Hospital Corner – September, 2020

Hospital Corner – September, 2020

Good news.  It has been almost two years since Sierra Eye Associates stopped performing exams and minor procedures at Mt. Grant General, requiring patients to make the trip to Reno for such services. That could change in the near future.  Dr. Robert Wolff, Ophthalmologist, associated with Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Carson City will be here on Friday, October 16 to perform eye exams.  No promises have been made but hope is to build a relationship with Dr. Wolff and his colleagues to bring these services back to Hawthorne on a regular basis.  We are scheduling appointments now for October; please call 945-0709 to make your appointment.

What is a Hospitalist?  Numerous rumors abound regarding Dr. Ventura and his role at the hospital these days—no surprise given his many years of service and devoted patients.  He has transitioned to being a fulltime hospitalist (internal medicine doctor whose primary focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients). His partner in this effort is Brent Kunzler PA-C; together, they will ensure continuity of care for acute and swing patients.  As Dr. Ventura typically works seven days a week with rarely a day off, this will enable him to take a vacation eventually, confident that inpatients will be in good hands. 

Drum roll please: two critical leadership positions were filled recently, one at Mt. Grant General and the other at our skilled nursing facility.  With immense gratitude to both individuals for taking on these vital but demanding roles, please welcome Tamiya Ferguson, RN, BSN, as our new Acute Director of Nursing. For the past year or so Tamiya worked as the Mineral County Public Health Nurse; we are fortunate she agreed to return to Mt. Grant as our new acute nursing leader. Joining her, will be Marci Baldry, RN, the new Director of the Lefa L. Seran SNF.  Marci has worked in a variety of positions at the hospital over her lengthy career; she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the job—much needed in these challenging times. With two such leaders in charge, we all look forward to continuing to provide the best available healthcare to our rural community.

Sadly, one of these vacancies was created by the retirement of Jan Kollodge, RN, who has been the Director of Nursing here for the past 20 years.  Her departure is a tremendous loss to the hospital and community.  No one person can replace her, as her areas of responsibility are as numerous as her years as a nurse!  Along with the retirement of former administrator Richard Munger in 2017 (44 years at Mt. Grant General), Jan’s departure means that more than 80 years of local institutional knowledge have disappeared in recent years. Wisdom and experience like that cannot be replaced. Richard and Jan are largely responsible for this hospital’s continuing success, and their healthcare leadership and dedication inspire us all. 

Forty years ago this month, Jan started here as a nurse’s aide; then a few years later a Certified Nursing Assistant.  With more schooling, Jan soon after received her LPN license, and the following year became an RN.  Her meteoric rise didn’t end there: she was quickly promoted to Assistant DON and then DON in 2000. Quite a career and an achievement that will likely never be matched. 

Jan’s last day at the hospital is Wednesday, September 30.  A luncheon is planned in her honor, where colleagues, past and present, will celebrate her contributions to countless patients and the community at large.  Due to pandemic, this will be an invitation-only event but we hope all will join us in wishing Jan the best retirement possible; it is long overdue and certainly deserved.  Her legacy will remain long after she closes her office door for the last time and hangs up her scrubs for good.  There will never be another like her.

Hugh Qualls, Administrator