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Vail Valley: There's Hope for Healthcare

Michael Norton | Vail Daily

Over the past 12 plus years I have either been treated personally at Vail Valley Medical Center or have had members of my family friends and even guests end up in the clinic emergency room or hospital.

Over these past 12 years I have talked to guests and many of you here in the community about your experiences at the hospital. Many of you have even sent me an e-mail over the past few years sharing your experiences.

Based on my own experiences with family and friends and all of the unsolicited feedback I have received I am happy to report that the team at Vail Valley Medical Center is doing an incredible job in caring for patients. With some bad press surrounding hospitals and doctors and the recognized brokenness of some of the elements of the healthcare system we have been truly blessed with some of the most talented caring and compassionate doctors nurses technicians and support staff in healthcare. And as a resident their performance gives me hope for healthcare.

Even the volunteers at the medical center seem to go out of their way to make sure patients and family are taken care of. That is awesome and speaks to the culture of the hospital and vision of the leadership team.

Having had to deal with a very significant healthcare issue in my life recently I have found myself spending more and more time in hospitals doctor's offices and clinics as the primary caregiver for my wife. I am reminded each day and during each visit just how hard our healthcare professionals work and how their amazing gift of caring and compassion are tested multiple times per day.

Sometimes they deal with simple illnesses broken bones or sprains and sometimes trauma and much more serious situations including life-threatening conditions or injuries. As I watch everyone from the EMT's bringing patients in or the staff caring for a patient I am simply in awe of the level of sincerity love and technical ability of those I observe.

Conversely just as in any service-oriented business I see the patients or family members of the patients become disruptive abusive belligerent and impatient as they bark out demands and treat their potential caregivers with complete disregard for the genuine effort of care being given. These same patients and family members do not understand how others observe their behavior and how damaging it is for the health and well-being of the patients who are there to get better not to mention how it impacts the morale of the clinic the staff or the other patients and families.

If we are to have hope for healthcare I would ask that instead of pointing the finger of blame at how “broken” healthcare is regarding insurance access to information and patient care that we begin by building a winning and positive relationship with the people who are immediately in front of us our nurses doctors technicians and support staff. Together we can focus on patients focus on the care needed and work toward the best outcome possible.

Kudos to Vail Valley Medical Center for being such a great place for all of those who find themselves needing care. It is a great institution with amazing patients and families from our community and incredible staff and leadership working together and providing hope for healthcare.

I know some will have their stories of success and others will share their challenges. I would love to hear both at and when we work collectively with our healthcare providers it is always a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant business and personal coach and motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.