Community Hospital pays it forward with donations

Chris Thomas

Community Hospital in Grand Junction has donated masks and other personal protective equipment to help other organizations and businesses in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

The hospital donated more than 300 masks to the Mesa County Emergency Operations Center for distribution to the homeless. The hospital also has donated gear to Colorado Mesa University, HopeWest,  Nuclear Care Partners and others.

Chris Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Community Hospital, said the donations were made possible by an outpouring of support the hospital has received during the outbreak.

“For the past several weeks, we have received over 2,000 donated community made cloth masks from members of the community spanning from Clifton to Fruita as well as the surrounding communities,” Thomas said. “These were originally intended for our essential staff working at the hospital and our outside clinics. But because we have received such a large quantity from people wanting to help, we knew this was our opportunity to pay it forward.”

Community Hospital also has expanded telemedicine services to allow patients to meet remotely with health care providers, Thomas said.

“Telemedicine is something that we have offered for many years both in our clinical settings and at the hospital, but COVID-19 has certainly underscored the importance of this additional health care resource for our patients,” he said.

It remains safe, though, for patients to come to physicians’ offices and the hospital, Thomas said.

The hospital has implemented additional safety measures to keep patients, providers, staff and visitors safe during the outbreak, he said. Everyone who enters the hospital is screened, staff is required to wear masks and regular and vigorous cleaning occurs throughout the facility.

People are encouraged to call their health care providers or the emergency department before coming to facilities.

Hospitals have seen a decline in-patient visits during the coronavirus outbreak, and there are growing concerns people are foregoing medical treatments, even in emergency situations, Thomas said.