By Vanessa Kahin
Roswell Regional Hospital is now officially Lovelace Regional Hospital-Roswell.
The signs of the official name changes and ribbon cutting were everywhere Thursday evening at LRH: A packed parking lot; the smell of delicious hors d’oeuvres, live music and the spirited chatter of guests. All seemed to point to one undeniable truth, Lovelace Health System has acquired the hospital for good.
“It’s a very, very exciting day,” said Ron Stern, CEO of Lovelace Health System. He said the ceremony was an introduction between the newly named hospital and the community. Ben Slocum, CEO of Lovelace Health Plan, to which LHS is a parent company, said guests included politicians, physicians, the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, employees and customers.
“We’ve been so embraced by the community,” Slocum said. “Everyone’s so happy that Lovelace is here.” Slocum mentioned several expansions the hospital has undergone, including a recent increase in emergency room space. Soon, a Medicare Advantage Program will be introduced for area senior citizens.
“It is a big deal for us to bring that here,” Slocum said of the program, which he said is scheduled to begin January 2013.
Dawn Tschabrun, the hospital’s chief operating officer and its chief nursing officer, was instrumental in adding an emergency room fast track for patients. She was particularly glad for the Lovelace Regional Hospital Family and Urgent Care Clinic, yet another addition to the medical care that Lovelace will provide to the community.
In May, June and July, individuals can go to the clinic, located on North Main Street, on Saturday, and get a free screening to check their weight, body mass index and vital signs. Those with abnormal tests results will be asked to consult their regular physicians or go to the clinic for follow up.
Tschabrun said such screenings are crucial, as they may detect cardiovascular disease or diabetes, medical conditions with serious consequences if left untreated.
Clinic hours are Saturday from 10am to 6pm.
Tschabrun said continued grow of the Lovelace System means a continued ability “to serve the community in which we live. It’s about the patients, that is why we are here.”
Mayor Del Jurney concurred. “It’s good to see that Lovelace has an interest and a plan for a community the size of Roswell,” Jurney said. “It’s nice to see a company that is prepared to make an investment in Roswell and expand what they provide.”
The 77,000 square foot 26-bed facility was sold to Lovelace in a sale transaction that was finalized Feb. 2. Lovelace Regional Hospital-Roswell is the first Lovelace facility in southeast New Mexico.