The Utah Office of Primary Care and Rural Health has announced that Gov. Gary Herbert will declare Nov. 12-18, 2017, as Rural Health Week.

The purpose of Rural Health Week is to celebrate all of the activities being carried out around the state to improve the health of rural Utahns. Moab Regional Hospital is one of 11 Critical Access Hospitals in the state of Utah. A Critical Access Hospital is a designation by the federal government that’s designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to health care by keeping essential services in rural communities.

Moab Regional Hospital (MRH) officials said they are proud to serve the members of Moab and Grand County by continually working to improve operations and open new service lines. In alignment with its mission and values, MRH has projected that it will provide $4.7 million in uncompensated care in 2017, primarily to the residents of Grand County. Uncompensated care includes charity care, bad debt and uninsured patient discounts.

MRH serves the growing community by delivering an average of 100 babies annually and also providing obstetric and primary care services with eight family practice providers.

On Jan. 1, Moab Family Medicine merged with Moab Regional Hospital to create better health-care stability for local residents. Along with primary care services, Moab Regional Hospital hosts a variety of visiting specialists. In 2017, MRH added two podiatrists and a gynecologist to its growing list of visiting providers, and is also looking to add a urologist by the end of November. In addition, MRH is working on bringing in specialists in dermatology. General surgery and orthopedics are available full time at MRH for community members.

As a nonprofit hospital, MRH uses a community health needs assessment to help drive growth and expansion to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the community.

In 2017, MRH began its Addiction Medicine Clinic in response to the community need for substance abuse services as highlighted in the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment carried out by The National Rural Health Resource Center. The Addiction Medicine Clinic currently serves patients with opioid addiction or opioid dependency. The clinic is staffed by a specialized team, including physicians with suboxone waivers, a medical assistant, and a social worker.

On Sept. 1, MRH opened Moab Regional Urgent Care, which is an after-hours alternative to the Emergency Room for acute, non-life-threatening medical issues. Hospital officials said that Urgent Care has proven to be utilized even more than what was originally anticipated by both visitors to Moab and community members alike.