MONTE VISTA— On Wednesday, Aug 21 the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce held its first free health session, one of many they hope to host. The purpose of these meetings is to inform the Monte Vista community about health services offered locally. They hope to help those who attend to improve their health and enjoy their lives more fully.
For the first health session Audrey Reich Loy, director of primary care for San Luis Valley Health, informed those who came about the different services offered by SLV Health. They provide a wide range of care for communities all over the Valley. They offer cardiology, women’s health, pediatrics, surgery, behavioral health and many more services.
Reich Loy gave a short history on the organization which was started in the Valley in 1927. In 1928 they became the Lutheran Hospital Association of the San Luis Valley in partnership with the Lutheran community. In 1937 they were renamed the Alamosa Community Hospital. They became the Regional Medical Center in 1987 and joined the clinic system. In 2013 they got their current name— San Luis Valley Health. They have a long history with the Valley, and today they have seven locations, with two hospitals and five clinics.
The Monte Vista Community Clinic recently had a facelift, with new flooring being installed, facilities updated and walls freshly painted. It now looks very modern and clean. “It’s a really beautiful clinic,” said Reich Loy. The Monte Vista Clinic offers a range of services for the community. They specialize in primary care, behavioral health, pediatrics, chiropractic/ acupuncture, women’s health, neurology and coumadin anticoagulation management.
Reich Loy said, SLV Health strives to offer as much care and services close to home as they can. By offering health services close to home, they hope to help patients not have to risk snowy passes and high expense when traveling for care. She said living in the Valley she understands that people are used to having to travel for everything, but she said that at SLV Health they try to be as local as possible. “We’re here, you don’t have to travel out of your community to get care.”
The Conejos County Hospital’s emergency department was also recently remodeled. “We have always been proud of the staff that works at CCH. And now we have a facility that matches the high quality of the staff,” said Reich Loy. She shared how the staff at the hospital used their own money to purchase all the furnishings for the lobby and waiting room.
Reich Loy also shared that SLV Health was able to open a cancer center last year. They’re happy to be able to provide chemo treatments and more close to home so patients don’t have to travel as far for treatments each week. SLV Health also received an award for patient safety in 2017. They and three other hospitals were the only ones to receive the award in the whole state of Colorado.
When asked about the Chamber’s purpose for these health sessions, Reich Loy said, “As I understand it they [the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce] want members of the Monte Vista community to know what their resources are and to have access to them to be as healthy as possible.”
The Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce plans to hold these health sessions monthly on the third Wednesday of every month from 12- 1 p.m. The next session will feature SLV Health therapy services.