Ideas. Stories. Community.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Southwest Health System

  • Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez is holding its own financially, but to keep it viable over the long term, people need to use it for as many services as possible. That was one message officials gave Thursday during a talk about the annual report for the private not-for-profit that operates the hospital, Southwest Health System.
  • The Southwest Health System (SHS) board of directors announced Monday that they will not be closing the family birthing center. This comes after a contentious special board meeting last Thursday where several community members shared their concerns about the possible closure. Hospital officials previously said they’re temporarily closing the birthing center on July 1 in order to keep the organization financially stable. A press release from the hospital announcing their decision to reconsider was released on Monday. About 60 people, including several mothers, showed up to the board meeting last week near the hospital’s emergency services wing to voice their deep concern over the future of maternity care at SHS.
  • In Cortez, Southwest Memorial Hospital announced last week it will temporarily close its family birthing center on July 1. In a press release, the hospital said it needed to close the center in order to ensure the financial stability of the organization. Dr. Jessica Kaplan, an obstetrics specialist who works at the birthing center, says that women seeking care in rural areas across the nation face higher risks of pregnancy-related complications, and are more likely to die during pregnancy. And Colorado is offering almost $30 million in grant money to mobile home residents who want to purchase their mobile home parks.
  • COVID-19 can be a very dangerous virus for pregnant women who have not been vaccinated against it. Unvaccinated pregnant women are at especially high risk of severe complications, which can affect both the mother and her unborn child. Experts say the vaccine is completely safe to take, but here in Montezuma County, vaccination rates among pregnant women remain low.
  • Southwest Health System in Cortez will discontinue drive-thru COVID-19 testing, and the hospital's director of infection control says COVID hospitalizations are down and vaccination rates are up in Montezuma County. But he also says the pandemic isn't over, and warns against rolling back precautions too soon. KSJD's Lucas Brady Woods sat down with Meyer to talk through the details.
  • Communities across the US are experiencing surges of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. But the Omicron wave is only starting to pick up momentum here in Southwest Colorado, where about 60% of the population is vaccinated, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. To get details on the situation, KSJD's Lucas Brady Woods spoke to Mark Meyer, head of infection control at Southwest Health System, who says severe COVID infections are concentrated among the unvaccinated.
  • A bipartisan infrastructure bill is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk after passage in the house last week, and some of the funding will be designated for the Colorado River basin; Southwest Health System will be holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Saturday for children ages 5 to 11.
  • The Kwiyagat Community Academy in Towaoc held an event on Thursday to mark the first six weeks of the school’s inaugural academic year; Southwest Health System in Cortez held a clinic on Thursday offering booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer.
  • Southwest Health System in Cortez announced that it will require its staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19; The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment posted a new system on its website for users to view and compare data on breakthrough cases of COVID-19; For the second time in a week, officials with the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife recovered the body of a drowning victim from the waters of a state reservoir.
  • On this week's Health and Prevention Report, we're replaying an important interview about the status of the Covid-19 pandemic in Montezuma County. The Delta Variant is now making up the vast majority of the COVID-19 cases both locally and nationally, and we may be seeing the beginning of a surge in the virus. KSJD News spoke with Marc Meyer, head of infection control and vaccinations at Southwest Health System, about the situation.