GVH financials show signs of improvement going into 2013
Written by Alissa Johnson   
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Looking for ways to expand services at GVH

Year-end financials at Gunnison Valley Hospital (GVH) show the hospital moving in the right direction: compared to reported losses in April of last year, which hit $684,000, year-end financials showed a loss of $121,756. The health system overall posted a positive margin of $522,117, and hospital management hopes to carry that momentum into 2013.


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The hospital’s new CEO, Rob Santilli, is stressing the importance of moving into the New Year with a comprehensive plan to continue financial improvements, and maintain quality healthcare in the valley.
“Year-end results show that area residents and visitors are choosing GVH for care and that we’re doing better than other area hospitals in meeting their expectations for service,” Santilli said. “This is great news, and yet in today’s environment we can’t take anything for granted. Our goal will be to earn the trust of the community, one patient at a time, until we are thought of as the first choice for health services by everyone in the valley.”
A hospital comparison published on the Medicare website showed 88 percent of respondents said GVH nurses and doctors always communicated well; 81 percent said they would recommend the hospital. By contrast, regional hospitals like Montrose Memorial Hospital and Grand Junction’s St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center scored in the 70s and low 80s.
Santilli wants to continue that positive track record as well as bring more services to the valley. He believes financial stability will come with improving hospital processes and expanding access to care.
To that end, the hospital is adopting a two-pronged approach: implementing an action plan developed with the help of Community Hospital Consulting, and developing a vision for the hospital’s future.
According to chief marketing and business development officer Michelle Campbell, the action plan addresses procedures such as turnaround between patients in the operating department, and how efficiently patients are admitted to and discharged from the emergency department.
“The action plan is how we’re going to be able to sustain the gains we got done in the last part of 2012, and move those things into 2013,” Campbell said.
What Campbell and Santilli are calling a visioning process will help them develop a road map for the hospital’s future. “Overall we want to evaluate the services we have—how can we keep them in the community, and identify where is it we can expand services?” Santilli said.
Some expansions are already under development, like a plastic surgeon, who will provide plastic surgery and reconstructive services. But Santilli wants to be strategic about how the hospital services the community, and during a February retreat with management, chiefs of staff will begin determining where the hospital will go over the next five years.
Santilli explained, “That retreat is really designed around the aspect of strategic planning and what we refer to the visioning process—Where do we want to see GVH go in the future?—and with that, start developing a business plan around that vision.”
The goal is to paint a picture of the services GVH could provide over the next five years and create roadmaps to get there. That plan—and progress—can then be evaluated on an annual basis.
That visioning process began with two groups of hospital staff, an employee advisory committee and the leadership team. According to Campbell, both groups were asked to weigh in on hospital strengths and how they want to see the hospital grow. That input will be included in the retreat with the board of trustees.
“This is all a collaborative process,” Santilli said. “The way it works best is when the people understand what it is we want to be. They help define it, create it, and have the enthusiasm and passion for what it can be. They’re the individuals who are going to make it happen.”