CMHIP staff continue compassionate care in uncertain times

The staff of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) have been at the heart of keeping all of CMHIP safe and continuing to provide care with as much normalcy as possible.The staff has adjusted to new protocols and schedules, made masks to keep patients and staff safe, and brought joy to patients’ lives during this uncertain time.

A CMHIP staff member wears a cloth mask sewed by a colleague from the hospital's Vocational Rehabilitation Department.

Eight staff in the hospital’s Vocational Rehabilitation Department have made 1,000 masks so far, with a goal of making 2,000 for staff. After those first 2,000 are done, the department will make masks for patients and extra masks for staff. They are also using 3D printers to make plastic masks with HEPA filters and face shields. This is a small department accomplishing really big things!

The Voc Rehab Department received encouragement and gratitude from staff for this huge task. Peggy Hicks, Director of Internship Training/Director of Trauma Informed Care said, “Vocational Rehabilitation leadership, patients, and staff are outstanding, real-time examples of caring people with hearts larger than Colorado's 14ers.”

CMHIP staff have also made it a priority to ensure patients continue to have groups and activities that help them cope with the need to socially distance. One precaution the hospitals have had to take is suspending visitors. This can be especially hard for some patients, as seeing their families is an integral part of their wellbeing. One patient was having a hard time not seeing their family, and a nuse set up a video call with them and their family. The call ended up being a really great experience for the patient. Ronda Katzenmeyer, Chief of Nursing, said the patient got to see their pets, their old room, and their whole family all at once. This was a truly restorative moment for that patient, and the hospital is looking to increase their ability to set these kinds of calls up for patients.