VIDEO: New faces, same great service at Estes Park Health Infusion Center

A healthcare professional in blue scrubs talks to an elderly patient who is reclining in a medical chair with an IV line in his arm, inside a hospital room.
Thayne Stacey, RN, helps infusion patient John Stucki at Estes Park Health. (Wendy Rigby/Estes Park Health)

Ronald Gruber, 83, of Estes Park needs a Lupron injection every three months. After his prostate cancer diagnosis three years ago, he underwent radiation. His doctor suggested he start this therapy to help control his PSA level. He comes to Estes Park Health to receive this hormone therapy. EPH is close to home and provides everything Gruber needs for this treatment.

“It’s a lot handier,” Gruber said. “I’d have to drive to Fort Collins or Loveland to receive this medication.”

Gruber has used Estes Park Health for much of his medical care over the last 24 years he’s lived in Estes Park. He says he always feels well cared for.

“This has always been nice and clean and professional,” he stressed.

The ability to offer infusion services at a small hospital like Estes Park Health is a real boon for local patients. (Wendy Rigby/Estes Park Health)

His nurse in the outpatient Infusion Center is Janelle Boyington, a Pinewood Springs resident who is happy to have a job taking care of her neighbors in the Estes Valley.

“Being able to serve in my community is incredibly important,” Boyington commented. “Being able to have continuity of care with my patients here in the Infusion Center was something I was very drawn to. I really appreciate getting to know my patients. Personalized care has been a hallmark of the women’s healthcare I’ve been doing previously so it translates nicely here in serving our community. Every day is a little bit different.”

Patients come to the EPH Infusion Center for a myriad of reasons.

“Some may be receiving chemotherapy,” Boyington explained. “Most, however, are either receiving antibiotic therapy for an acute illness or biologics for chronic disease which may be an adjuvant to their cancer therapy or various other chronic diseases.”

The nurses in the Infusion Center also conduct therapeutic phlebotomies, taking blood from patients who need it for medical conditions. High altitude living can put people at greater risk for excess red blood cells and an increased risk of clots or a stroke.

The ability to offer these important services at a small hospital like Estes Park Health is a real boon for local patients.

“We want to provide an elevated level of care for them close to home,” said EPH Manager of Pharmacy and Infusion Kate Stephens, PharmD. “Because we are a small hospital, we can offer them a little bit more personalized care. And we really want to give them that great all-around experience. We want them to feel comfortable coming in and seeing smiling faces that they recognize, and they know, and that they know we’re here to give them the best care possible. It’s great to be able to have an infusion within the hospital setting. In theory, a patient can go and see their provider that morning, come and talk about their care, talk about their plan, and then walk right down the hall and get their service from the Infusion Center.”

Caprissa Frawley is the Patient Service Access Representative for the Infusion Center. Her job is to expedite the life-saving care provided here.

“I help patients have access to the facility by admitting them, registering them, checking that their insurance is in place, and lining them up with the specialty they might need,” she noted.

Frawley said having local infusion care is important, since many of the recipients are ill and don’t feel like traveling.

Estes Park resident Ronald Gruber gets a Lupron injection from nurse Janelle Boyington at Estes Park Health. (Wendy Rigby/Estes Park Health)

“I could not begin to imagine trying to make it down the mountain with the elevation changes for somebody who’s that sick,” Frawley added. “It’s absolutely vital. It’s life-sustaining medicines that people are getting.”

Thayne Stacey has been a nurse for more than two decades. He also oversees the care of Infusion Center patients at EPH.

“Some people are here for daily infusion of antibiotics,” Stacy explained. “Some people are here once a week. Some people are here once a year. It really varies quite a bit. If you weren’t here, you’d be driving quite a way, so it’s very beneficial to them to not have to drive several hours back and forth.”

Like many of the staff who work in the Infusion Center and the patients who come here for treatment, the nurses praise the spacious facility with beautiful artwork and stunning views of the mountains. It’s a peaceful place.

“It has a lot of windows facing Lumpy Ridge and toward the lake,” Stacey pointed out. “It’s a great room.”

Boyington also marvels at the setting for the Infusion Center.

“Between the beautiful artwork on the back wall and the majestic artwork out the window, we’re incredibly blessed to have this space,” she emphasized. “With patients being here sometimes an hour, sometimes a couple of hours for their infusion, being able to be in this peaceful environment, I think, adds to the healing that’s being invited here. We live in paradise. Being able to receive our care here near home is reassuring. It means that our family can be near us. And that a one-hour appointment doesn’t become an entire day by having to drive down the mountain. There are a bunch of new faces here in the Infusion Center. That said, nurses have a high standard of care everywhere I’ve been, and that includes here at Estes Park Health.”

For important infusion therapy close to home, think Estes Park Health.