Pamela Kinder M.D.: TMH aministration has gone too far


To the editor:

I am writing a frank letter because frankly, I am tired and upset.

I hope this letter runs just above the colored advertisement that announces the new Grand Junction neurologist will be seeing patients at The Memorial Hospital (TMH) clinic. At best, this is a thoughtless response by TMH administration to the St. Mary’s outreach clinic: “We have a new neurologist, can he see patient’s once/month in Craig at your facility?” “Sure.”

At worst, it’s a calculated affront by TMH administration to recruit patients from competing, local clinics. Either way, hosting a physician who has absolutely no commitment to our community is ill-conceived.

Dennis and I moved to Craig 17 years ago, and have faithfully served you over that time. In this seventeen years, not once has The Memorial Hospital assisted me in promoting my neurology services. Not once have they assisted with private recruitment efforts.

Rather, our community owned, not-for-profit hospital directly competes with the other small clinics.

The TMH Board conducts periodic “strategic planning” for our community. The plan is used to determine which services are needed in our community, so that we, as a community, can direct tax-payer money to meeting those needs.

The strategic plan determines the recommended number of primary care and speciality physicians our community can support.

A town our size generally does not have local neurology services. In fact, the nearest neurology group is in Grand Junction.

There is a neurologist in Aspen, and a travelling neurologist in the Vail area. I am here because Internal Medicine was identified as a need 18 years ago, and Dennis and I liked the community.

For the past 17 years, I have worked in Steamboat, Craig and Meeker. I see patients from Vernal and Roosevelt, Utah, Southern Wyoming, Walden, Granby and Winter Park.

Every strategic plan I have been involved with identifies local need for Family Practice, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN and surgery.

Now, just when we have lost our anesthesiologist, gynecologist, family practice physician, and general surgeon, the TMH has decided to provide clinic space to the new neurologist based in Grand Junction.

This in no way fits into the strategic planning of TMH and our community.

While I am all for capitalism and the forces of competition, I believe TMH is mandated to work for the medical health of our community. This requires support of local physicians, local physical therapy services (not just TMH-based PT services), local oxygen and equipment companies, and in fact, all locals who pay taxes in Moffat County.

TMH should be supportive of local efforts to care for patients. TMH should be supportive of physicians who serve on local boards, who support local non-profits and who help local patients, right here in Craig, CO.

I am insulted, distressed and frankly, fed-up with the lack of support for local physicians from our TMH Board and administration.

I own a building in Craig, CO. I pay taxes in the City of Craig, and Moffat County. I employ seven people at my clinic, and support multiple other businesses with my referrals.

I am medical director for our local nursing home. I demonstrate my commitment to our community daily.

I expect our County-owned and operated hospital to show its commitment to me and the physicians who loyally serve our community. We cannot afford to lose more physicians.

We should not support an administration and Board who do not support us. Please, make your voices heard. Write to the Board and do what you can to support your community.

The longer we let this trend continue, the farther we will all be driving for healthcare.

Pamela Kinder, M.D.


Kjazz81 4 years, 6 months ago

Excellent editorial. I totally agree. I am more than grateful that you Dr. Pamela Kinder are in our community. Having been a patient of yours myself and having you care for my mother for many many years when she was still alive is a blessing. It was a blessing to not have to travel long distances to get my mother the care she needed when she was in poor health. I am sorry that our local hospital has chosen to not support the services you provide to our community and surrounding areas. We as a community are very lucky to have a neurologist that is in local practice. It is unfortunate that it appears that this community is lacking in quality health care in many other areas. Doctors keep leaving and it makes me wonder why, but there are a few good doctors who have stayed like you and your husband and I personally appreciate all you both do in our community. Thank you.


Terrie Barrie 4 years, 6 months ago

I have had a growing concern about the hospital's administration for awhile.

This is their mission - "To improve the quality of life for the communities we serve through exceptional healthcare and service excellence." And they are achieving this goal how? By alienating the physicians who have spent years servicing the population?

For a physician to come out and publically air her frustrations with the hospital's administration should give everyone in Moffat County cause for concern.

The reason I voted for the tax to build a new hospital was because the physicians who come to Craig from Steamboat would also be able to perform the required surgeries and procedures at the new hospital. That hasn't happened. Why not? Here we supposedly have the state of the art facility, paid for with our tax dollars, yet the Steamboat physicians who willingly come to Craig to see their patients will not or cannot perform the needed procedures at The Memorial Hospital. Again, I ask, why not? What is stopping them? Craig residents must travel 40 miles for a skin cancer removal or a knee replacement. We have this brand new hospital. Why can't it be done here?

What is the real reason the physicians and other professionals are leaving The Memorial Hospital? I would like an answer to that.

I support Dr. Kinder's concerns. I have them, too. I don't think the hospital administration should have recruited a neurologist from Grand Junction. We have a very qualified one right here.

I guess I will be making sure I attend the hospital Board meeting in the future.


nopittyforafool 4 years, 6 months ago

Again, so sad. Dr. Kinder is a fantastic doc! But dr. Kinder you are part of this community and know allot about it and TMH administrator staff, there for they will not support you because I'm sure you fall in the category of doing what's right for your patients and employees and are probably someone who will stand up for what's right. TMH does not want that. They want a yes sir yes mam, no questions asked person. If you have any back bone they don't want you. There have been several complaints to the hospital board about the administration staff, but sadly they choose to turn a blind eye. The more people that go to the state level the more progress we will have, I garentee that!! Common people, there's absuitley no reason we have to settle for what we are dealing with. Unjust fired people have to go to other city's away from there family's to work, and TMH employ people from other county's! That in no way helps our economic community in Craig. Great article Dr. Kinder, Mabey CDP will continue and print Dr.Phillips interview he gave them.


dvoloshin 4 years, 6 months ago

Good letter, poor choice on the part of our hospital board and administration. Not a wise use of our tax dollars.

Support those who support our community!


Myranda Lyons 4 years, 6 months ago

Pamela- Thank you for speaking out with your feelings and opinions. That is what letters to the Editor should be about! I praise your courage. Community of Craig- Pamela is right. Neurology is a specialty, that not all small communities are lucky enough to have. We have a Neurologist here in Craig. TMH should be doing referrals to the local Neurologist, not bringing in their own employed Neurologist, from out of town, to promot TMH business........ Very sad. The Health care field in such a small community should willingly work together to provide the best care available to our community. Small Medical groups promote TMH, by processing labs for their patients at TMH lab, by sending patients to TMH for ordered x-rays and CT scans, or by sending their patients to TMH for admission, when needed. I think it is acceptable to expect the same respect and ask that TMH work alongside those same small medical providers and promote their offices also............. We're all in this together to make our small Community a better place!


David Moore 4 years, 6 months ago

Just for the record. We do skin cancer lesion excisions along with other cancer lesion removals. TMH also does total knee replacements along with total hip, bipolar hip and shoulder replacement or shoulder resurfacing. We are one of a few facilities (5 surgeons nationwide the last time I checked)that are pioneering the BioMet Signature series knee replacement, which is basically a custom made, patient specific knee implant. It's revolutionary and those of us who aid, nurse and assist the surgeon doing this are extremely proud to be part of such a new technology. Most would be surprised at what we are capable of with our lineup of talented, dedicated surgeons, this community should feel lucky to have them.


Jon Pfeifer 4 years, 6 months ago

So, David Moore, your response to a letter to the editor about the hospital bringing unneeded competition in a field that has an extremely competent doctor who chose to make her life's work here in Craig is to shamelessly advertise skin cancer treatments and knee replacements for the hospital? The hospital is an asset to the community, but not if its operating model is to try to drive all other doctors in the community out of business. The Hospital is going to start seeing patients flee to doctors not associated with it if it keeps driving away good doctors both in and out of the hospital.


David Moore 4 years, 6 months ago

Smalltowner, I was "shamelessly??" responding to questions posed by tbarrie in a post above, nothing else. I am not in the advertising department, but when I know something that others don't, I feel a need to correct it. Sorry if I offended you in some way. Have a nice weekend.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.