The following is a news release from Granite County Medical Center:
Granite County Medical Center is the proud recipient of a “Critical Access Hospital Recognition” award from the National Health Resource Center (The Center). The hospital was recognized for demonstrating excellence and innovation in the area of community engagement, in their development of a dental clinic.
Key to the award was the hospital’s use of a Community Health Needs Assessment, funded by the Montana Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) grant and conducted by the Montana Office of Rural Health. In the assessment, county residents identified dental services as a top priority for the county.
The need for dental services was then parlayed into the first dental clinic in the county, in more than a decade. Along the way, the clinic has (1) won two successful grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration, (2) built a two-chair dental clinic to professional standard, and (3) grown days of service and staff.
The Critical Access Hospital Recognition award was established by The Center and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) to recognize the excellent work of critical access hospitals throughout the country. The recognition promotes excellence and innovation and honors the achievements and results of CAHs, while publicizing successful strategies.
This year, five CAHs across the nation were chosen for recognition. “This year’s recipients embody both outstanding commitment to their communities and meaningful innovation,” said Terry Hill, Executive Director of The Center. “They demonstrate that rural hospitals can lead the way in the rapidly changing health care industry.”
Health care delivered in rural communities is affordable, high quality, and necessary to the good health of the entire community. “At Granite County Medical Center, we are committed to engaging and communicating with patients, partners, and the communities we serve,” said Daniel Boatman, hospital CEO. “Through such communications, the dental clinic was identified as a much-needed resource. It continues to grow as an essential health care service for the residents of Granite County.”
“The establishment of dental health services at Granite County Medical Center is an excellent example of how a small community can draw on a number of resources to improve health care services for its residents,” said Carol Bischoff, MT Flex Director.