Submitted by Hugh Qualls
Mt. Grant Administrator
Influenza B, Coronavirus, Rhinovirus (common cold). No shortage of bad news lately about highly contagious diseases, locally and across the planet. Best way to avoid these hasn’t changed: wash your hands often, avoid contact with those who are sick and get plenty of rest. All of these are your best defense against Flu B, the dominant form this year. Children appear to be getting the worst of it—as well as those with weakened immune systems. Not too late for a flu shot; if you have yet to be vaccinated, do it for them.
Who volunteers for extra work these days? Dental Hygienists Stephanie Ramsey and Dea Minnitte-Hamrey from Dr. Dow’s office will soon be working extra hours providing oral healthcare to residents of the Lefa L. Seran Skilled Nursing Facility. Their efforts will vastly improve the quality of life for these seniors in our care. We are grateful to Dea and Stephanie for their dedication and service to the community.
Have you used the Nurse Health Line yet? Since its launch in May of 2018, just over 200 calls have been made locally to the 24/7 nurse advice and referral service (about 11 calls a month). While we believe this is a valuable tool to help you make important healthcare decisions night or day, just wish more took advantage of it. We will monitor usage for the next few months to determine if this continues to be worthwhile (Mt. Grant pays a monthly fee to maintain). Need a reminder? The NHL number is 775-341-6161.
Last week Betty Easley reported in Wings-n-Things on recent visit by engineers who flew to Hawthorne to assist with design and planning of our new CT scanner project. Betty described it quite well but left out one important detail: the highlight of their trip wasn’t flying across the Sierra on a beautiful winter day or our stunning high desert scenery (though both impressed them), it was something else that left an indelible memory—Betty herself! They had never been welcomed so warmly or graciously upon landing at an airport and now look forward to a return trip to HTH, where Betty will be waiting.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent article in The Washington Post: “a couple from rural Tennessee travel to a pop-up clinic for the first medical care they’ve had in years. The couple each has multiple chronic medical conditions but have not seen a physician in more than four years. They traveled overnight to the temporary clinic, hosted at a high school in Cleveland, Tenn., by the nonprofit Remote Area Medical. When the couple arrived at the clinic at 2 a.m. the morning before it opened, more than 300 cars were already in the parking lot, according to the report.
The story illustrates what it’s like to be one of 50 million rural Americans to live in a healthcare shortage area. An estimated 2.5 million people in Tennessee live without easy access to medical services, due to declining numbers of hospitals and physicians to staff them. With 12 hospital closures since 2010, Tennessee ranks second in the nation behind Texas.”
Access to healthcare in rural areas may be the worst in Texas and Tennessee but sadly Nevada is not too far behind. Mt. Grant General is fortunate to be a member of the Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, a consortium of about a dozen critical access hospitals providing healthcare far from Reno or Las Vegas. By working together, our voices and concerns are heard in Carson City during legislative sessions, assuring the support public hospitals need to survive. NRHP hospitals share similar challenges (staffing being foremost), solutions and best practices to ensure continued service to their communities for decades to come—our mission at Mt. Grant General.