Hospital report to Gunnison City
says visits declining, but expansion
still on track for June completion
By Robert Stevens
Mar. 8, 2018
GUNNISON—Gunnison City leadership heard good news and bad news in a Gunnison Valley Hospital Board report given at their last meeting.
Casey Dyreng, a hospital board member, presented the report to Lori Nay, Gunnison’s mayor, and to the city council during their meeting on Feb. 22.
Dyreng told the mayor and council that the hospital’s new expansion had gotten a little behind, but it was scheduled for general completion in June.
He said the hospital had been able to stick pretty close to the $6 million budgeted for the expansion, which is intended to expand its orthopedic surgery and other surgery capacity.
Dyreng also informed the council that hospital visits have been slowly but steadily declining.
The reduction in hospital visits by customers has them slightly concerned, but since the medical facility is still well in the black, Dyreng said they’re not worried about it quite yet.
He said the decline in visits may be attributed somewhat to losing business to increases in Richfield’s medical offerings. He also said use of Instacare-style clinics may be contributing to the visit reductions as well, but that is less likely due to the lack of Instacare clinics in the area.
Dyreng said Gunnison Valley Hospital has had some new physicians come to work at the hospital, and the administration has been happy with their contributions. They are also trying to replace retiring physicians, and the going is slow.
Councilman Blake Donaldson asked Dyreng if the hospital sign planned for installation on Main Street is making progress.
“I’ve been asking about that sign for six years now,” Donaldson said, with a lighthearted tone.
Several members agreed they thought the sign would help people realize the hospital is there, and visiting officials had commented once they had trouble finding the hospital.
Dyreng said the sign, like the expansion, was nearing completion as well.