All posts by Lisa Newcomb

Becoming Rubilicious: What color should my tutu be?

The past couple weeks have been quite exciting. I have started up walking in the evenings because summer is here and I want to take advantage of every minute of the outdoors as possible. It is so pretty with great views of the mountains. I can get some fresh air and vitamin D and–my favorite–it is FREE to walk and jog. I don’t have to worry about monthly dues or having the right equipment. All I have to do is get out, walk and enjoy.

Our Employee Wellness program at Teton Valley Health Care also encourages us to get out and enjoy the mountain air. We’ve been doing some group hikes after work, and we went on our first hike of the season earlier this month.

I’d never been on Sheeps Bridge trail in Teton Canyon. It was a great, mellow hike with wildflowers in bloom. This was a great teaser and warm up for my ultimate goal this summer, to hike Table Mountain.

While the rest of my coworkers (and their dogs) had a fairly uneventful trek in and out of the Canyon, my trip was not with out a minor technological mishap. As we  got to the end of the trail, we walked around the creek for a little bit before turning back. The creek water was gushing. It looked so beautiful and welcoming. So naturally I went to feel the water, and as I bent down to touch it, I noticed something falling out of my shirt. Instantly, I knew what it was. I said to myself “Oh, there goes my phone!”

 

Here I am at the bridge, before I lost my phone!

Here I am at the bridge, before I lost my phone!

But I didn’t mind too much, really. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so light about losing something so expensive. The whole thing was quite funny, if you ask me. Maybe my lack of reaction was because I’m trying to simplify my life with less expensive things … Well, maybe not. The next day I went out and bought another expensive phone!

My family also came to visit us recently from Arizona. They stayed with us for two weeks. It was fun having them here. They enjoyed our small town Fourth of July style (meaning just the parade, lol). I was sad to see them leave, but it’s always great to see family!

Last weekend I did the Tin Cup Challenge. I completed my second 5K!

My wellness goals for the summer include:
1. Do three 5K (2 down 1 to go. YAY!)
2. Try to hike up to Table Mountain (meaning go as far as I can) by the end of the summer

My son, Colby, and I celebrated at the Tin Cup finish line.

My son, Colby, and I celebrated at the Tin Cup finish line.

I did run most of the Tin Cup 5K, I proudly can say. As I was getting tired, my little bad angel started to tell me “you can’t do it, just give up” but then my good angel started to tell me “yes you can, you are almost there, just think of your goals and how far you have come.” So then my will power kicked in and I was able to finish out at 40 minutes, 12 seconds. Not bad for a newbie, right!

Don’t forget you can still donate to your favorite valley nonprofit through the TCC until July 28. The Teton Valley Hospital Foundation is a participating nonprofit, and the organization would be grateful for your support.

I’m registered to do my third 5K on Aug. 16, which I can’t wait for because it is a neon color run (way too fun!).

I need your help on choosing what color tutu I should make for the neon color run! Send me your ideas on the TVHC facebook page, or leave a comment on this post below, and tag your suggestions, #rubistutu. I have to stay stylish, even when I run!

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.

 

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CEO Viewpoint: It’s our diamond anniversary

Keith Gnagey, CEO

Keith Gnagey, CEO

I’m approaching my two year anniversary with the hospital and the hospital just passed its 75th year anniversary. This is the perfect time to share the latest news about our hospital and clinics and talk about some of the changes we have seen.

It’s been a busy two years, with a lot of positive growth and change. For those of you who have visited recently, you will have seen a number of physical changes. We have a new X-ray unit and fluoroscope along with a completely remodeled X-ray room. Our lab draw room has a new adjustable draw chair (courtesy of the Teton Springs Foundation) plus new paint and cabinets. We have repainted and re-furnished the Driggs Health Clinic waiting area. Our Victor clinic has a new ramp. The exterior of the hospital has been spruced up with plants and mulch to replace the gravel. The OR will be painted this weekend.

There are some less visible changes as well; a new ice machine for patients, a pharmacy hood allowing us to support chemotherapy, a new OR bed, and new OR lights. These are not just cosmetic changes; these are investments in your County-owned building. We continue to maintain and improve the hospital, extending its life and making it a more valuable asset for you. Thank you to our Hospital Foundation, multiple charitable groups, the TVHC employees, and others for helping to fund these items.

We’ve added new service lines for cardiology, expanded pain management, general surgery, orthopedics, and neurology. More and expanded offerings are coming this year. Telemedicine is in use; we have been supporting tele-psychiatry, and we just added tele-burn and tele-stroke. These telemedicine additions enable patients to stay here and get care from experts who are based at the University of Utah Health Center and other larger hospitals. We’ve built good working relationships and formal affiliations with UUHC, and with our regional hospitals that enable better pricing on things we buy (by buying jointly), expand the service lines we offer, and improve clinical quality.
We’re focused on our clients and patients. We have required all staff to take training on how to improve their customer service skills. The painting and improvements have been chosen carefully to reflect a standardized design and color palette to offer an atmosphere that is soothing and healing. We’ve achieved a higher, measurable level of accuracy and speed in our patient billing. Your comments and suggestions have generated a number of these process improvements.

We continue to help people understand how to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act and enrolled over 129 families in health insurance. We have increased our outreach to the Hispanic community by employing more bilingual staff and offering awareness programs and materials that focus on their needs. We’re also reaching out proactively to our community with a Community Paramedic Program, providing preventive care to patients in their homes. We are working with Fire on this program to maximize the use of local resources. We’ve also announced to the Ambulance Service District that we would jointly bid with Fire for the next contract to provide ambulance service in the county. By working together we can maximize our training and capabilities, while not increasing our cost to the taxpayer.

Many people were worried when hospital leaders and the Board of County Commissioners agreed to convert the hospital from a county operation to a private non-profit. As we have demonstrated, we have kept the doors open, increased the services we provide, continued to invest and improve in the building that the county still owns. We publish operational statistics and community reports on our website for public review. Our IRS-990 (think of that as the 1040 tax form that a non-profit files) is now complete and will be posted on our website. On that form, you’ll see a list of TVHC’s charitable expenditures that have been made on behalf of our community.

Teton Valley Hospital first opened its doors May 7th 1939. Seventy-five years later, we have a terrific facility, great staff and a strong, supportive community.

Thank you for continuing to show the spirit that built TVHC so many years ago. As always, we welcome comments and suggestions. Please reach out to me at kgnagey@tvhcare.org or 208-354-6355.

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