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Mon, July 15

Hospital in for the long haul
1 year after opening in Kingman, HMMC continues to grow

HMMC/courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Members of the Hualapai Mountain Medical Center staff celebrated the hospital’s first full year of operation with cake and ice cream last week. The hospital opened in Kingman on Oct. 15, 2009.

HMMC/courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Members of the Hualapai Mountain Medical Center staff celebrated the hospital’s first full year of operation with cake and ice cream last week. The hospital opened in Kingman on Oct. 15, 2009.

KINGMAN - Hualapai Mountain Medical Center celebrated its first full year of business last week. The 70-bed facility opened with much fanfaire on Oct. 15 last year. Staff celebrated with cake and ice cream this year. A public celebration is slated for Nov. 12.

"We continue to see a steady month-over-month increase in the number of emergency department visits, patients, procedures and diagnostic requests," said HMMC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Drew Markell.

"I think we've done a good job of becoming part of the community," said HMMC President and CEO Duane Scholer. The company has increasingly donated funds, awards, supplies, food and other items to local groups and events.

This last year, the hospital helped fund the sports programs at Kingman Unified School District middle schools, he said, and furnished food to Cornerstone Mission.

HMMC will also host a Halloween Costume Parade and pumpkin-decorating contest from 4 to 7 p.m. in the hospital's café on Friday, Oct. 29. For each pumpkin decorated, the hospital will donate $1 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Morrison, the food service provider for HMMC, has promised to match those donations.

The hospital opened its doors with a staff of 70 to 75 employees. That number has grown to 254 in the last year, and the hospital continues to hire and add more doctors, Scholer said.

The hospital is also now approved to provide care for residents on Arizona Health Choice and the Phoenix Health Plan, both of which provide healthcare services to residents on the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, he said. This has opened up a good portion of the community to receive outpatient services at HMMC.

People have a choice as to which hospital they can receive services at, Scholer said. There are no boundaries where a person that lives in one part of town must go to HMMC and someone living in another part of town must go to Kingman Regional Medical Center, he said.

The 30-minute-or-less time guarantee to be seen by a physician in the emergency department continues to succeed, Scholer said. He admitted that the hospital's given out a few movie tickets, but most people are seeing treatment start less than 30-minutes after they arrive.

A year from now, Scholer would like to see five additional doctors on staff, a new medical professional building next to the hospital and continued growth in the community and at the hospital.

The hospital may be under new management at that time, as well, he said. Medcath, the parent company of HMMC, continues to work with groups interested in purchasing the hospital, Scholer said.

"One thing we would like to dispel is the perception that if a sale doesn't go through, we'll close," said Markell. "We're not going anywhere. We're here for the long haul."

To visit the hospital, drive east on Airway Avenue and turn right onto Santa Rosa Drive. For more information on the Halloween festivities, call (928) 263-5000.

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