National Rural Health Day Message

I am honored to help recognize National Rural Health Day.

Serving a rural community is very rewarding. We get the luxury of taking care of friends and family on a daily basis. The type of people that you see at the grocery store or at school when you drop off your kids, are the same people we work with and take care of every day.

Rural communities offer a tight-knit family feel, which we embody in the care we provide.  Treating patients like family makes a real difference. We often have patients in need a higher level of care that ask if they can just stay here to receive their care. Patients have such a deep connection with their provider and nurses that they believe they can do anything. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in a rural environment. We can manage a lot of the patient needs, but we do have limited resources and limited access to certain specialties in rural environments. In those situations, our team does an exceptional job of connecting our patients to specialty providers and often help assist with coordinating transportation and care between specialty providers.

One of the other benefits of working in a rural environment is this generosity and appreciation from others in the community. For example, we had a team member that had a flat tire and we made one call and members of community came together to change and repair the flat tire all while our team member worked her shift. Similarly, one of our new team members had a bad car battery. Their neighbor helped jump start the car to get the team member to work. Then drove 15 miles to swap the car battery while the team member was working to ensure they had a safe ride home after work. These are just a couple examples of how we take care of the community, and the community takes care of each other. It is one of the best components of working and living in a rural community.

We do have limitations in a rural setting due to limited resources, however, the family centered care we provide and the work/life balance we offer are beyond rewarding to our team, our families, and our community.

Zach Weiderspon

Conejos County Hospital Administrator

To read more about Zach, visit our management page.