Nurse sees service on statewide board as beneficial to local hospital

By Jessica Benz
Prairie Community Health Center nurse Terry Chavez has been selected to the advisory council for the Montana Rural Healthcare Performance Improvement Network, also known as PIN.  
First nominated for the position by PCHC Administrator Reed Reyman,  Chavez found out she had been selected to serve on the council about a month ago. “Anytime we participate in anything having to do with critical access hospitals makes us more viable,” she explained. 
PIN aims to develop and provide a collaborative support system within small hospitals containing 25 beds or less. The council has been in place in Montana for about six years.
The advisory council, which meets four times a year, will hold it’s first and only face-to-face meeting this year on March 5 and 6 in Fort Benton. 
Chavez has worked in the nursing field for over 29 years including her three years as director of nursing services at PCHC.  
Chavez noted the changes the nursing field has undergone over her 29 years. “We aren't the bedside handmaiden like so many people think,” she said.  
Nurses no longer solely perform tasks as directed by physicians, but instead have found greater individual responsibility for the overall care of patients, Chavez explained.  
She emphasized the importance of gathering information by grant-funded programs like PIN which help small hospitals like PCHC change to meet the challenging needs of the healthcare system. 

Chavez, who lives in Miles City with husband George and their three daughters, said  keeping the doors open as well as providing quality care, is a fundamental focus of small hospitals like PCHC and something involvement with PIN will help to facilitate.   

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