Kremmling hospital honors history in modern building

Middle Park Health's board chair Jodi Docheff cuts the ribbon at the new Kremmling hospital building, featuring an additional 14,500 square feet housing the clinic, emergency department an ancillary services.
Jennifer Bauckman / Courtesy photo

Established in 1975 as Kremmling Memorial Hospital, Middle Park Health’s Kremmling campus has acquired an $11 million makeover to expand the building and meet the growing demands of the community.

On Tuesday, Middle Park Health hosted a ribbon cutting for the new 14,500 square foot hospital with an updated clinic, emergency department, inpatient unit, laboratory and radiology units.

“Looking at this new building,” said Jodi Docheff, hospital board chair, before referencing a few of Kremmling’s early medical practitioners. “I do believe that Dr. Sudan and Dr. Ceriani would be very very proud to see how far we’ve come and how hard we’ve worked to improve and expand our services to keep people in Grand County.”

In 1933, Dr. Archer Sudan established the Middle Park Memorial Hospital and in 1944, he partnered with Dr. Ernest Ceriani to create the Middle Park Medical Association, which would become Middle Park Health.

Greeting visitors in the bright lobby is a 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 exam rooms and a treatment room. The emergency department expanded by two trauma bays, and three additional inpatient rooms were added to the unit. Radiology will also feature a new CT scanner.

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

Kremmling's first hospital opened in 1933 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 help Middle Park Health keep up with the growing demand too. According to the hospital, there has been a 60% increase in the number of patients admitted to Middle Park Health’s hospitals since 2015, while emergency room visits have increased 3-4% on average each year.

Both Cleckler and Docheff thanked the community for the support, including through the Kremmling Memorial Hospital taxing district, in making the new project a reality.

“Thank you to everybody that had a part in this,” Cleckler said.

With the ceremonial opening done, hospital COO Derek Ortner said the building will open to new patients in the next few weeks, once the finishing touches are complete.

“We’re hoping for a couple weeks, but it’s right around the corner,” Ortner said.

A central registration area sits in the lobby of Middle Park Health — Kremmling, featuring a drone photograph mural of the town.
McKenna Harford / Sky-Hi News

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

Marketing and Community Relations Director Tiffany Frietag said the plan is to make the space feel more like a residence and less like a hospital.

She added that the staff are currently talking with long-term care patients to figure out what they’d like to see from the space and how to incorporate those suggestions into the remodel.

Additionally, Middle Park Health is working to finance the new emergency department and clinic in Fraser with hope of starting construction in 2022.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Middle Park Memorial Hospital was Grand County’s first hospital, built in 1933. The story was also corrected the location of the new CT scanner, which will be in the radiology department.

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