RGH receives recognition throughout October

Photos by Lyndsie Ferrell The Rio Grande Hospital Wellness Center is taking shape as the hospital is recognized for the Best of San Luis Valley and for the Rural Health Excellence Award through the Colorado Rural Health Center. Hospital CEO Arlene Harms was honored by the CRHC.

DEL NORTE — Several businesses throughout the San Luis Valley were notified through the Valley Courier that they had won this year’s Best of San Luis Valley awards and Rio Grande Hospital was the recipients of two awards. This was one of many recognitions the hospital received during the month of October.

According to Rio Grande Hospital Development and Communication Officer Eva Timberlake, the hospital was honored to receive such awards from their communities.

“Rio Grande Hospital received recognition for the Best Hospital in the San Luis Valley (SLV) for three years in a row. Wound care and pulmonary rehabilitation were also bestowed Best of SLV. So many good things are happening at the hospital, and we are honored by the recognition,” she said.

In addition to the Best of San Luis Valley awards, the Colorado Rural Health Center recently presented this year’s Rural Health Excellence award to hospital CEO Arlene Harms.

Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) recently presented the 2023 Rural Health Excellence Award to Rio Grande Hospital's CEO, Arlene Harms. The award is presented annually to an exemplary member of CRHC, who has made a notable contribution to healthcare in rural Colorado.

Michelle Mills, CEO of CRHC presented the award at the annual CRHC conference, describing Arlene as a champion for rural health care for many years and a trailblazer in health and wellness, most recently with her dream and ambition in bringing a wellness center to the community, based on the health concepts of the Blue Zones.

Timberlake also reported that construction on the new Wellness Center is well underway and on schedule for a spring opening. It is expected to be finished in 2024 and will be comprised of a community center where members of the community can come host meetings, meet for coffee or utilize resources offered by the center.

“It will be an intersection with our employees who can take their breaks there, there will be games, books and computers to use and also the other thing we want to do, is help our families that have members in the hospital. If they need the computer, they have access to one,” Timberlake said.

The center will also house a teaching kitchen so that families can come to learn how to cook healthy meals, a greenhouse and herb garden, an educational room, meditation room, access to the nearby trails and hiking as well as so much more.