Perhaps the easiest way to capsulize progress in the Rim country is to simply cast an appreciative eye toward Payson Regional Medical Center.
"The year 2001 was tremendously successful for us," hospital CEO Russell Judd said. "We continued to upgrade the medical facilities available to Payson residents by completing construction of the new Med/Surg and OB/Women's Services wings, and by purchasing several large pieces of medical equipment.
"Additionally, we recruited three much-needed family practice physicians and physician's assistants to the community. Our volume of admissions, surgeries and births were up, too. It was a banner year," Judd said.
PRMC's chief 2001 accomplishment was the completion of a $5.1 million addition which includes two patient-care wings, a new surgical unit that's been in use since Oct. 31, and a remodeled kitchen that opened its doors Jan. 16 of 2002.
One new wing houses additional medical-surgical beds, while the other wing houses a beautiful and spacious obstetrics and women's services department which went into action Dec. 12. Within the older section of the hospital, the former kitchen and dining room have been renovated and other areas converted to administrative offices.
The additions are part of a commitment made by Payson Regional Medical Center's parent company, Community Health Systems, when it acquired the hospital four years ago. The medical services most recently added or coming soon to the PRMC menu include:
A brand-new family birthing center staffed by qualified nurses who are committed to delivering a continuum of care that includes personalized service from beginning to end.
The Sleep Disorders Center, in which patients are tested for various sleep-related problems such as chronic insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and sleepwalking. The tests painless and covered by most insurances are conducted in a home-like patient bedroom, ensuring a comfortable and quiet night.
The Diabetes Patient Education Program, where patients can learn to take control of and manage their diabetes.
Two new options for breast cancer stereotactic breast biopsy and sentinel node biopsy that are less invasive and can aid women in early diagnosis and substantially improve chances for survival.
Infant hearing tests, which are vital for the early detection and treatment of infant hearing deficits and which can prevent learning disabilities which otherwise may never be overcome.
New equipment and services in diagnostic imaging. In 2001, Payson Regional Medical Center upgraded its current equipment by adding digital fluoroscopy, a mobile stereotactic breast biopsy service and a new nuclear camera capable of doing PET studies.
PRMC's new MRI, scheduled to arrive by June 2002, is a high-field magnet with many more imaging capabilities than the present unit. It will enable PRMC to perform MR angiogram studies, and will be capable of imaging vessels of the brain, neck, thorax, abdomen and extremities in much-improved detail.
Healing Hearts, a comprehensive program which targets cardiac problems through care offered at PRMC and outreach activities in our community.
A new swing bed program offers beds designated for sub-acute or step-down patients.
PRMC is the only hospital-based home health agency in the area and provides nursing care, disease management education, pain control and family support for terminal-care patients, newborn and infant assessment and care, social services, community education and support groups.
In addition to donating $188,000 in 2001 for charity care for patients who were not able to afford medical care, PRMC made local contributions in excess of $14,000, including numerous in-kind donations.
PRMC now includes 66 beds, a 24-hour emergency and trauma center, ambulatory service department, laboratory facilities, four operating suites, a recovery unit, and provides medical consultation by phone or radio to 12 medical providers in Payson and the surrounding area.
"We are exited about the possibilities in 2002," Judd said. "We will be hosting a dedication ceremony in May to celebrate the recent opening of the new Med/Surg and OB/Women's Services wings. Also, we will break ground on a new medical building and look forward to Main Street being extended from the Beeline Highway to the hospital.
"In 2002, PRMC will continue to grow to meet the health care needs of our community."