III, Oscar Berry and Louie Lotus won by two strokes over the second place team from South Lyon Medical Center. Foster III also smacked the longest drive of the tourney. Three-peat in 2020? Count on it! Another safe bet is that the other Mt. Grant team will never challenge for the title; we finished six over par, spending most of the day excavating bunkers or searching for errant Maxflis and Titleists.
Dr. Sharon Ruch has had a busy few weeks since her return this month to Mt. Grant; former clinic patients as well as new are calling to make appointments with her. She and her cheerful office staff (Tisha and Paula) are here Wednesday through Friday each week.
Hospital Safety Officer Carol Lemieux keeps busy anticipating and preparing us for various calamities. Her current focus is flash flooding and possible impacts to hospital operations. In addition to the mess and cleanup afterwards (as occurred late July last year), significant mudflow could potentially prevent Care Flights from landing on our helipad (just a bit downhill from recent flooding). An unobstructed path between our emergency room and helipad is critical to patient safety. We are working with property owners uphill from the hospital to prevent such an impact. Next safety event for Carol: another active shooter drill this fall.
A final note on giving freely without expecting anything in return: Jean Peterson from the Soroptimist Club visited to discuss donations to support excursions for our Lefa L. Seran SNF residents. Club members plan to volunteer their time and energy as well to assist with these outings—whether shopping trips to Fallon or sightseeing in the Sierra. That’s the very definition of generosity.