new facility

About Us

Southwest Health System (SHS) operates Southwest Memorial Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital and Southwest Medical Group which is comprised of clinics offering primary care and specialty services. Southwest Memorial Hospital was originally opened to care for our community in 1914.   SHS offers the latest in medical and surgical technology, emergency care, a vast array of out-patient medical and wellness services.

SHS is managed by CHC Community Hospital Consulting (CHC Consulting), the management and consulting arm of Community Hospital Corporation (CHC) of Plano, Texas. “We continue to bring our expertise in hospital management and talent in critical areas of hospital operations to strengthen SHS,” said CHC’s Senior Vice President of Hospital Operations Craig Sims. CHC Consulting began managing SHS on July 1, 2018.

CHC Consulting specializes in the management and operation of smaller, community-based hospitals across the country.

The Southwest Health System board usually convenes on the fourth Wednesday of each month.  For specific dates, please review the Calendar of Events. The public is invited to attend the open portion of the meetings.

The CEO of the hospital is appointed by and reports to the board of directors, and is employed  by Community Hospital Corporation. The CEO appoints and manages the health system through members of the Senior Leadership Team, including the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer and the Practice Administrator.  Their information can be viewed here

Southwest Health System is fully accredited by DNV Healthcare. 


Our Boards

The Montezuma County Hospital District (MCHD) and the Southwest Health System, Inc. (SHS) Boards of Directors work together to provide healthcare to the community.

Southwest Health System

Southwest Health System, Inc. was established in 1996 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. The Board of Directors is appointed in December of each year at the annual meeting. The issues that remain the same and continue to add value to the Hospital through the formation of Southwest Health System, Inc. are, in part, as follows:

  • As a non-governmental entity, SHS can operate in other states such as Utah, New Mexico and Arizona which are in our service area but outside the Hospital District boundaries
  • SHS has the ability to enter into agreements to provide service with private businesses and individuals
  • SHS can act quickly to secure goods and services outside the requirement to obtain competitive bids
  • As a private corporation it does not operate under the Sunshine Law
  • As a private corporation it need not be concerned with its activities regarding the Dillon Rule
  • SHS allows a more flexible operating model for health care providers
  • Recruitment of physicians can be accomplished in a private setting since board members can meet with potential candidates without the need to call a special meeting of the board
  • Strategies to increase market share can be discussed privately in order to gain a competitive edge

Montezuma County Hospital District

The Montezuma County Hospital District was formed in 1975 enabling it to collect tax dollars for facilities and construction, and to provide quality health care for our community.

The Montezuma County Hospital District is a political subdivision of the State of Colorado governed by Statute and operating under Constitutional constraints. In 1995 the Hospital Administration and the Montezuma County Hospital District Board of Directors investigated the formation of a non-governmental hospital entity that could operate the hospital in a much less restricted environment and could be both competitive and diverse. The Board of Directors recognized limitations they operated under with regards to then-current hospital industry changes and our actual service area that encompassed much more that just Montezuma County.

MCHD Board decided to establish a not-for-profit corporation completely separate from the Hospital District. They would lease the hospital facility known as Southwest Health System, Inc and are involved in construction and facilities management for the organization.

Learn more about the Montezuma County Hospital District at the Montezuma County Hospital District Website

Why have two boards?

The health system and community benefit by having both the Hospital District and Southwest Health System involved in providing quality health care facilities and operational oversight.

Additional benefits are:

  • Provide funding for necessary expansion projects at the lowest possible cost
  • Operate the hospital as a private enterprise, in a very competitive environment, without the limitations of a Governmental Hospital
  • Use taxes collected by MCHD to purchase medical equipment at the hospital which would benefit the community
  • SHS can move rapidly to develop strategies to increase market share which might involve agreements to provide health services with a private business or physician group
  • MCHD as a Governmental agency and SHS as a not-for-profit corporation have access to various grants and funding not available to both. This increases the chances of finding funds for health care
  • Tax revenues collected by MCHD are available to help other medical endeavors
  • Shared oversight of quality health care for our community

Contact us for more information about opportunities to become involved with both boards! Email contact@swhealth.org to learn about board openings and elections.


Southwest Health System Board of Directors

  • Tom Rice, Chairman
  • Terry Cook, Vice-Chairperson
  • Dan Valverde, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Shirley Jones, Director
  • Steve Fusco, Director
  • Cody Burke, Director

Economic Impact

As the operating entity for Southwest Memorial Hospital, several clinics, and related health care programs, Southwest Health System is an important piece of Montezuma County’s health and economic life.

Learn more about economic development in the latest report from Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado 2017 Region 9 Economic Development Report

SHS provides approximately 350 jobs and $100 million in earnings throughout Montezuma County.

Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

Effective with tax years beginning after March 23, 2012, each 501(c)(3) not-for-profit hospital, like Southwest Memorial Hospital, is required to conduct a Community Health Need Assessment (CHNA) at least once every three taxable years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community needs identified through the assessment.

In subsequent years, with the annual filing of Form 990 required for all 501(c)(3) organizations, Southwest Memorial will report on its implementation efforts.

Southwest Health System will also continue to post previous versions of a CHNA as they become available in the future.

To view or download copies of the most recent Community Health Needs Assessments, click here.

If you would like a printed copy of any documents, free of charge, please contact Executive Administration at 970-565-6666.