Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Surviving Flood, Isolated Hospital Braces for Winter

Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Surviving Flood, Isolated Hospital Braces for Winter

Article excerpt

The torrential rains and flash flooding that severely damaged parts of Colorado only two months ago may seem like ancient history. But for the staff who are trying to keep Estes Park Medical Center operating efficiently and whose lives have been disrupted, every day is a reminder.

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Severe rains in September forced part of Estes Park to evacuate, and washed out large stretches of most roads that lead into town, causing the hospital to get creative with basic needs for staff.

One road into Estes Park remains drivable, but it is a circuitous route down the mountain that turns a 45-minute trip into a few hours for patients who need additional care at hospitals in the larger towns of Longmont and Loveland and for staff who live there, says Bobbi Swenson, interim CEO at the medical center.

Estes Park, with a population of about 12,000, is located at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park. There's no local airport, but there is a helipad at the hospital when a chopper becomes available to transfer patients to larger hospitals in towns down the mountainside. …

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