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SLV Health Receives 2023 Lighthouse Award


L to R, Audrey Reich Loy, Director of Program Operations; Christine Hettinger-Hunt, Chief Operating Officer; Justin Buchholz, DO, Medical Director for the Hospitalist Teams; Felicia Garcia, Discharge Planner; and Amber Marquez, Director of Nursing, RMC Med Surg and ICU

Some hard work, dedication to patient care, and revamped processes led to San Luis Valley Health receiving a 2023 Lighthouse Award from the American Excess Insurance Exchange. Along with the award was a $12,000 check. SLV Health was recognized for its outstanding achievement in “Reducing Length of Stay for Improved Patient Outcomes.” This national award celebrates excellence through innovation and SLVH is one of five award winners promoting patient safety.

“Our team identified reducing hospital length of stay as a top priority, not only because it helps to enhance access and availability of healthcare resources for our community members most in need, but it also reduces patient exposures to safety concerns that can occur due to longer stays in hospitals,” says Christine Hettinger-Hunt, Chief Operating Officer for San Luis Valley Health.

SLVH team members identified workflow and communication improvements and will use the funding award to benefit both staff and patients. They agreed to purchase new whiteboards for the patient rooms and all units at both the Regional Medical Center in Alamosa and Conejos County Hospital in La Jara. These boards will allow for improved communication between the patient and care team during their hospital stay and allow for the care team to learn more about the unique needs of each patient receiving care.

A red and white award

Description automatically generatedTo round out the purchase, SLVH employees have been contributing to a “Pay It Forward” account via personal payroll deduction and other donations to help support patients with unmet needs. Over the years, employees at SLV Health have been generously donating toward this fund, which has supported various patient-focused projects. The award match from this account will allow SLV Health to upgrade the boards. “This is a perfect opportunity for us to use some of these funds to benefit both patients and the staff who are caring for those patients,” commented Kelly Gurule, Director of the SLVH Foundation.