Kremmling Hospital pays homage to history in modern building

Middle Park Health Board Chair Jodi Docheff cuts the ribbon in the new Kremmling Hospital building, which includes an additional 14,500 square feet of clinic, emergency department and ancillary services.
Jennifer Bauckman / Courtesy Photo

Founded in 1975 as the Kremmling Memorial Hospital, Grand County’s first hospital acquired an $ 11 million renovation to expand the building and meet growing community demands.

Middle Park Health hosted a ribbon cutting for the new 14,500-square-foot hospital on Tuesday with an updated clinic, emergency department, inpatient unit, lab, and x-ray units.

“Looking at this new building,” said Jodi Docheff, chairman of the hospital’s board of directors, before referring to some of Kremmling’s early doctors. “I think Dr Sudan and Dr Ceriani would be very, very proud to see how far we have come and how hard we have worked to improve and expand our services to keep people in Grand County.”

In 1933, Dr Archer Sudan established the Middle Park Hospital and in 1944 he joined forces with Dr Ernest Ceriani to create the Middle Park Medical Association, which later became Middle Park Health.

Welcoming visitors to the bright lobby is an aerial photo mural of Kremmling. The hospital has a new layout, including a central registration point for all of its services.

The clinic has six examination rooms and one treatment room. The emergency department has expanded with two trauma rooms and three additional hospital rooms have been added to the unit. The laboratory will also be equipped with a new CT scanner.

“It shows that we are here for the long haul and that we are here to provide accessible, high quality health care,” said Jason Cleckler, CEO of Middle Park Health.

Kremmling’s first hospital opened in 1975 and the building remained the hospital until it was demolished in 2019. The new hospital will officially open in October.
McKenna Harford / Sky-Hi News

The expanded space will also help Middle Park Health meet growing demand. According to the hospital, there has been a 60% increase in the number of patients admitted to Middle Park Health hospitals since 2015, while emergency room visits have increased by 3-4% on average each year.

Cleckler and Docheff both thanked the community for the support, including through the Kremmling Memorial Hospital Fiscal District, which made the new project a reality.

“Thanks to everyone who participated in this,” Cleckler said.

After the opening ceremony was over, the hospital’s chief operating officer, Derek Ortner, said the building would open to new patients in the coming weeks, once the finishes were completed.

“We’re hoping for a few weeks, but it’s very close,” Ortner said.

A central check-in area is located in the lobby of Middle Park Health – Kremmling, with a mural of drone photography of the city.
McKenna Harford / Sky-Hi News

Next, Middle Park Health plans to renovate its long-term care unit, housed in the remaining part of the old hospital.

Community relations director Tiffany Frietag said the plan is to make the space look more like a residence and less like a hospital.

She added that staff are currently talking to long-term care patients to determine what they would like to see from the space and how to incorporate those suggestions into the renovation.

Additionally, Middle Park Health is working to fund Fraser’s new emergency department and clinic with hopes of starting construction in 2022.

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