New hospital administrator settling in |

New hospital administrator settling in

In the four weeks before he begins work as The Memorial Hospital’s new administrator, George Rohrich, plans to explore Moffat County.

The rural area and the small-town setting were key factors in making the move to Craig, he said.

“We really wanted a town that was small,” Rohrich said. “We love rural areas.”

He and his wife, Valerie, moved to Craig on Feb. 15 and are settling in and learning about the area.

Rohrich, 48, thought he’d retired from the medical profession last year when he resigned his post as the administrator of the Washakie Medical Center in Worland, Wyo.

“I decided it was time to make a change,” he said. “We didn’t know what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go.”

Then a friend directed him toward Craig and The Memorial Hospital, which had been seeking an administrator since Randy Phelps left in August.

Rohrich said it’s too early to say what he’ll tackle when he begins work March 27. He said his first priority would be to learn about the hospital and how it runs.

“It wouldn’t be prudent to start cutting a swath of change,” he said. “It wouldn’t be good for the staff or the community. I think as the new guy I need to get a feel for the hospital and how it works.”

The biggest project the hospital faces is the construction of a new facility, he said.

“That’s a huge project, and it has to be done right because we don’t get to do it over,” he said.

Rohrich plans to continue the existing programs to improve customer service, recruit new physicians and improve quality of care.

“It appears this hospital is doing a fine job,” he said.

Rohrich started his medical career as a pharmacy technician in the Air Force.

“I had seen a pharmacist and thought that would be really fun,” he said.

It didn’t take long before he found administration as appealing, and he trained as such in the Air Force.

“I moved around and had the opportunity to supervise just about every department in a hospital,” he said. “It was a great experience, a great education. I have a deep appreciation for those who do those jobs because I did them.”

He met his wife while in the Air Force, and the two married in 1982.

Rohrich grew up on a ranch in North Dakota and spent 10 years on active duty in the Air Force and nearly 14 years as a reserve.

His wife, Valerie, is a teacher who worked for several years with special-needs students and hopes to continue the same work in Moffat County.

Rohrich was the board’s top choice from the applicants.

“He seemed like he’d be a good fit,” TMH Board President Sue Lyster said.

His references say he’s excellent with people, high-energy and straightforward, Lyster said.

In his spare time, Rohrich restores antique radios — those made before World War II. He can’t count the number of radios that he’s restored and said he has hundreds more in the garage of his new home waiting for attention.

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