Open house at the Valley View Hospital Cancer Center | PostIndependent.com
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Open house at the Valley View Hospital Cancer Center

Kim Doose

Connie Wilmot and her four brothers and sisters would have been grateful for a local oncology unit years ago when their mother and aunt were both diagnosed with breast cancer.

Wilmot, who is the materials management coordinator at the Valley View Hospital Cancer Center, gave tours this past Thursday at the open house reception for the hospital’s cancer center.

The center will provide treatment from a patient’s perspective ” with care and compassion as well as having leading oncologists on board who can administer advanced cancer treatment in a comfortable atmosphere.

“The purpose is to heal, and everything is part of that process,” Wilmot said.

That includes the interior design of the center, which has a warm, livable atmosphere with its low lighting and soft, muted colors.

Each treatment room has a plasma TV and a plush, sea green chair that converts to an exam table. Pictures of clouds and blue skies are made into light fixtures and patchwork quilts and vivid paintings hang on creamy, beige walls while double-blinded windows permit privacy or a view.

Another amenity to the center is that its proximity to neighboring towns will allow patients to get treatment close to home and for friends and families to participate in the healing process.

“What has impressed me is the visionary leadership at Valley View Hospital,” said Bill Williams, who is a retired health-care executive.

While The Valley View Hospital Foundation raised more than $160,000 for the expansion of the Cancer Center, the hospital integrated smart business principles into the daily operation of the center including a progressive approach toward having the newest systems and technologies on site.

Pyxis, an automated medication and supply management system, is an example of that.

“It’s made a huge impact here,” Wilmot said. It ensures accounting of all patient charges; tracks inventory levels; and helps nurses control the medication supply, which reduces the chance of errors.

The cancer center is also affiliated with the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Denver, which is a substantial achievement for a small town.

“We aren’t that little community we were 50 years ago, but we still are at heart,” Wilmot said.

Donations from businesses and individuals made the endeavor a reality. As well, many Valley View Hospital employees made personal contributions to the center.

“It’s still our little wonderful community that built our cancer center.”

From her own experience, Wilmot knows the center will undoubtedly earn the gratitude of countless families in the valley.

“This is us; this is all of us,” she said.

From left, Dr. Tomasso, of Glenwood, is a gastroenterologist; Lori Santandrea, of Glenwood, is a surgical nurse at Valley View Hospital; and Frank McSwain, of Basalt, is executive director of the Valley View Hospital Foundation.

From left, Bill Williams, of Glenwood, a retired health-care executive; Kathy Williams; and Mary Steinbrecher, of Glenwood, chairwoman of the Valley View Hospital Foundation.

From left, Marianne Ackerman, of Glenwood, is a broker and co-owner at the Property Shop; M.J. Derkash, of Glenwood, works at SDS Mortgage; Barbara Jones is a Valley View Hospital Auxiliary member; and Asa Jones is co-owner of Glenwood Insurance and a Valley View Hospital Foundation Board member.

From left, Rosie McSwain, of Basalt; Phyllis Zilm, a physical therapist at Valley View Hospital; and Annie Johnson, of Silt Mesa, an oncology nurse at the Valley View Hospital Cancer Center.

From left, Nancy Schreiner, of Silt, is director of the Valley View Hospital Cancer Center; Jane Gentilini, of Glenwood, works part time at Mona Lisa; and Wayne Gentilini, of Glenwood, is general sales manager at Glenwood Springs Ford.

From left, Luana Olson, of Glenwood, is a surgical nurse; Nancy Reinisch, of Glenwood, is a social worker; and Michele Diamond, of Carbondale, works at WestStar Bank.

Marilyn Rippy, left, of Glenwood, and Hank Bosco, also of Glenwood. Bosco was on the board of trustees when Valley View was built in 1955.

The Our Towns page is expanding its reach to include coverage of anniversary and birthday parties, class reunions, engagements, wedding showers and other special events readers would like to share with the community.

The page was launched in 1998 at the old Glenwood Independent with the intent to have a weekly society page that would feature locals taking part in memorable and worthwhile causes for the community.

More than 300 columns later, the page continues to be one of the most popular features in the newspaper and like the area it covers, it too continues to evolve.

Now, interspersed between community celebrations and fund-raisers, will be articles and photos that highlight the stories and special moments of the people who make this valley so unique.

If you have an upcoming event and would like to be considered for a page, please call Our Towns reporter Kim Doose at 945-8515, ext. 109, or send an e-mail to kdoose@postindependent.com.


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