TMH administrator finds a home in Craig

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Barry Bergman

— Ask Barry Bergman where he's from, and the short answer you'll get is Miles City, Mont., a small ranching community in the eastern part of the state. A place not all that dissimilar to Craig.

The long version, however, isn't so simple.

Bergman, the chief financial officer at The Memorial Hospital, has lived a somewhat nomadic existence in his 44 years. He's worked a variety of jobs - from a six-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, to finance, information technology, consulting and coffee shop owner - and in places from coast to coast.

"I've been everywhere, man," he said.

But, there's a difference between those places and this one.

Craig, where he's lived since he was hired at TMH in April 2007, is home.

"Unlike all the rest," Bergman said, "this is the first place I chose on purpose. I came here out of many options. This is exactly what I was looking for."

Before coming on board at TMH, Bergman worked as the chief financial officer for a bankrupt network of outpatient clinics in Maine. He was recruited by the network to revitalize the struggling group. And, after a time, that's exactly what he did, eventually doubling the company's size and bringing it back to sound financial ground.

However, a return to Colorado - where he'd lived twice before on the Front Range - and the attractiveness of the Rocky Mountains loomed large in his mind. So did breaking into hospital administration, the same career path his father chose.

He found an opportunity at TMH through QHR, the hospital's management company, made a site visit and was sold.

"I never want to leave Colorado again," said Bergman, a sports enthusiast who, because of time constraints, hasn't quite gotten all the opportunities he'd like to pursue that interest.

As chief financial officer, he oversees hospital finances and aspects of its operation.

An added benefit to TMH and Craig, Bergman said, was the prospect of TMH building a new facility. Without that, he said, he might not have come.

"It was a selling point, that's for sure," he said.

But, be careful what you wish for.

Voters approved the bond issue for the new hospital in November 2007. Since then, Bergman and other TMH administrators have been busy coordinating with the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, which is essentially co-signing a loan for the new facility.

Since the bond issue was approved, there haven't been many days Bergman has had at the office that didn't include HUD and the new hospital on his to-do list.

"It'd be a rare day that something related didn't happen," he said.

Bergman said patients will benefit from all the work that's gone into building the new hospital.

"Everything around it is going to be centered around the patients," he said.

He added, "It's going to be gorgeous."

Bergman has been married to his wife, Sheryl, a pharmacy technician and biller at TMH, for 22 years. They have two children, 19-year-old Thomas and 16-year-old Holly, a junior at Moffat County High School.

He said he and his family agree that Craig, with all its advantages, is a far better home than back East.

"It's how fun and friendly the people are," Bergman said. "The beauty of the state, the location, the weather ... it's the total package, I guess."

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