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A Letter from Dr. Kellie Turner MD, Pioneers Chief of Medical Staff

Dear Community Members,

All of the team at Pioneers Medical Center takes COVID-19 very seriously.  We put a No Visitor policy in place, to protect patients, staff and community members. But there is much more to mitigating the COVID-19 virus.

We are learning that people infect by this virus starts slow and then explodes and has the potential to overwhelm hospitals, limiting their ability to adequately care for the surge of the severely sick. It is important that we all work together to conquer this disease.

Pioneers is working at a fevered pace to implement additional measures:

  • Starting Monday March 23, 2020 we will have a drive through Respiratory Clinic available for illnesses such as sore throat, runny nose, fever, sinus pressure, ear aches, etc.
    This is NOT a COVID testing site.
  • Pioneers Emergency Department is open 24/7, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath and unmanageable fever please call our Emergency Department, before you come to the ER.
  • Or Call 911 if in Respiratory Distress. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing) Please tell dispatch that you are experiencing COVID-type symptoms.
  • If you are experiencing non-life threatening symptoms, please contact Meeker Family Health center at 970-878-4014, during normal business hours.

For everyone’s safety Pioneers has place some restrictions:

  • Meeker Family Health Center has suspended Medicare Annual Wellness visits.
  • Elective surgeries have also been suspended.
  • The Physical Therapy area is restricted and asking community members to suspend their workouts at Pioneers.

Pioneers and Meeker Family Health Center remain open.

  • Physical Therapy continues to see therapy patients.
  • Are you needing a copy of your medical records? Please call Tammy McCann at 970-878-9267.
  • Are you trying to pay a bill? The Pioneers Patient Financial Services is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 970-878-9792. At this time we recommend calling before coming on site to Pioneers to pay a bill.
    • Ask for Jasmine Mlakar (970-878-9792). We can take credit/debit cards, or E-checks over the phone.
  • If you are registered in the Patient Portal you can pay on line at
  • If you insist on paying your bill on-site at Pioneers PLEASE call Jasmine Mlaker first.

We need your help.  As a community we have to commit to having great personal hygiene and social distancing practices.  As of today, March 21, 2020 we have not had a confirmed case in Rio Blanco County and that may lull us into complacency.  As the Pioneers Medical Director, I ask everyone to do their part.

Personal Hygiene:

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.

    Social Distancing:

    • Don’t shake hands. Instead, bump fists or elbows.
    • When possible, increase distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread.
    • Consider postponing whether to take a trip or attend public gatherings.
    • Discourage children and teens from gathering in large groups and public places. (Small groups doing outdoor activities would be better.)

      I have seen our community rise to the occasion, whether it is a community member in distress or wild fires and general hard times.  This is no different and I know we will get through this if we all work together.

      Last, I want to give a heartfelt thank you the team at Rio Blanco County; they too are working day and night to help our community.

      Dr. Kellie Turner
      Pioneers Chief of Medical Staff

       Why are we doing this?

      We have implemented these precautionary measures to manage and mitigate the spread.  We recognize that our community will be impacted in some capacity and we apologize.

      Pioneers is committed to following the CDC and CDPHE guidelines to take these extra precautions.  Additionally, we feel these measures will help keep the Walbridge Wing Residents safer.

      Other Resources:

      Rio Blanco County Public Health 

      Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

      10 Things you can do to care for yourself at home


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