Thanksgiving Message from CEO Tony Sudduth 2019

Click here to watch a thanksgiving message from CEO Tony Sudduth. Have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday!

SHS Offers Family Sharps Disposal Program

More than 7.8 billion needles are used each year by the 13.5 million people in the US who self-inject medications outside of a healthcare setting. The number of drugs injected at home continues to grow, and the use of sharps in the home highlights the significant challenges of where and how to dispose of them and the dangers it poses to those who perform refuse collection in our community.

Southwest Health System has implemented a free “Family Sharps Disposal Program”. SHS is a designated residential sharps disposal location in which empty sharps containers can be picked up from Southwest Health System Retail Pharmacy at 1311A North Mildred Road, (in the physician offices building) Monday through Friday 8:30am to 6:00pm and returned for disposal at the same location when full. This program alleviates safety concerns with the City of Cortez and other residential trash disposal companies as there has not been a designated disposal site in our community previously meaning many of the “sharps” were being disposed of through regular, residential trash pickup.

After discussions with Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek, SHS CEO Tony Sudduth gave approval to SHS Chief Nursing Officer Karen Labonte, Pharmacy Director and Infection Control Officer Marc Meyer, and EVS Director LeeAnn Owens to develop a plan to set up the program, procure the containers and prepare a disposal budget.

Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek said, “The city is pleased to be partnering with the hospital on this program. Our thanks to hospital management and staff for their willingness to address this issue and their prompt response in coming up with a solution. Now that there is a safe way for households to dispose of needles, I encourage every family to take advantage of this program. This will eliminate potential injury to city and county refuse handlers and will help keep hazardous biowaste out of our land fill.”

SHS Pharmacy Director Marc Meyer agreed, “Where can needles be disposed of is probably the number one question infection control gets on a weekly basis here at the hospital. I’m so excited we have been able to put together the Family Sharps Disposal Program, from an infection prevention standpoint. This could be key in keeping family sharps waste out of our landfill and properly placed in a medical waste facility. It certainly makes it easy, safe and cost-effective for individuals to dispose of syringes.” SHS is pleased that the state of Colorado has authorized us to provide this service to the community.

We are excited to offer this service to improve sharps safety in our community and assist the community with a safe, affordable, and convenient way to dispose of syringes. Any questions regarding the program, please call 970-564-2280.

SHS announces Rick Shrader as permanent CFO


Cortez, CO- Southwest Health System (SHS) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Rick Shrader as permanent Chief Financial Officer of Southwest Health System.

“Rick’s leadership over the past year as interim CFO has been instrumental in our very successful turn-around. He brings a depth of knowledge and experience that allowed him to immediately have an impact on the organization and will continue to do so as we progress forward,” said CEO Tony Sudduth.

Rick’s team-focused approach over the last year has advanced the financial stability of SHS, developed improved revenue cycle processes, recruited a new Accounting Director, and provided mentorship and expertise to his reports.

SHS Board Chair Tom Rice confirmed, “Rick has been a core leader behind Southwest Health System’s financial turnaround over the last 12 months. The board looks forward to his ongoing leadership as Chief Financial Officer with a focus on improving the hospital’s financial situation.”
Shrader has over 26 years of healthcare financial management experience. Rick has primarily worked as a CFO or Revenue Cycle senior leader and has owned a healthcare consulting company specializing in financial and operations management and revenue cycle from 2009 to 2012.  He has also worked for a healthcare real estate investment trust and has been in financial leadership roles for both proprietary and not-for-profit hospital organizations throughout his career.

Rick holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe: a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in History.  Rick and his wife, Kandice, reside in Venice, Florida with their 3 of their 5 children: Eric (20), Thomas (17) and Jeb (17). The Shrader family are sports enthusiasts and very active.