As board chair of Southwest Health System, Inc., I was interested in the results of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study recently published in the Journal that ranked Montezuma County near the bottom of our state in terms of overall health.
At Southwest Memorial Hospital, our mission is to promote, improve, and restore health to the citizens of our community. But even with an outstanding team of physicians, nurses, professional staff, and advanced equipment, we can only support optimal health to the degree that individuals are willing to take an active role in their own well-being. The primary care physician to population ratio was only one measure out of 27 in the RWJF study.
To address the physician shortage that was raised in a recent Journal editorial and the question of the week in Saturdays paper, SWMH is continually recruiting primary care doctors, OB/GYNs, hospitalists, and mid-level practitioners. We employ physicians at two clinics, an orthopedic practice, the new urgent care center, and at the hospital. Private practice physicians are also recruiting, and we support their efforts with logistical and financial support, to the degree allowed by law.
Our challenge is not generally retaining physicians once theyre here, but rather in initially attracting them to our rural (low paying) community. Recruiting physicians is a costly undertaking that requires focused effort. We invite everyone in the community to help us with recruiting. Put the word out to your network of friends and relatives that Montezuma County is a great place to live, and tell them were looking for doctors. Inquire about joining the hospital or district board. Make a donation the SWMH Foundation. Working together, we can maintain a local, high-quality health care system. Taking individual responsibility of our own wellness, we can improve the overall health statistics for our county.
Southwest Health System, Inc.