Middle Park Medical Center – a history of community involvement

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Kremmling Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month

The Middle Park Medical Center was named Business of the Month by the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Middle Park Medical Center marks 69 years of healthcare and began on the tail of Dr. Archer Sudan’s first hospital. In 1926, Dr. Sudan moved to Kremmling and established his medical practice. He built Kremmling’s first hospital in 1933. This building is still in existence and is the north part of the hospital that mainly houses offices for the staff.

Upon the retirement of Dr. Sudan in 1947, the hospital was purchased from Dr. Sudan for $20,000. At this time, the hospital was known as Middle Park Memorial Hospital, and became financially supplemented by the community. Home Demonstration clubs, other philanthropic groups and citizens of Grand, Jackson and Summit counties held fundraisers to purchase and furnish operating costs for the hospital. The Middle Park Hospital Association’s first hospital board consisted of Carl Breeze, Monsignor Thomas Barry, Faye DeBerard, Elsie Taussig, Clarence Reiff, John Noonen and Dan Hoare. In 1948, Dr. Ernest Ceriani became the face of thehospital and rural medicine. Dr. Ceriani was featured in the 1948 Life magazine photo essay, “Country Doctor” and the feature still resonates across America. He was with the hospital until the 1980s.

In 1958, the current clinic was built under the guidance of Dr. Ceriani and a fellow doctor, Burt Sutherland.

In 1973, a taxing district was created to help fund a new hospital and a bond was passed. In 1975, the brick portion of the hospital was built and the name was changed to Kremmling Memorial Hospital in reflection of the new taxing district and to identify its geographical location. On October 5, 1974, the Mt. Wolford Masonic Lodge laid the cornerstone and dedicated the new hospital. In August 10, 1975, the new hospital was opened.

This would not be the last time the community rallied on behalf of the hospital. During a difficult financial time in the 1990s, individual members of the community rallied and loaned the hospital money to make payroll. Out of these efforts, the Middle Park Medical Foundation was created as a separate entity of the hospital to help fundraise, keep medical care in Kremmling, and keep the hospital viable. Welton Bumgarner, Tommy Davison, Jack McElroy and Cathy O’Hotto were noted as first members of the foundation.

Today the hospital and its services have grown to include all of Grand County and Jackson County, including Granby, Winter Park, and Walden. The name has once again changed to reflect its growing geographical locations and is known as Middle Park Medical Center (MPMC).

It is one of the largest employing entities of the county with approximately 200 full and part time employees.

MPMC has worked hard over the years to provide as many services as possible for the community. What began as a small hospital has grown into four locations offering services such as family medicine, trauma care, imaging, rehabilitation services such as PT, heart and occupational therapies and a surgery center. They currently have sixteen full-time providers working in their Emergency Rooms and Family Practice Clinics. They typically have twelve specialty providers available each month ready to assist you with issues such as cardiology, orthopedics, general surgery, colonoscopies, podiatry, dermatology, back pain and much more.

Over the past few years, MPMC leadership, the Board of Directors and the staff have worked to implement new practices to increase patient satisfaction by adhering to Service Excellence standards. Every employee must go through annual training focused on providing the best care to every single patient visiting MPMC. The hospital has also been working to be even more involved within all of the communities in the area from parade participation to Rotary clubs to educational series featuring some of their providers. Much has changed with the hospital from its founding in 1926, but the one fundamental thing that has stayed the same is that the residents of our community continue to be cared for because of the vision of our parents and grandparents.

Thank you to Barbara Mitchell for her help in recounting the history of the hospital. Mitchell is currently assisting the Grand County Historical Association on a history journal on the Town of Kremmling and has worked tirelessly to collect Kremmling’s history.