Best of Moffat County: Craig doctor treasures children’s drawings over diplomas |

Best of Moffat County: Craig doctor treasures children’s drawings over diplomas

Boxes of stuffed toys fill a corner of Dr. Kristie Yarmer’s office at Memorial Regional Health in Craig. The pediatrician gives them to her patients for bravery in the doctor’s office.
Sasha Nelson
To make an appointment Call: 970-826-2480 Visit: 785 Russell Street, Craig, CO 81625

A bookcase overflowing with thank you cards stands in an office where the walls are covered in children’s artwork instead of diplomas.

“These are my treasures,” said Pediatrician Dr. Kristie Yarmer. “If you can be a hero and a friend to a kid, you’ve really accomplished something.”

When the people of Moffat County Voted for Best Doctor, Yarmer’s name rose to the top of the list.

“Considering my patients can’t vote, it’s very cool,” Yarmer said.

Originally from Montana, Yarmer came to Colorado for her residency that she finished at University of Colorado Children’s Hospital in 2005.

“As soon as I decided I wanted to be a doctor, that is the only plan that I had, to work with kids. (In medical school) an attending let me deliver a baby. I remember thinking that I had to hand that baby off to someone else, and I just wanted to go with the baby,” Yarmer said.  

She met her husband Chad Yarmer while in medical school, and after graduation they moved to Florida, where they lived for seven years.  

After seven years in Florida, “My husband said ‘I’m going home,’” Kristie Yarmer said.

Chad Yarmer had sent her CV to a number of hospital recruiters, including one for The Memorial Hospital. In 2012, the family including Ben, 11, and Emilee, 9, moved to Craig.

“I’m grateful that the people in this community gave me a chance here,” said Kristie Yarmer. “It’s a privilege that people trust me to take care of their children. I don’t take it lightly.”

Sometimes Kristie Yarmer has to give her patients and their parents difficult news. At those times the doctor, counts herself lucky to treat kids.

“As adults we tend to focus on our illness, kids just focus on being kids. It allows me to keep my perspective,” Kristie Yarmer said.

The busy doctor is serving a two-year term as Chief of Staff, and two years prior her peers at Memorial Regional Health also elected her as Vice Chief. She’s active in her church and tries to be there to tuck her kids into bed every night.

When asked how she manages everything, Kristie Yarmer credits her husband and her staff including patient representative Jessica VandenHout, nurses Jennifer Agan and Lisa Vannoy, and pediatric physician Assistant Kevin Monahan.

“I have this amazing support staff. I am extraordinarily appreciative of what they do for me,” Kristie Yarmer said.