Hospital Corner – June, 2021

Hospital Corner – June, 2021

As mentioned last month, Dr. Dofeliz is leaving us next week, which means that a new hospital Chief of Staff has been elected for Mt. Grant General. Congratulations to Sharon Ruch, MD! Dr. Ruch returned to us a few years ago and we are grateful she is taking on this critical leadership role.  As the hospital, clinic and Lefa L. Seran skilled nursing facility transition to a post-pandemic world, our medical providers will play an even greater role keeping our community as healthy as possible.  Thank you Dr. Ruch, Laura Bateman, and Tobey Morris.

Joining these three Clinic providers this week is James Ruch, PA-C.  He has moved in and started seeing patients already.  Mr. Ruch and family made the long, hot journey from Florida to west-central Nevada earlier this month.  Please welcome them as they settle in and become our newest neighbors.

In case you have not seen the new Clinic provider schedule that begins in July:

  • Laura Bateman, PA-C: Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday
  • Tobey Morris, APRN:   Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday (+2nd Thursday each month)
  • James Ruch, PA-C:       Wednesday-Thursday-Friday (+1st & 3rd Tuesdays each month)
  • Sharon Ruch, MD:        Wednesday-Thursday-Friday

Of course this schedule may change so call your provider’s office if you have questions.

Lots of curiosity about when the hospital, clinic and nursing home will return to normal.  Not sure what new normal will look like someday but for the indefinite future, most of our infection control measures will remain in place: all staff, patients and visitors will be screened and required to wear masks, entry and exit points will be limited (ER door for hospital, single door on either side of clinic), and patient/resident visitors must schedule appointments.  With only 40% of Mineral County COVID vaccinated, we will continue to do all possible to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

It took a few months to get it done but local United Healthcare (UHC) insured individuals are no longer “out of network” which means they are now covered for clinic visits in Hawthorne.  As you can imagine, health insurance coverage has only grown more complicated and confusing over the past year—even our most experienced and knowledgeable staff scratch their heads trying to make sense of the extensive fine print buried deep within policies.  Should you ever have questions or need help trying to learn what coverage you have (and don’t have), call our Billing Office at 945-2461 ext 255.  We may not always have an answer but we usually know who to contact to get one.

Many of you have had an MRI exam in the Perspectives trailer that parks in front of the hospital one day each week.  MRIs are critical diagnostic tools but that doesn’t help to make the experience pleasant: all that banging, clanging and clicking makes a scan feel as if you were dropped into a washing machine during the spin cycle. That will change in late July.  Mt. Grant, in conjunction with Nevada Rural Hospital Partners and three other Nevada critical access hospitals (Yerington, Lovelock, Battle Mountain) have joined together to bring a new, state-of-the-art MRI trailer to our four communities.  Emphasis will be on improving patient experience during exam.  New machine is quieter and faster with a larger tube that will accommodate nearly all sizes and shapes.  You can even listen to music during scan.  No mistaking this trailer when you see it; artwork and logos will clearly identify the four participating hospitals—with MGGH the most distinctive!

Speaking of diagnostic tools and trailers, the Mammovan is tentatively scheduled to be here in late July.  Look for announcements on social media and in the Mineral County Independent News.  And with that, I wish you all a happy and restful summer—though a few cooler days now and then will be appreciated by all.

Hugh Qualls, Administrator