Working for a Healthier Prowers County

PMC CEO Craig Loveless and Justin Lee, Prowers County Director of Public Health & Environment

The Thursday, October 25 Prowers County Commissioners meeting focused on health oriented issues, with the continuation of IGAs, Intergovernmental agreements between the Prowers County Health Department and Kiowa, Baca and Bent Counties.

Justin Lee, new Director of the Prowers County Health and Environment Department, and Keith Siemsen, Environmental Health Manager, explained that the agreements are principally unchanged for the health services Prowers County will provide for another year to these communities. Under the guidelines established in the original IGA, Prowers County Health will offer advice, consultation and direction for food management and handling as well as area hog farm operations.

Craig Loveless, CEO for Prowers Medical Center briefed the commissioners on the training hospital employees are receiving for the telemedicine equipment, credential procedures and department services. “The area we’re focusing on first is neurology,” Loveless explained, saying, “The next area is behavioral health, where we’re working with Southeast Mental Health Services.” Loveless said that the younger generation is more comfortable using internet and camera related equipment, when it comes to discussing personal mental health issues. Loveless said recent strategic planning meetings indicated the area has a need for at least two full time psychiatrists, and at present there are none. The CEO said it was unfortunate, but there is a growing need among our youth for professionals who can deal with depression and associated mental issues.

Loveless explained the recent revisions to the hospital’s collection policy for bills and noted that a search for a general surgeon at the hospital will continue, as one doctor had decided to decline a previous offer. Loveless said the temporary surgeon, however, has been well received for his recent work, and a search is also continuing for family practice doctors at Prowers Medical Center.

In other action, the Prowers County Commissioners approved renewal of a 3.2 beer license for Ports to Plains Travel Plaza, approved Underground and Utility Permits for Esma Ann Sue Archer and, as corrected, for Vine Laboratories, Inc, approved ratifying a letter of support for Bent County’s Health Impact Project Proposal for Ft. Lyon to become a Facility Food Hub, and approved adding a utility truck for the Bristol Fire Department to the Prowers County Fleet, pending sale of vehicles now used by the Bristol Department.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyFeaturedHealthLamar


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