Konnie Martin, CEO of SLV Health, was invited by the Colorado Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran to be acknowledged at the opening of yesterday’s legislative session (Jan 10, 2018) for the hard work that was accomplished during last year’s session in a bipartisan fashion in the spirit of serving the health care needs of the residents of Colorado.
Excerpt from Speaker Duran’s speech:
“We can point with pride to what we achieved for Coloradans in the 2017 session, which was widely acclaimed as the most productive in recent memory.
We proved that we don’t just talk about not being like Washington DC. We proved by our actions that here in Colorado, we can work together to get things done.
After years of effort, we made a bipartisan breakthrough on a budget restructure called the hospital provider fee. Fixing it saved hospitals around the state from more than half a billion dollars in budget cuts. Those cuts would have impacted every hospital in the state, and would have been fatal to some of our smaller hospitals in rural areas of Colorado.
Last session I visited Lincoln Community Hospital in the Eastern Plains town of Hugo. I saw firsthand how essential our rural hospitals are. They are the nursing home, family clinic, ambulance service and sometimes hospice care for their communities.
Rural hospitals saved Edward Humphrey. Aside from serving in the Korean War, Ed has lived on the Eastern Plains all his life. He met his wife, Barbara, when he was a hired hand threshing corn for Barbara’s grandparents. He went on to work as a Colorado brand inspector for two decades.
Last Friday they celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.
If not for Lincoln Community Hospital, Ed might not have been around to mark two-thirds of a century of marriage.
In 2016, he experienced life-threatening complications following surgery. But the doctors at Lincoln Community pulled him through.
Barbara Humphrey said, “I can breathe easier knowing that Lincoln Community Hospital is open and remains open. Because of the budget restructure, Lincoln Community Hospital continues to save lives every day.”
Barbara Humphrey is here with us today, joined by Kevin Stansbury, president and CEO of Lincoln Community Hospital.
Also with us is Konnie Martin, CEO of San Luis Valley Health in Alamosa.
Konnie and Kevin are from rural hospitals that would have been jeopardized by that half a billion in budget cuts.
Working together for families like the Humphreys, we prevented that.
To Konnie and Kevin, and to all our rural hospitals across the state, thank you for the lives you save and for the rural way of life that your care helps to preserve.”
The same bill that saved rural hospitals freed up resources that can be used for transportation, education and other vital services.