KMHD says good-bye to board members Bernie Murphy and Carol Petersen

photos by Tiffany Freitag/MPH Director of Community Relations | Former president of the Kremmling Memorial Hospital Board, Bernie Murphy is given two lilac bushes for his ten years of service on the board. (Right) Carol Petersen was also thanked for her service on the KMHD board.
photos by Tiffany Freitag/MPH Director of Community Relations | Former president of the Kremmling Memorial Hospital Board, Bernie Murphy is given two lilac bushes for his ten years of service on the board. (Right) Carol Petersen was also thanked for her service on the KMHD board.

by Marissa Lorenz
The most recent meeting of the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District (KMHD) Board of Directors saw the Board and Middle Park Health (MPH) staff welcome two new members, Kimberly Cameron and Christine Murphy.

Cameron and Murphy were elected by public vote in May to fill the positions of long-serving board members Bernie Murphy and Carol Petersen, who chose not to run for re-election. The two were sworn
in last week to serve three-year terms, an unusual move but one dictated by new USDA regulations that require staggered terms of service. They join directors Gary Bumgarner, Jodi Docheff, and Kelly Johnson, each sitting four-year terms, to serve and guide the district, which was founded in 1953, and
the hospital, established in 1933.

The two newest board members will not be unknown to the community, as they are long-time residents and involved community members. Cameron is a Kremmling native and has served on the boards for the Middle Park Fair & Rodeo, Grand County Library Districts, and as a member of the West Grand Schools District Accountability Committee. Murphy served for eight years on the Middle Park Fair & Rodeo board. Both women raised their children in Kremmling, seeing them through the West Grand School system, and have been actively involved in both school and other community events and organizations over the years.

The newly-seated directors join KMHD and Middle Park Health at an exciting time for the organization, which is in the midst of a planned expansion of facilities and services across Grand County. The enthusiasm of the organization and its mission are reflected by the new members in their own interest in, support of, and memories of service and care by the hospital district.

“I really hope our hospital continues to be a viable entity in our Kremmling community and throughout the county,” responded Kim Cameron. “Not only do we rely on it for healthcare, but it is also a strong economic driver, employing over 250 people in Grand County.” She notes as especially important the fact that “so many of our elders can remain in extended care” through the services of the hospital and its administration of Cliffview Assisted Living.

“The hospital has seen generations of my family through many minor illnesses, stitches and wrecks. Fortunately, we have all been fairly healthy, but it is a comfort to know the hospital and clinic are here when we need them. In serving on the Board, I hope my decisions always reflect my love of Grand County and especially Kremmling. We need quality, local healthcare. I hope to attract healthcare talent who are committed to our community and residents.”

“I joined the KMHD Board because I enjoy being active in our community,” Christine Murphy explains. “Medical services are essential in any community, and I would like to do my part to ensure we continue to offer the best care that we can. Middle Park Health’s current mission to improve the facilities inKremmling is of utmost importance; not only in the services we offer, but to protect the history associated with KMHD (MPH). It is important to keep health care within our community. The more services we can offer here, the better it is for everybody.”

“I am coming onto this board without any personal agenda, other than to learn as much as I can about how our hospital district works.

I am open minded and willing to change my opinion when presented with valid information that may contradict a former belief. I am a team player and am an accessible person that is willing to listen,” she offers, and then shares a “favorite memory” of local hospital care.

“We had an emergency room visit with my daughter when she was about 5. She needed stitches in her head, and Dr. Randi Wagner also stitched her teddy bear’s head, making what could have been a traumatic experience a great memory. I have seen this level of care and compassion from all the staff members I have encountered at MPH.”

Long-time directors recognized

As the Board and staff welcomed the new directors, they also took time to recognize those members stepping down, thanking them for their years of dedicated support and service.

Bernie Murphy joined the KMHD Board of Directors in 2010. Carol Peterson served two terms, from 2000 to 2008, and was reappointed in 2015. Both have seen significant growth in the District in the time since.
Both members’ efforts have been critical in steering district advances, including the envisioning and realization of the first expansion of the Kremmling hospital into the Middle Park region in 2013, when both the Granby facility was opened and Walden’s North Park facility was brought into the district.
In the following years, Middle Park Health opened clinics in Winter Park and Grand Lake and a rehab facility in Fraser. It opened the Wellness Center in Kremmling, including a community gym, and took over operations of Cliffview.

The two were part of the board that saw the development and rollout of the full-scale orthopedic program at MPH, including the addition of a full-time orthopedic surgeon offering joint replacements in Grand County and a full-time general surgeon. And they were instrumental in the strategic planning and resource development for the new hospital to be built in Kremmling and the planned additions to the Granby and Fraser facilities.

“I have enjoyed so many things about serving on the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District Board of Directors,” recounts Bernie Murphy. “I have met amazing and dedicated nurses, doctors, administrators,
and board members. All of our hospital staff has been tremendous to work with. Working together as a team, we have been able to not only survive but to thrive and are able to provide more and more services to the residents and visitors to Grand County. Best of all, we are building a brand new hospital in Kremmling and expanding our Granby facility! These are some of the things that have meant the most to me.”

“We have seen many changes and will continue to see many changes in health care delivery
in Grand County,” Carol says.

“Our great success and growth is due to the dedicated teamwork of everyone involved, Board, staff, and community, all working to keep quality health care available in our local communities– and it is the best! I thank that team and I wish the new board members well.”

Bernie and Carol’s contributions will continue to impact Grand County’s well-being and access to quality local health care long into the future.