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Reaching out to out-of-area grads

March 05, 2014

Outpatient reevaluations are a valuable extension of Craig Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation program. Patients with spinal cord injury require regular follow-up for maximum health, prevention of complications, and long term management of costs. Craig Hospital has held outreach clinics since 1980, in a few regional cities with large Craig grad populations, to ensure outpatients with spinal cord injuries receive necessary follow-up care.

“In a world where healthcare is shrinking, the ability of these clinics to provide services to the spinal cord injury community is invaluable,” said Becky Knowles, Craig Hospital’s Outpatient Clinical Care Management Social Security/Resource Coordinator.

Originally a grant funded program, the outreach clinics became a vital resource for Craig grads that may not be able to make it back to the Denver area for a reevaluation. The program has become an important part of Craig’s outreach and is now included in the annual budget.

Xiu Acosta, RN, and patient Irene Marquez at an outreach clinic in Pueblo, CO.

The clinics are held in Grand Junction and Pueblo, Colorado and Casper, Wyoming. A Craig team made up of a physician, nurse or nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, physical therapist and a social worker visit each location.

“It gives them (patients) the opportunity to receive support and recommendations from our clinical staff that they may not get through other avenues,” said Knowles.

The appointments typically last about an hour and include wound checks, and equipment assessments. If a patient looks like they need more help, they might be scheduled for a re-evaluation at Craig.

One of the most amazing things about the outreach clinics is the appointments are free.

Oveta Clark (patient’s mother), Retired Craig Physician Dr. Shih-Fong Hsu, MD, and patient Nicole Clark

“People are always shocked to find out there is no cost,” said Knowles. “It’s how Craig Hospital has always been. We are in a position to help patients have the best life they can. What better way is there than to do community outreach?”

The three clinics are organized yearly by Craig’s Clinical Care Management team.

Outreach Clinic Dates:

  • Casper, Wyoming: July 11, 12, contact Kathy Hulse LCSW (303) 789-8337
  • Grand Junction, CO: September 11, 12, contact Becki Bushnell MSW (303) 789-8335
  • Pueblo, CO: Date TBD, contact: Kay Brandt, MA (303) 789-8411