Changes at Southwest Health System

Mindi Clark, RN, has been named as the new Nurse Navigator at Southwest Health System (SHS). Clark replaces Maureen Pyle, RN, who has taken the position of Director of the Medical/Surgical Unit and the Family Birthing Center. Both are long-time employees of SHS.

Pyle was in charge of the Infusion Center for many years before she was the Nurse Navigator.

Clark previously worked in Surgical Services as a circulating nurse and in the post-anesthesia recovery unit.

Angela Kobel will become accounting director effective August 1. She has been with SHS for nine years, most recently as a staff accountant. Kobel replaces Kevin Ramage who is relocating to New Mexico to be closer to his family.

“We are fortunate to have many talented employees here at the hospital, and I’m always pleased when we can promote and transfer individuals internally. Watching this type of career advancement evolve is very rewarding,” said Interim CEO Liz Sellers.

For information about employment opportunities with SHS visit

Comments accepted on grazing analysis

The San Juan National Forest Columbine Ranger District is offering a second comment period on a Draft Environmental Assessment for the Weminuche Landscape Grazing Analysis.

The Forest Service is able to offer a second, full 30-day comment period. People or organizations that submitted comments previously are asked not to re-submit the same comments.

The analysis area encompasses about 166,700 acres on 13 allotments on the northern end of Missionary Ridge stretching east across the Weminuche Wilderness to the Pine River.

The proposed action is: to continue to permit livestock grazing on the six allotments that are currently being grazed, five allotments would continue to be grazed by sheep and one would be converted to cattle use; to install fences and water developments for cattle on the Canyon Creek Allotment; to apply a “sunset clause” to the five active sheep allotments; to apply adaptive management strategies; to apply design criteria that are intended to improve resource conditions at certain locations; to minimize disease-transmission risk between domestic and bighorn sheep; to reduce conflicts between recreationists and sheep; to make minor allotment boundary adjustments; and to close the seven vacant allotments to livestock grazing.

The assessment, including maps, is available at Written comments should be submitted no later than July 21 to the Columbine District Ranger, P.O. Box 439, 367 Pearl Street, Bayfield, CO 81122, or email

For more information, call Jared Whitmer at 884-1416 or visit the above website.

Fundraiser for cancer patients planned

The Southwest Memorial Hospital Foundation has launched a program to assist cancer patients and their families with transportation, living expenses, travel, and related needs during treatment. The Montelores Cancer Care Assistance Fund was created to direct money raised locally to members of the community where this kind of support is urgently needed.

To support this effort a Boating Poker Run fundraiser will be held on Saturday, July 12. Pick up your poker hand at Blondie’s Trophy Room in downtown Cortez for $10 at 10 a.m. Then head out to McPhee Lake from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. for live music and $5 burger plates. At 7 p.m. it’s back down to Blondie’s for more live music, an auction, giveaways, dancing, and the announcement of the winning poker hand.

For more information, call Melinda at 970-564-4291. To apply for a Montelores Cancer Care Assistance grant visit and click on the Southwest Memorial Foundation page or call Robyn Bragg at 564-2243.

Native-plant society to host hike Tuesday

The San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society will host a wildflower hike on the Ophir Pass Road on Tuesday.

This hike is a new, exploratory trip for wildflower enthusiasts who want to see a variety of montane-alpine habitats.

Participants should bring lunch, two liters of water, layers of clothing, and top and bottom rain gear.

For more information and reservations, email or call 385-8949.

Cortez Journal