Notice to Anthem Blue Cross / Blue Shield Patients

We have been experiencing issues with some patients being told by your insurance carrier that the healthcare providers at Southwest Medical Group are not in-network with their plan.  We are working to correct this miscommunication a quickly as possible.  Please reach call us at 970-565-8556 if you come across any of these issues and allow us to work with you and the team at Anthem BCBS to obtain authorization for care at SMG.

We value you as a patient and want to ensure that you continue to receive your care with us in the Southwest Health System.



2019 9Health Fair

For 2019, our theme is “Super 9Health Fair” because we’ve teamed up to provide health screenings and education for adults and children for the first time! Our fairs cover Montezuma and Dolores County at the following locations and dates:


Cortez – April 20th from 8am – 1pm @ MCHS

Dove Creek – April 6th

Mancos – April 13th

We offer comprehensive blood chemistry screenings. Talk to your doctor to learn about what screening is best for you.

9 health fair logo

Attend the fair:

We would love to have you participate, and there is no cost to you to have a booth in these events. Our ultimate goal is to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume greater responsibility for their own health. To do this, we collaborate with health care providers and volunteers to provide health screenings and interactive educational opportunities.

Registration for fair goers is online at or day-of the fair. We now accept credit cards online before the fair. You can select the blood chemistry screenings that you or your doctor would like to see.

We want to offer as many screenings as possible. If you are willing to provide one of these screenings, let us know!

We provide ALL of the following screenings at our 9Health Fairs:

  • Blood chemistry- $35 “This screening provides baseline information on cholesterol, blood glucose, liver, kidneys, thyroid, and more. These screenings can help you and your doctor monitor your health and prevent health issues from becoming emergencies. Information from this screening can also be used to complete your employers’ Health Risk Assessments (HRA). Based on the most current research, fasting is optional for the blood chemistry screening. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER and continue to take your regular medications. Persons with diabetes, should not fast.”
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)- $35: “The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently recommended against routine screening of persons with a prostate with the PSA test.  Please speak to your healthcare provider if you have questions. PSA is a blood screening that measures a protein that is only produced by the prostate gland. Elevations of PSA may occur in persons with non-cancerous prostate diseases or prostate cancer. A normal PSA level does not entirely exclude the possibility of prostate cancer. A traditional manual screening, performed by a health care provider is strongly encouraged in conjunction with PSA screening.”
  • Hemoglobin A1C Diabetes Screening- $35: “A1C is a blood screening that measures your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months. The results give you a good idea of whether or not you are at risk for diabetes. For people with diabetes it indicates how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.”
  • Vitamin B12 Screening- $20: “This blood screening provides baseline Vitamin B12 levels, which play a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. ($20 value)”
  • Blood Count Screening- $25: “This screening gives you a general picture of your overall health by checking your white blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin levels, and blood-clotting abilities. Your body’s ability to fight infection, anemia, liver disease and certain cancers can be discovered with this screening.”
  • Vitamin D Screening- $50: “This screening is used to provide you with a baseline level of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a worldwide problem. Your body requires Vitamin D to absorb calcium and plays an important role in protecting your bone health. Many studies also suggest an association between low Vitamin D levels and an increased risk of certain types of cancers, nerve disease, immune disease and heart disease.”
  • Colon Cancer Screening Kit- $30: “This take-home/mail-in kit checks for human blood in the stool. Also, learn about preventing colorectal cancer, one of the most preventable cancers, and current recommendations for further screening, including who/when should get a colonoscopy.”
  • Testosterone Screening- $40: “Tests the level of testosterone in your body. This screening is for both men and women.”

Interested in Volunteering or having an Educational Booth?  Click the link to sign up!  

If you are interested in volunteering or  having an educational booth, please contact Meghan Higman, RN, BSN, director of education, for more details. Email 

Learn about our new partners, the Montelores Early Childhood Council at

Feb 15th CEO Update

Tony gives a regular (usually weekly) update to the SHS staff.  Excerpts of which are below…

This has been a quiet week in Administration but a busy week on the patient care side.  We continue to see an increase in flu cases and unfortunately staff has been affected also. We are trending well ahead of last year in most every area.  January was also a busy month and while we continue to compile the data, preliminary results indicate it is going to be an excellent month from a bottom line standpoint and continue our positive trend.  This is all due to the efforts of everyone at SHS who has jumped on-board and supported our action plan to return SHS to a healthy financial position and the preferred provider for our service area.  Thanks for your efforts.


We send our thoughts and prayers out to Brad Wayt and his family for the loss of his mother, Dotty.  Brad is the current Chairman of the MCHD Board and Dotty was one of the original members of that Board.  Dotty was 96 years old.


I received the following letters from patients/family members this week.  Thanks to you all for continuing to provide exceptional care and compassion to our patients and their families.

Patient Financial Coordinator:  “One of my family members recently required care at your facility and needed some financial assistance so we met with Rhonda Hatfield after filling out an application.  She was not only extremely efficient and knowledgeable, she was also very compassionate…..we have not always found other agencies to be so helpful.  Her intervention not only helped us, it helped the hospital as well because the patient was able to qualify for Medicaid and thus the bill was covered.  During every contact we had with Rhonda, she was very kind.  She followed up quickly with everything she said she would do and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate her.  The hospital is very fortunate to have her for a resource!”

OR Staff:  “I had such EXCELLENT care, and your group worked together like a well-choreographed dance.  Namely: Tony, John, Jamie, Deena, Cody and Pam (student nurse). There may have been more behind the scenes whom I did not see.

  • One person was calling lab to come down and draw blood for a test that was needed;
  • One person was calling pharmacy for something;
  • One person was trying to get an IV in a very flat vein that had not been hydrated in HOURS;
  • The student nurse was doing something to be handed off;
  • The anesthetist was going over papers with me;
  • And bless his heart, Cody wheeled a patient through to Same Day and came back to put the IV in slick as a whistle.

As you may know, or have guessed from this e-mail, I am not a clinician, but I do know what a DYNAMITE TEAM you have there.

I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart for their professionalism, care, teamwork, friendliness, calm demeanor, empathy, and knowledge.

You’re the BEST!”

Because of the generosity of University of Colorado & Children’s Hospital Colorado, SHS hosted an educational dinner on pediatric sleep apnea last Friday evening in the new upstairs lobby space.  Dr. Ann Halbower presented to 35 doctors, dentists and allied health professionals from all over the four corners.  I’m proud to say that due to the hard work of Lindsay, Dr. Razma, our catering team and all others who assisted, this was a huge success.  We have a great organization and much to offer to our community.


CRNA:  As I reported last week we had an excellent visit last Friday with Rachel Wallace, CRNA and her family.  As a result we now have a signed letter of intent and are processing the contract to finalize her joining SHS in the coming months.

Internal Medicine:  We continue to progress with recruiting Dr. Susan Laningham.  She is reviewing her contract and we anticipate wrapping that up in the very near future.


As you will recall, the SHS Board, the MCHD Board and SHS Administration committed to holding regular public forums to receive public input as we did last October.  The next forum has been scheduled for March 27, 2019 before the regularly scheduled SHS Board meeting at the City Council chambers.  We encourage you to attend and participate.


As mentioned a few weeks ago, we continue to prepare for the role out of the “Just Culture” program and have now scheduled the next step.  On February 26th David Marx will be in town and will provide training to the SHS and MCHD Boards that evening.  He will be working with administration to help us line out the plan for the remainder of the program implementation.  We will continue to keep you updated as plans are finalized.


Just a reminder that the Donor Appreciation/Open House will be taking place on March 14th at 5:30 in the new Lobby.  We will be unveiling the new donor wall at that time also.


In closing I am sad to report that two weeks ago we had to say good bye to our cat Tiger Lilly, as you will recall she was the inspiration for my in-process children’s book and my CEO update a few weeks ago on adapting to change.  Thanks to all of you who have been asking how she was doing.

As always keep doing what you do as the results are evident in the progress we are making.
Thank You,


Anthony Sudduth, CPA, FACHE, FHFMA

Interim CEO