The new head boss of the Pikes Peak Regional Hospital (PPRH) is ready to hit the ground running in her new role in manning a 150-plus employee staff and overseeing a spree of services, while maintaining strong connections with the local community.
Contrary to past PPRH leaders, the new chief executive officer is a familiar face in local hospital circles, and a person with decades of experience in the complex health care arena.
“I am very excited,” said Kim Monjesky, the newly-named chief executive officer for the Pikes Peak Regional Hospital and Surgery Center. “This is a challenging role. I want to open up better lines of communications and stay focused on our strategy.”
As one of her primary goals, Monjesky wants to maintain strong connections with the local community, the PPRH board of trustees, and its operating health care company. She will maintain the hospital’s strong ties with the Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce, by serving on its board of directors. Also, Monjesky, and other key leadership have been involved with many local clubs and other service organizations in the area.
Her appointment marks the first time in the hospital’s recent history that the PPRH owners and board members opted to pick someone from within their own ranks in selecting a head boss. In the past, the chief executive officer was selected from outside the local region and even outside Colorado. “There was a lot of relief (among the staff),” admitted Monjesky, in describing this decision. In fact, she has served as the Interim CEO for PPRH since October, when the hospital leaders wanted to take a different direction.
For six years, she served as the chief financial officer for PPRH. And prior to her employment with PPRH, Monjesky worked with the St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo from 2004 to 2010, where she served as both the chief financial officer and vice-president of operations. In addition, Monjesky had extensive health care experience as CFO at a 500-bed facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma and prior to that, as Director of Finance at a 1,000-bed hospital in Tampa, Florida.
The new PPRH CEO is quite attuned to the challenges she faces in her new role and adapting to the many changes in the health care industry. She sports more than 30 years of experience in this field that has undergone dramatic changes in the last few years, especially with the Affordable Health Care Act.
Monjesky understands the hospital operations from both a financial and service-oriented standpoint. Plus, she is well versed in the nuances of the local community, living in Teller County for the last 12 years. “I love the outdoors and this area,” admitted Monjesky, who is married and has two children.
Promoting Hospital Services
One hurdle the new hospital CEO faces is to continue educating local residents about the multitude of services and amenities available at the hospital and through its primary care physicians.
Unfortunately some residents still have the misconception that they must head down to Colorado Springs for a medical procedure or a surgery, when this cost-effective service is available in their backyard and without having to undergo huge waits and delays.
“We are known for our quality of services, our professional staff of caregivers, as well as the many conveniences we offer,” said Monjesky. “We plan to continue to emphasize that.”
Through her role with the WP chamber and other organizations, the new hospital chief executive wants to convey the message that residents can take advantage of a wealth of health care services, minutes away, in a modern, state-of-the-art facility.
She concedes that hospital operators are starting to get this message across to more and more people. “It is something we have worked very hard at to overcome. It doesn’t occur overnight but we remain focused on that goal,” said Monjesky.
The hospital also has undergone much growth since it opened its doors in October 2007.
PPRH now ranks as one of the biggest and most prominent employers in the Teller County/Ute Pass area. Its emergency room area bustles with much activity, breaking records every year. Last summer, the hospital’s ER center treated more than 720 patients per month at its peak period.
“People come into our ER for a wide variety of reasons,” admitted the PPRH head executive. With the area’s proximity to great outdoor areas, many people get hurt from cycling, hiking, skiing and ATV accidents, along with just bizarre falls and mishaps in the high country. Others do experience issues stemming from the higher altitude here in Teller County.
In addition, the area is now a prime spot for retirees and senior citizens, who often incur sudden ailments. And with the prospects of highway closures and certain natural disasters, such as the Waldo Canyon fires and floods, the hospital plays a vital role as a critical access center. It has done more preparatory exercises to deal with the inevitable reality: Patients not being able to be transported down the Ute Pass to a major mega hospital in Colorado Springs or even Denver.
The hospital also offers such specialized services as Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Laparoscopy and Trauma, and features a bevy of digital imaging services, facial plastic, reconstructive work, women’s health, laboratory services, orthopedics and rehabilitation offerings, along with having 15-private in-patient rooms. Altogether, PPRH offers more than 40 specialized services, according to hospital operators.
“We are continually reviewing new services that can help us meet the needs of our region,” said Monjesky. “If it makes sense and is part of our strategic plan, we will evaluate those opportunities.”
PPRH is now gearing up now to expand an existing service line. A group of ENT physicians (Ear, Nose and Throat) has approached the hospital about setting up a clinic and doing ENT surgeries and procedures at PPRH.
Another popular program is the hospital’s Senior Circle program, for seniors 55 plus. Senior Circle offers a variety of health related activities and special events for members. Membership has grown to over 500.
“We had gone through various stages of growth,” said the new hospital executive. Monjesky expects this trend to continue as PPRH embarks on yet another chapter of development under her new leadership.
For more information about the Pikes Peak Regional Hospital and Surgery Center and the services available, call 719-687-9999.