OKLAHOMA CITY-One year after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, a disaster relief fund, "Hospitals Helping the Heartland," reported this month on its efforts. The fund received $134,000 in donations from hospitals throughout the country, and money was divided among three missions. Initially, $49,294 was spent on short-term needs of bombing victims, such as housing, utilities, insurance and transportation. The fund also used $44,000 to pay for long-term counseling for bombing victims and rescue workers. The remainder paid for free workshops in critical incident stress management for hospital workers during October, January and March.
DENVER-Kaiser Permanente of Colorado and its longtime hospital partner, 437-bed Saint Joseph Hospital, are merging emergency rooms for extra capacity and an estimated five-year savings of $11 million. As part of the deal, Saint Joseph will complete an $8 million expansion and renovation next spring. Kaiser shares some of the cost through leasing agreements, a Kaiser spokeswoman said. The HMO has operated its own emergency room on the Saint Joseph campus since 1979; both facilities now are congested. Meanwhile, Kaiser is progressing with plans to contract with a second Denver-area hospital. It has narrowed its choices to 310-bed Swedish Medical Center in Englewood and 339-bed Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge. A decision will be made this fall, the spokeswoman said. Kaiser serves about 320,000 people in Boulder, Denver and Longmont.